Senility may be a blessing for some?

I try to remember why I am down in the dumps today? I know that I worked it out earlier but now I have forgotten again.

Could it be the wet bed and the laundry? No, that's pretty much a daily event. It must be something more than that mere trifle.

Something cyclical? I check the calendar, flip through the months but I've been sloppy about recording cycles. Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps a contributing factor.

The death of the coffee maker? No, not that. Miffed, irritated and with a serious case of caffeine withdrawal but otherwise, it's of no great consequence in the great scheme of things.

What about him walking into the pool with all his clothes on? No, I don't think it was that. I was there at the time. There was no danger. In fact the look on his face was priceless when I mentioned that he might prefer to wear his swimsuit. [translation = gave me my daily dose of laughter therapy]

What else? The dental appointment, the bill, the future pain and discomfort, all of which fell into the category of bad news? No, not really, after three and a half years, I'm sort of immune. [translation = case hardened]

Then there was explaining to that stranger about them being autistic. That was…….tedious, not particularly depressing, quite commonplace these days.

Was it something new or was it something different, or neither of the above? I have no recall. I tread backwards through my day, just as I prompt my children to do. [translation = a dose of my own medicine]

None of the meltdowns were that bad, mainly level 7 and 8's and there weren't that many, no more than one or two an hour. [translation = for each] A longer day of course, because we are on Summer holidays, but of no great import. [translation = standard fare]

The early start didn't help, as 5 a.m. is about my limit. The hourly visits during the night were something I could have done without, but we've done it before. [translation =often]

Maybe it's the blogging? There are some dire postings out there. [translation = other people's genuine misery]

I didn't have time to listen to the news on the radio, which has no doubt saved me no end of angst. [translation = safe in our own bubble]

Prompting them to re-dress every 45 minutes or so, to coincide with a bathroom break? Of course not, I can do that in my sleep. [translation = and often do]

Do the breakages matter? Mere irritations. The mess? No, just evidence of play. The spillages? Isn't that why cloths were invented? It's all just standard parent and children fare, with a percentage more, for the autism?

Now what was it? What did I do first thing this morning? Or was it yesterday? I check the calendar again. What did I do? I see the appointment marked in red in my own appalling hand writing: IEP Triennial, 9:00 a.m.. [translation = Individual Education Plan for a Special Needs Child]

I remember!

I try very hard to forget again.

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Flip a coin

During the lull at the IEP meeting, when i's are dotted, t's are crossed and photocopies made, I chat to the other team members. I remark about how well the play dates have been progressing with the child we called Joe, in my older son's class; what a delightful boy he is, so sweet natured, such language facility, how my boys are able to 'share' him, how patient he is with them both, how's he managed to magically lure them outside……I glance up when I realize that I am rambling, to check that we are of one accord regarding Joe's outstanding personality, so that they may contribute to his adulation, that “paragon of virtue,” lucky boy, lucky family, lucky school. I see widened eyes and electricity pass between them.

Initially I put this down to confidentiality, which is as it should be, but a blurt or two corrects my misapprehension. Their experience differs from mine. I note the double check. Are talking about Joe here? Indeed I was. Joe, who like my son, is a filthy little ragamuffin at the end of the day. Where do they find so much dirt? How do they manage to get quite so mucky? I beam with warmth for that exceptional child. A polite puff or three follows. We are not on the same page, or even them same book. I am happy for things to remain confidential but it made me reflect upon the truism, that children behave differently in different circumstances. [translation = as do adults]

For as long as I can remember I have had a healthy respect for this truism. I used to be somewhat fearful and cautious about these differences, but in the light of Joe in my home, with my children, whatever the truth of the matter, in my eyes, Joe showed his true colours, the rainbow that he is and the hidden treasure.

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