Death of a dream

Day 15

So here it is, the final weekday of the Christmas holidays. This is the only school holiday of the year that I get to this point and I am not ready to show up at the school gates at 6am on Monday morning. It is the one holiday when I find myself thinking that maybe another week would be nice. It is the fact that there is never a clear week of the holiday when there isn’t an ‘event’ and associated public holiday. This wistfulness only lasts as long as the break between sibling arguments mind so never gets enough time to form into anything like yearning or a resolve for change, I see this as natures inbuilt self protection and I am grateful for it.

Once the children got home from their Fathers in the middle of the day we set out to first get the boy the haircut and then with plans to go into Oxford to find the 1 billion pound shop.

Clearly enough time for thought had passed to build a deep yearning for that 1 billion pound shop the boy had assured me lay waiting in Oxford because not once, but twice I completely ignored the fact our first stop was the local town for hair cutting and bill paying. After the first time I merrily ignored the turning for town and had then navigated myself back onto the correct route I suddenly realised why the boy had been repeating again and again that ‘This is the way to my doctors!’ from the back of the car. That was because I had yet again strayed from my path to the town and was heading off towards Oxford again.

I finally managed to block to lure to Oxford long enough to get us into town and after a spot of the boring task of paying bills we found ourselves waiting our turn at the hairdresser and I found myself yet again having to bargain with the boy that while Bieber hair may look cool to him he did need to be able to see past his fringe. We finally hit a compromise in which there where to be no clippers, the hair at the top could stay reasonably long but I would be able to see both eyes and ears at all times. The boy is happy with the results but has insisted gel shall be needed for the next school disco so he can perfect the ‘bed head’ style. Thankfully we have a whole term until that point and as he has a memory to rival my own I am hoping that if nobody says the words ‘Justin Bieber’ between now and that point I might just get away with it.

Next stop was to give in to the force dragging me into Oxford. Hitting traffic seduced us into giving the park and ride a try. It was a cruel lie. As soon as we where committed to the park and ride I could see that the traffic jam had completely vanished. The children at that point where full of the kind of enthusiasm for public transport only the under 10’s can have so there was no easy way out. I have become convinced that the traffic lights on that junction are set up as to make you think it is bumper to bumper traffic all the way into the city what ever the real situation may be just to trick you into using the park and ride.

On the bus ride the boy was as normal questioning me intensely on the lives and loves of every animal, mineral, vegetable that his eyes fell upon. He is of the unshakable opinion that I should know all and every detail about anything or anyone that his eyes fall upon and is only just starting to accept that outside the village I don’t always have all the answers. This resulted in my strangest moment of the day. The boy was questioning me about some people he could see from the bus window, when I was not able to satisfactorily answer the questions the boy pondered, ‘Maybe they are in mourning’. Oh. okay. Where did that come from? The boy has an expressive language disorder but he does love to throw some stuff out there just to keep everybody involved with him on the ball.

We couldn’t find the 1 billion pound shop. The girl found plenty of shops with pretty dresses and jackets. The boy found shops with superman braces and ties. I had to settle for a new bath mat and some towels. I’m very disappointed and in mourning for the loss of my happy hour browsing the shelves of the 1 billion pound shop.


Change is…

Day 2

It is Saturday morning so it is off to the yard we go so they children can have their riding lessons.

My trials start on what should be the simple act of getting dressed for the day. So easy you would think, but no. Not with the boy about.

Hand me down clothes and the boy just don’t work. Clear cut is his life, things have a place and order and this must not change. Presented with a yard top handed down from the girl he states simply ‘thats not mine’ and sets it a side. After repeating this a handful of times I say

‘but, but… it’s too small for the girl, it’s not a ‘girly’ top, look!’ I hold up the offending polo shirt and turn it to show the back.

‘Its not mine, I am not 95!’ he wails.

I try to explain it is just a number, even though I can’t really explain myself why clothing often has seemingly random numbers emblazoned over them, in this case I assume it has something to do with polo but I am not convinced of that myself, 95 seems like rather a high number for a polo team. The boy continues to wail that it isn’t his and he is not 95. Right then. I will get a different top.

We finally move onto the dressing bit. Jodhpurs and alternative T-shirt on (that will go under a jumper and never be seen). The boy pulls something from his Jodhpur pocket

‘I think I found my torch!’ the boy exclaims happily.

I realise that again this isn’t going to end well. The jodhpurs that spent yesterday evening in the wash and then overnight in the dryer. I make the unfortunate connection about why it sounded like there was a brick in the dryer last night. No brick. Just a battery powered torch.

The ‘I don’t have a torch!’ meltdown was quite epic once he discovered that being washed and tumble dried is not a healthy activity for a torch. It is amazing the motivation that a meltdown of a child going through the process of an autistic spectrum diagnosis can bring. Apparently if you are desperate enough to just stop. the. noise. you can resurrect electronics from the dead just enough to give the boy hope that a little more time to dry out the insides. I could, of cause, go and buy a new torch for a couple of pounds but, you see, it wouldn’t he his torch.

The rest of the day has continued with more on the same theme. The routine has shifted slightly and the whole ‘Christmas’ thing is hanging in the air. Difficult time for the boy, unfortunately knowing all this does not give me unlimited reserves of patience and I find myself today looking forward to handing it all over to their Father. I have just about used my whole arsenal on helping the boy through without giving in and allowing him to spend the whole day sitting playing computer games. Hopefully the next few days as we ramp up to the big day will go okay, I have planned to the hilt and gone over every part with the boy, we will get through, we will!

Tonight I start the big wrap. I have smugly had most of my shopping sorted for the last week or so however I have not yet wrapped up a single thing. I have however, come up with a cunning plan. This year Father Christmas is on an eco drive and has decided to cut down on wrapping paper to save some trees so only half of what he shall deliver into stockings (when did a stocking become a great big mail sack?). I think I am onto a winner there, next year he can say it went so well he is doing away with wrapping paper all together!