Every now and then, our daughter freaks us out.
Recently, my mother came to visit and stayed with us for a week. One morning, she was in the basement bathroom, curling her hair. She had the old lady iron out, with the old lady curlers, looking very much like a dignified British woman preparing for a busy day with team and crumpets.
Natalie watched this, and asked if she could have some curlers in her hair. My mother was happy to accommodate.
Then Natalie said, "I wore curlers when I was an old lady."
Her grammie corrected her. "You mean, you will wear curlers when you get to be an old lady."
Natalie shook her head. "Oh no," she said. "When I was an old lady."
Grammie looked at her. "When were you an old lady?"
"Oh, I was an old lady lots of times," she replied. "I was an old man sometimes, too."
By now, Grammie had forgotten about her curlers. She bent down and looked Natalie in the eye.
"Natalie," she said, suddenly serious. "What do you mean?"
"Oh," said Natalie, growing bored. "I was an old lady lots. And now I'm back."
Natalie nodded. "Yes. I'm back because I have to get it right."
And then, as if she had just completed small talk about the weather, she smiled and wandered out of the room. Not a care in the world.
That's my kid. Autistic Astral Traveller.