So what did Peter do when it wasn't summer and when he was not playing hide and seek with his family and neighbors. Does it surprise you when I say he had other tricks up his sleeve? Do you remember the story of Peter and I going to UW-Madison and the Waismann Center when he was young. During one of these visits, in addition to his diagnosis of Severely Cognitively Disabled, Peter and I were told that he fell into the gray area of Pervasive Development Disease, also known as Autism Spectrum. Peter did, and does have autistic like behaviors which have changed over time. One of these behaviors is wringing his hands when doors close. Other repetitive behaviors, that I will begin to mention, were those behaviors that caused him to carry out his business. One of his Businesses was to flush toilets.
So replacing running through the neighbor hood at amazing speeds, you could find Peter in one of our four bathrooms. Why I thought four bathrooms was a good idea when we built our house, I will never know. For Peter, four bathrooms was heaven, a place to escape, a place to carry out his business plan for the day. He followed the same routine, mom is busy or distracted, she is not paying attention to me, so off to flush I go. Flush and watch and wring my hands...that's the plan. Flush and flush. Flushing really wasn't a big issue, except for the major increase in the water bill. But WHAT was flushed became the concern. Peter, unbeknownst to the rest of the family, found great joy in flushing items down the toilet. Now, we did not catch on to this, until things would go missing. Soon, we resorted to locking all the bathroom doors and the only entry was by using a paper clip to pop the lock. However, soon the clips were left inside, door was locked, and when you have to go....idea was only SO good.
The flushing continued until one day, our septic system backed up. Not knowing the cause of the problem, the honeywagon man came over, dug deep into the system, and to his joy he found shampoo bottles, many and I mean a congregation of Fisher Price figures, (remember those cutsie little people that fit perfectly down a toilet, well ours all went for a swim in the local spetic pool), toothbrushes, and brushes. If it could be flushed, it was floating. Standing at my sink that day, gazing out to the backyard, I witnessed this man looking as if he just discovered gold. He came pounding on my window..."Look, Look , he called. Look what I found!" begging me to join in his excitement. Obviously, he never had experienced such an event, as the joy radiated from his body. Leaving my post, traveling to the backyard, and viewing the floatees, I was hardpressed to start jumping up and down in glory. Instead, I was shaking my head!! An "Oh my gosh, can you believe this feeling"!! There were the farm friends and the animals from the train all taking a swim. That voice that went PETER, was sounding off in my head.
I am sure Mr. Septic System shared his jubilation with his friends. I know that day, Peter made one man happy. For me, it was just another day with Peter Labanowsky. I reinstated the paper clip locking system with new resolve. And for those farm friends and and animals..they found a new home...down under.