In all the reading I've done on developmental delays and the like, I seem to remember coming across the idea that children who do not hit certain milestones at the expected time will go through them at a later date. I feel like we've been hitting at least a couple of these this summer.
As a toddler and preschooler, E. did not get into very much. We did some babyproofing before he could even crawl and then didn't get to much more. We always figured that we kept a pretty good eye on him and would be able to take care of any location that caught his fancy. We did not add any more latches, didn't need to. In retrospect, I suspect it is part of the Asperger's; since he tends to see the world from his own perspective only and just as it is presented to him, he simply didn't think to open drawers and doors and climb on things.
Similarly, he has not put on great displays of independence. Sure, he has learned to do more for himself, but his proclamations of "I can do it myself" have never been as frequent or vehement as one might expect from a preschooler, even as stubborn as he is.
That has changed a lot. He's into everything now. My mother-in-law has said that she never worried about leaving him for a short time, but now she knows that any amount of silence is not a good thing. At my sister's, he kept showing up with rolls of tape, taken surreptitiously from a particular drawer. When A. and I stocked up on medicines, in order to use up her flexible spending account before she was off payroll, I installed the first cabinet latch in our house--not because of the baby we were then hoping would be in our future, but because we worried that E. would be into it.
The past few days have added his loudly announced belief that he doesn't need me anymore. (Me specifically due to being the one who has denied him some things.) He's chafing at the bit and wanting to be bigger, older, able to do more.
While this may be developmentally appropriate for him at this point, it is more wearing than I imagine it would have been at 2 or 3 (or even 4). The combination of a couple more years and a creative mind is problematic. He can reach higher than before, even more so now that he's grown a couple inches this summer, and has the ability to plot out at least part of his action ahead of time. His idea of what constitutes independence is grander and more sweeping now--we've had to say no to the driving and remain insistent about holding hands (or finger, as he allowed this morning) when crossing certain streets.
Some good may come of this--he's suddenly interested in not wearing pull-ups at night since they're for babies--but I can't wait for the rest of this to pass.