I hate Indiana Jones.
This is a confession I cannot make to my son, who is obsessed with All Things Indy. Since the age of four, (he's nine now) when he donned the infamous Indy fedora bought on a summer trip to Disneyland (it has the Indiana Jones logo inside, and he wore that thing for two straight years) We actually went through three hats because he wore them OUT. Indiana Jones has been a strong interest that my son comes back to again and again.
One of the hallmarks of high-functioning autism or Asperger's is perseveration. Really, it's a 50¢ word for "all the subject, all the time." Even when the last thing you want to hear about is said subject- for the love of God and all things Holy! ...It still continues.
As I said, this particular obsession has been alive since my son found out about it in Kindergarten and honestly? a lifetime of red Kool-aid and twinkies for the child that let that cat out of the bag. And yes, his mother, too. Especially his mother...
In our house, we have Indy action figures, Indy computer games, Indy Wii. We have Indy Legos, an Indy Whip, hell we even have Indy cereal. We have numerous thrift-store-find Indy outfits. It's so bad that my son commandered my tan messenger bag because he thinks it makes him look more like the satchel-carrying Indy. That's right. My nine year old carries a murse. I'm so proud.
Ask a psychologist and he will say that perseveration serves a purpose. It holds the child's anxiety often, and gives him a go-to subject ripe for conversation. Ask me, and I'll tell you that it's damned annoying.
Don't get me wrong. When my then-four year old came home and made it All About Indy I was thrilled. How cute, a four year old who has a role model! I admit, I indulged his play. A lot. I bought him tan pants, and shirts that looked perfect for his adventures. We bought him the aforementioned fedora. He watched Raiders of the Lost Ark and later, The Last Crusade. (he didn't see Temple of Doom, it's a bit rough around the edges for kids) We bought him the G.I. Joe Indiana Jones figure.
When people admired his appearance, I loved it. And when he was chosen to be featured at the Sword in the Stone show at Disneyland because he looked like such a cool kid? (and of course, cool kids have hip moms) I preened. I even overlooked the fact that he had to wear tan pants, everyday, even all through the 90 degree Southern California summer. "Creative Expression," don't you know?
My son vacillates between various interests. They are almost always mass-market media-inspired. The characters he has glommed onto have been a changing array: Robin Hood, Captain Jack Sparrow (I put a stop to that when he "stole" my wallet out of my purse and then told me about it... when asked why? "What do you expect, I'm a pirate!") Frodo Baggins, Peter from Narnia , Link from the Nintendo game, Legend of Zelda....and of course, the one that started it all: Indiana Jones. Each of these phases requires various accoutrements such as outfits, accessories and of course, toys from the lines of Commercial Cash Cow and Put China On Top By Importing Cheap Poisonous Plastic Crap. It keeps us on our toes.
I thought we had put the Indy love to bed, because we hadn't seen much of the fedora or the toys in quite a while. And then, the newest movie was announced. My son picked up his Indy Interest with a vengeance. He talked constantly about the movie.
What did I think it would be like?(I don't know)
Would Indy be old? (yes)
Would he still have his whip? (probably)
Would there be scary parts like in Raiders? (some intense scenes, I imagine)
Will you buy me the Lego Indy stuff (save your allowance)
Will I get to see the movie soon (when it comes out son)
What will it be like? (ARGH..the sound of me choking on my tongue as my brain explodes)
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
He saw the movie opening night. He very much liked it. Shortly after that, we bought the Indiana Jones Lego Wii game. It is very entertaining, even if you are just watching it, highly recommend it, as an aside. The obsession came to a full rolling boil. He played the game. He talked about the game. He played the game. He talked about the movie. And the game. GAH! I was never so happy as when he finished the last level of that game.
Things seem to be settling down, now. He is still crazy about Indy, and he will corner anyone to tell them so. But there are signs that Indy may have run it's course this cycle and there is an inkling that change is on the horizon. My son created a level in his Nintendo game after this particular interest. What's that? The newest interest? The one that with just a small nudge from me if I'm not careful, will become a monster on a feeding frenzy? Star Trek. Yes, you heard me right. my son is becoming a geek. I suppose it isn't surprising given his genetics.
God help us all.
T, who figures she will be assimilated