- There is no modesty.
Brandon is much more free than we are. He is not ashamed, embarrassed, or bashful. When Brandon was much younger, he hated wearing clothes. He would strip naked at the drop of a hat. Fortunately, that is no longer a challenge for us. He stays clothed all day. Except when something he wants to wear is in the hamper. Or there is no underwear in his dresser after his shower. He will walk out of his room and into the kitchen to request the needed item, regardless of who is visiting. Most of our friends have now seen Brandon in his purest form. He doesn’t care. He just wants his underwear. We have taught him how to wrap a towel around him after his shower. I am not sure why, though. He gets to his room, the towel is on the floor and his door is not shut. And sometimes, the curtain is open. And he simply does not care. Brandon has taught me to not care so much about what everyone else thinks. Just be myself. Just like he is himself every single day.
- Two of Everything
Brandon loves waffles. Not homemade waffles, but the frozen kind. Not the Belgian style waffles. He likes the waffles with the little squares, not the big ones. He will not eat a waffle if it has fruit or anything else in them. Plain waffles. Thankfully, the brand does not seem to matter to him which makes it easier when shopping. Brandon has always loved waffles. He knows right where they are in every grocery store we shop at. When he was 8-9 years old, I took him grocery shopping with me. When we got to the waffle aisle, he started saying he wanted 10 boxes of waffles. I told him we could get 2 boxes. He was not pleased and had a full blown temper tantrum in the frozen section. Jumping, yelling, threw himself to the floor, crying. I ignored every bit of it. I stood there quietly while other shoppers gave me some nasty looks. (Don’t judge what you don’t know) After 3-4 minutes, Brandon stood up and said “two waffles”. Yes!! Now, when Brandon goes grocery shopping, whatever he picks out, we must get two.
- Public Restrooms
It was so much easier to take Brandon to a public restroom when he was little. I could take him in the women’s restroom with me and nobody batted an eye. Then he grew up. I can’t as easily take him with me and there aren’t very many of the “family” restrooms out there. If his brothers are with us, they will take him for me. If I am by myself, I let hirm go in the men’s restroom and I stand right outside the door. I have had more than one man open the door only to find me standing in front of it. I usually explain what I am doing and I have never encountered someone who got testy about it. And I talk loudly to Brandon while I am standing there…”don’t forget to wash your hands, make sure you flush”…so that he knows I am there. Steve has another issue when he takes Brandon to a public restroom. Brandon pulls his pants and underwear down to his ankles when using the urinal. Being a woman, I don’t understand this at all. Why is this a problem? I asked Steve and he told me that no one wants to walk in and see a bare butt. LOL! Now, Steve just directs Brandon to the stalls and Steve feels better. Brandon could care less. See #1 above.
- Cocoon Sleeping
This is, without a doubt, the one thing I simply do not understand. When Brandon sleeps, he cocoons himself in his blanket. Every part of him is covered, including his head. To be honest, it use to freak me out a bit. I have never been able to sleep with my head covered. I feel like I am suffocating. What if he is getting too much carbon monoxide because his breaths are not going into the air? They are staying under that blanket. I asked his doctor about this years ago and he laughed at me and said it was fine. Okay. But I still check on him to make sure the blanket is moving up and down, so I know he is breathing.
- Sameness is Comforting
I appreciate routine. I appreciate order. I do tend to get a bit restless if there isn’t something different occasionally. Brandon is a creature of habit. He likes sameness and knowing what’s coming. He knows that Dad reads his book with him every night before bed. It can not be me or his brothers. Brandon will read a book with me during the day, but never before bed, because Steve does it. If Steve is home, but busy with work stuff at bedtime, Brandon will not let me read a book with him. When this happens, Brandon will choose to go to bed without reading. If Steve is traveling and not home, then maybe I get to read with him. It’s about 50/50. And I am okay with that. At least he is reading!!