December 27th, 2007 | 13 Comments »

One of the characteristics of autistic behaviours is obsessions. Come to think of it, I just might be autistic myself. But this isn’t about me. Hah!

Ass Burger Boy was obsessed with toilets ever since toilet training began. I think I may have helped to fuel this obsession, since I was pretty eager not to clean up poop.

This obsession impacted my older sister, who had taken ABB to Sears and was thoroughly mortified when he demonstrated his big boy skills in the display toilet. I don’t think she praised him for it. Encouragement is critical during toilet training. It may have set him back a bit.

By sheer accident, I stumbled onto the “What’s in it for me?” method of motivating ABB. I swear I knew the instant he was toilet trained for real. I could see in his eyes the connection as he made it to being a big boy, toilet training, and another fascination of his, which was beards. Since every time he used the potty, I told him he was getting to be a bigger boy, it really clicked with him when I said that when he was bigger, he could grow a beard of his own, much preferable to feeling up the beards of random strangers. I swear I used all the creativity I could muster to motivate that chile.

During this very long period of time,we lived in a place with air in the pipes, and the toilet made a horrifying noise, which I tried to explain by telling him that the toilet needed to clear its throat. Yes, in hindsight, this was entirely stupid of me, but hey, the kid was terrified. Frankly, so was I. Terrified he would never come near a toilet again. I saw myself changing poopy diapers up to the time I might need mine changed. The noise it made sounded like a screechy ERRRRRR, so we made friends with it, and called the toilet Errr.

This led to a great curiosity about other people’s toilets. He wanted to find out if anyone else had a toilet with personality that he could befriend.

Every time we went to a place he hadn’t been to before, he would ask the inhabitants right away “What colour is your toilet?” followed by “Can I see it?” These are the questions he came up with after I had to hurriedly explain to him that only our toilet was called Errr, because of course, he asked to see their Errr, and they had no idea what the Errr he meant.

A few years after he was toilet trained, he asked less often to see people’s toilets, and he quit entirely asking them what colour their toilet was. I didn’t fully understand the perseverance of his obsessions, but was happy to let it go.

A few weeks ago, I asked him if when he goes to a new place, he makes it a point to use the bathroom.

Yes, yes, he does. He has just gotten more subtle with his obsessions as he has matured. And now, I have more mildly amusing stories, and less explanations to provide.