Observing Ben’s “Mode of Operation!” (Rituals) 01/01/ 2012

Ben while working a puzzle!

By: Carole Norman Scott

Ben (49) was just home for nine days at Christmas.  He did GREAT!  He really enjoyed seeing his siblings and nieces, eating good food,shopping with me, going to the movie (“We Bought a Zoo”), and especially…the Christmas Eve and Christmas morning church services.  It’s interesting though, to watch his “mode of operation” as he does his routines of life.  He likes to fill the glasses with coke when we have pizza, and he has it down to a “fine art.” He fills it until the “fizz” is exactly at the top (enough to ALMOST run over, but NEVER does). Then, he pours a 2nd batch the same and watches until it subsides. Then, the 3rd…and YES…it is PERFECTO! You can tell by the look on his face that he’s “in his glory!” When he has 3 glasses to fill (mine, his dad’s & his) it’s even MORE “heavenly” for him. We are SO thankful he can help though, and seems to enjoy it so. He also fixes his own cereal each morning. He gets the bowl out first, then a separate trip from the table to get the cereal, then a third trip to get the raisins to put on it, and then a fourth trip to the refrigerator for the milk, which he pours like he does the coke…clear to the “tippy-top” of the bowl, but it NEVER spills over. His hand-eye co-ordination is exceptional! He reverses that order (one at a time…taking as many steps as possible) when finished. He rinses the bowl, rinses the spoon (back & forth from the table each time), puts the cereal away, puts the bowl in the dishwasher and the milk in the refrigerator. He also immediately puts away any bread that is out for toast, or butter and jelly back in the fridge. Everything MUST be in its place at all times! The same with bringing in the trash cans–he gets ONE can and brings it into the garage…then another trip to get the lid, then another trip to get the 2nd trash can, and then another for that lid…and so it goes! If I tell him to pick up both trash cans, he will, but the next time, he does it HIS way again. BUT, my husband and I had a talk (after Ben went to bed) about Ben’s logic on these matters. We figure that it is the routine that makes him feel comfortable…that helps him to know that he is doing it “right” (but who will ever know for sure)! After all, there is no harm in it…and he has all the time in the world. Occasionally though, like when he’s emptying the dishwasher, we WILL get brave and step in, showing him a faster way to do it. For instance, like when he was putting the silverware away one at a time…bending over time and again. We showed him to pick up a handfull, and put them away…sorting as he goes. Lo and behold, he caught on and did it that way the next time too! We notice things like this all the time (and he’s on medication for O/C behavior), but what is WONDERFUL is how he CAN help, and really enjoys being of help (when he understands what’s expected of him). He helped me take down ALL the Christmas decorations on the 30th of December. He helped take the ornaments off the tree and reached the high ones for me. Then, we boxed up the Nativity scenes, and he put them on the top shelf in the closet for me, as well as all the boxes of various other decorations. He is VERY careful, and even knows to pick up the boxes with the labels facing towards him so that they will show after the box is on the shelf. I even get mixed up about that (but I’m left-handed…my excuse)–Ha! He helps my husband to carry the heavy 24-inch leaf to the dining-room table in and install it properly for the Christmas family dinner. Again, he is VERY careful that he doesn’t bump or run into anything. VERY meticulous! He is an EXPERT jigsaw puzzle worker…working a 300 piece one in less than 2 hours. Again, very exacting about where the pieces go, but VERY proud when it is all done. He could work one with many more pieces, but we don’t want to “overdo” it! He’s to the place where he can get up and leave it (if we want to go somewhere, or it’s time for bed) and work on it later, or the next day. THAT wasn’t always the case. He tended to want to stay at it until it was done, and that caused problems. Gradually though, he seemed to understand, and even welcomed a “break!” Just thought you all might find all this interesting…that he is able to come home and go right into his “home” routine, and fits in with all the plans beautifully. He STILL has his little ideosyncrasies (as do we ALL), but he is a FINE man, and we are VERY proud of him! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope it is blessed with the peace and comfort of the Lord for you and ALL whom you love!


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