Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nuts and Bolts

Demon Baby does not play with toys.

He has toys. He gets toys for Christmas and his birthday. He has cars like other little boys.

But he doesn't play with them.

What Demon Baby does is take things apart . . . and make new things with the pieces.

He takes all my knitting off my knitting needles because he needs Samurai swords.

He takes the wires from DVD players and computers and makes robots.

I find little nuts, bolts, and screws in the carpet upstairs. He needs them for his robots too. When I find these little screws, I look around and wonder . . . what is going to fall apart one day? Where does he GET these? What do these belong to?

He harvests old computers and keyboards to launch his rocket ships. We can't leave for church or the store until he races to his work station (which happens to be in my bedroom, where he has take over an entire dresser) to "save my work." Then he presses keys and apparently that will keep a meteor from landing on the house while we are gone. Yesterday he asked me to call Santa Claus and request "tools" for Christmas.

We had his yearly check-up last week. That's a blog for another day. The short version is I decribed some of his behaviors . . . like this lack of toys thing. And the doctor talked to him for a long while (during which Demon Baby used big words, and formulated each sentence with "Precisely, . . ." and "Actually, I'm quite serious . . . ") . She studied him and pretty much came to the same conclusion I did. He's not autistic. He doesn't have ADD or ADHD. He's just really, really, really, SCARY smart. And he sees the world a different way.

"That doesn't mean you are any less exhausted, but I cannot imagine what advice I could even offer you," she said to me. "You're pretty much doing everything I would tell you to do with him. You've got him figured out."

But she's wrong. I don't think anyone could really figure him out. Not really. I collect his little nuts and bolts. I don't tell anyone in my family, but I tuck them away someplace and once in a while, I just go and look at them. I marvel that the house hasn't fallen apart yet for all his disassembling. But the nuts and bolts are a reminder to me.

He sees the world as something to take apart and put back together his way. And that's okay. Different isn't such a bad thing. We're all nuts and bolts just trying to find out where we fit.


pita-woman said...

I would say he'll be president one day, but I think that job would bore him. Perhaps the lead project engineer for NASA & the Internationa Spacestation?

Do they still make those erector-sets that come with all the little nuts/bolts/metal plates etc.? I think he'd have a ball being creative with that.

Erica Orloff said...

I think they still do, so that is most definitely on my shopping list. I guess I will have to shop for his Christmas presents at Lowes and Home Depot. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I recomend Meccano:

Robin said...

He's such a funny little boy. I'm glad the doctor "got him", too! I fear for potential dingbat adults in his future. Your school system better be ready with some major league enrichment classes.

My kids are smart but sort of average smart. The regular honors classes are fine for them. I've never found our school system to be lacking. But my friend's son was a true genius. She had to constantly work to get him extra stuff in school. He took college math courses, because the math didn't go far enough at our school. He's now a statistics professor at Wharton, so all turned out great, but not without a lot of fighting with the school.

Nadine said...

I think different is wonderful. Normal is boring.

He's very lucky to have you as his mother - to encourage him and let him be who he wants to be.

Erica Orloff said...

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much!!!!!

Erica Orloff said...

Confession time (as I said, this is a blog for another day). He is healthy . . . so this visit is 18 months overdue. I just couldn't bring myself to take him there and be told something was "wrong" with him. But finally, I knew I had to go, catch up on immunizations and so on. The visit took an hour and a half of her listening and talking to him and so on. And in the end . . . she said, "He doesn't fit any categories except sensory integration disorder . . . and genius." SOOOOOOOO . . . I KNOW, I mean to the depths of my being, that school will be so challenging. It's challenging enough with the other three, who are all gifted, but like yours, regular Honors is totally fine. My son skipped a year in math . . . they all were accepted into magnet programs for high school and middle school. So . . . you know, now along comes Demon Baby and I honestly feel like the guy in the movie Martian Child. THAT IS MY LIFE.

Erica Orloff said...

When I told her I got around his SHRIEKING at the top of his lungs for hours over baths by telling him Ninjas take ritualistic cleansing baths to prepare for battle, she said, "If he had any other mother than a novelist . . . "

One of my best girlfriends says she thinks his soul chose mine. I kind of like to think that.


Cheryl Kauffman said...

Sounds like you may have the next Einstein on your hands. I have seen some Home Depot brand toys at Toys R Us he may enjoy putting together. My daughter also loves Magnetix and Legos. Also check out

Erica Orloff said...

Love you guys. GREAT suggestions.

Jude Hardin said...

Then he presses keys that apparently will keep a meteor from landing on the house while we are gone.

Well, it's working, isn't it?

Erica Orloff said...

So far. That's what scares me. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Glad to help. I found the home site in English: