Like any child, David has a way of pushing my buttons. If he is angry or upset and decides he wants to share that particular emotion with me, he knows exactly what to do to get a rise out of me. Lately, he has been working his magic, for the most part unintentionally. You see, he has been pushing my buttons by, well, pushing buttons.
David is fascinated by buttons of all shapes and sizes, especially if they beep or light up when pressed. Or, in the case of elevators, you have illuminated buttons and beeping with the added bonus of doors opening and closing—absolute heaven. But, since we do not have any elevators in our house, David has to get creative.
Earlier this week, David changed the setting on Michael's alarm clock from a.m. to p.m. We know that David plays with Michael's alarm clock, although he does not seem to have the same fascination with mine, for some reason. Each night before he falls asleep, Michael checks the alarm, but it never occurred to him that the little prankster would reset the alarm for p.m. and when Michael finally woke up a full hour late in the morning, he was not at all amused.
David also is fascinated with the buttons on the coffee maker. Actually, he is fascinated by the whole coffee making process, which he has adopted as one of his chores. I know it sounds strange, but the parents of kids with autism will understand why I let him help me each night. It is a multi-step process and he has to put the steps in sequence. He gets the coffee filter from the stack (a good fine motor skill), remembers to put three scoops of coffee in the basket, watches me add the water, closes all the doors (not quite as fascinating as an elevator because they are not automatic doors) and then knows which two buttons to push to turn off the grinder function and to set it to turn on automatically, hopefully the next morning assuming he hasn't also changed a.m. to p.m.
The problem with this whole task, however, is that David also really likes to watch the coffee drip out of the filter basket and into the pot, so if I am not keeping an eye on him he will start the coffee brewing right away. Or, he will come back later to start it, which on more than one occasion has forced me to have a cup of coffee after dinner so that the whole pot doesn't go to waste—not conducive to a good night's sleep.
And just this morning when I woke up, I thought I might be coming down with something because I was chilled. I then decided to check the thermostat when Andrew was also complaining of being cold. We have been keeping our fingers crossed all winter since our furnace is original to our house (and will continue to cross fingers all summer because our air conditioner is, as well). I am happy to report that there was nothing wrong with the furnace except that a six-year-old saboteur apparently pressed the temperature down button at least 23 times in quick succession because the heat was set at 45 degrees, which not surprisingly makes for a chilly house.
I sometimes do feel the need to follow David to see which buttons he will be pushing next. If only life did imitate art—or commercials—I would be first in line to buy one of those "easy" buttons.