Just Ask!!!

Autism CreativeKirsten loves skirts. Let me try that again.  Kirsten loooooves skirts!  She searches them out online, at the store, on other people.  Nobody can walk by in a skirt without Kirsten taking notice.  And, of course, all the best skirts have slips.  She is driven to perform a spot-check.   Beautiful skirt!!  always follows with… does it have a slip??!   

Checking the mannequins, okay.  Customers?  Not so much…  For the most part, she understands.  You caught that?  Yeah.  For the most part.  Ahem…  

I loved it when Kirsten added drawing skirts to her curriculum.  So creative!  I bought her a special notebook and a new box of colored pencils to encourage this new activity.  She had fun with the “fabrics,” adding stripes, plaids, dots and lots of color variations.  Her notebook was filling up fast.  Maybe I have a future fashion-designer on my hands!  All was going well, until…

Kirsten: “Find it in the store.”  Uh-oh.  K: “Find this with blue and white dots and like this in the store.” This was said with the “it is going to be a very bad idea to tell me no” tone.  You know the one.  Exactly.  Me: “Of course, Kirsten.  Let’s find it in the store!”  What’s wrong with me?  Seriously.

It’s all my fault.  We started on the path to empowerment very early.  When she was little and rarely talking, I often told her, “Kirsten, you can have anything you want.  Just ask!”  I bet you bargained too.  Just talk to me, girl!!!  A lot of years have gone by between then and now.  Not too many to forget.  The sound of her voice is golden.  To the extent of my ability I still live by the motto, “Just ask!

So when days went by and she didn’t let it go, we went shopping!  Her hopes were so high.  What were the odds that we would find this Kirsten-Original?  Slim-to-none.  But had to try.  Definitely praying to the shopping-gods… 

Just to make this a little more fun… while shopping, Kirsten’s stress level is always high.  Combine this with the all-important search for the Kirsten-Original and …well …you get the picture

Here’s how it played out: 

Arrive at the mall, send up another prayer, shoot Kirsten a reassuring smile and say, “Let’s go find your skirt!”  We start our systematic search.  Rack to rack to rack.  Keep your feet moving while you thumb through the merchandise.  It’s a learned-skill.  I’ve got years of practice.  Not for the novice. 

A running dialog helps distract.  “Hmmm Kirsten… what about this one?”  She holds up her drawing while we evaluate…  “It is the right color, but no dots.  And definitely the wrong style.  Don’t worry.  We will find it.”  Very precarious position.  Kirsten’s stress level creeping up – heart set on finding this skirt.  Worrying she won’t.  Keep calm.  She picks up on my energy. 

Rack to rack to rack we went.  Until.  What?!  Could this be it??!  The Kirsten-Original is held up for comparison.  Style match? Check!  Color match? Check!  Tiny white dots? Hmmm… tiny beige triangles.  Me: “Kirsten, what about this one?  It’s close!”  The sparkle in her eyes said it all.  K: “Oh, buy this one?”  Oh, yes.  Buy this one!  We managed to find the right size, wait… wait… wait at the register, make our purchase, and find our way to the car with dignity intact.  Now THAT is a successful shopping trip!!!

Skirt still hangs in the closet.  The skirt hunts are over.  They have been replaced with sheets.  Except she is not drawing them… she is remembering them.  K:  “Buy oval sheets like in Georgia?”  …which makes it about 15 years ago.  Her memory is amazing.  Mine, not so much. 

I have no idea what I am searching for.  But I’m searching…

Wish me luck! ;)

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4 Responses

  1. Tara says:

    At least you get out to shop. Megan makes lists upon lists of things she finds on eBay and Amazon for us to buy every week. Then everyone is on pins and needles until the items all show up…She will ask to check the mail every two hours every day until she is sure we have got everything…. Thank goodness Amazon is usually prompt in shipping their stuff… ;^)