Sweet dreams

I arrive just as spouse is tucking them in to bed. “Right, so no pull-up then!” he announces in a booming tone. I stop dead and pout. No pull-up? Who is he to determine withdrawal of pull-up privileges? Is he responsible for the laundry? The inevitable carpet cleaning? Now there's a man who is totally out of line. I think about pulling rank. I decide to keep my own counsel instead, and content myself with thoughts of the following morning's 'I told you so scene.'

The nerve of the man!

I kiss my children good night, hide my pout and return downstairs to smolder. What could he have been thinking, to change the rules in such are arbitrary fashion? No preamble, no warning, no carefully implemented campaign. The man must be completely barmy? I can think of no rational reason why he should have chosen tonight to turn the bed time routine upside down. I froth, stew and steam. [translation = voodoo dolls] I won't have time to do an additional load of laundry tomorrow. The knock on effects could be earth shattering! No spare bed linen. Bare bed. More upset to bed time routine. No sleep for anyone. Curse the man!

In between fumes, I consider my own plan. It's not as if we haven't attempted this 'dry at night' campaign before, it's just that it has yet to be successful. There's no reason that we shouldn't implement a new campaign, we just need careful thought beforehand. How can I have 'beforehand' if we're already after? [translation = failure at the first fence is not a good reinforcer] All campaigns must be orchestrated with the finesse of a conductor. I suppress a growl. Spouse looks across at me. He is unable to detect the steam coming out of my ears, “are you alright love?”
“Fine!”
“Anything wrong?”
“No, nothing. I'm fine, just fine!” I do my best flounce and depart. [translation = high dudgeon] I swear he the most annoying person on the planet. Who does he think he is? Why is the other adult in the household such a complete nit wit. The venom and bile accumulate, but are well leashed.

I debate whether I should lift him later before we go to bed ourselves. Should I haul 56 pounds of sleeping boy onto the toilet? I decide to delete. I stomp back into the family room, because flouncing more than once in any one day, decreased it’s impact. “You’ll be o.k. lifting him later?” I announce rhetorically. He blinks in my direction, “er, sure, if that’s what you want?”
“Me? What I want? And how exactly do my ‘wants’ suddenly come into the equation now?”
“Hmm what?”
“You asked if that is what ‘I want,’ but you weren’t concerned with my wants when you pulled the pull-ups!” I snap with the perfect enunciation of the truly incensed.
“Pulled? Pull-ups? What are you on about?”
“You told him he didn’t have to wear a pull up, without us talking about it first!” I squeak. [translation = and inadvertently spit at the same time]
“Ah! I see.”
“Well?”
“Well what?”
“What do you have to say for yourself!” [translation = Lummy! I’ve turned into my husband’s mummy]
“Well, I er, didn’t have much choice really.” I wait. I wait a bit longer. I suppress a sigh. “Why did you have no choice?”
“Well, it was him wasn’t it.”
“What was him?”
“Him,… I mean…, he said it, he asked, er, he said he didn’t want to wear a pull up any more…… now that he was a big boy, although……those weren’t the words he used………but that’s what he meant,…….I think, yes, that’s what he meant, I’m quite sure.”
“Well why didn’t you tell me that in the first place! That changes everything!”

Moral – before you flounce, feel free to ferret around for the facts first.


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Half full and slightly tarnished linings

The lizard, who fails to acknowledge his given name of “'Gecky,'” is poised immobile. My pose should also be supine. I prop myself up on my elbows, nursing a mug of crunchy coffee to contemplate the day ahead. The day ahead has merged into the it's neighbour, because one of my children has turned nocturnal. I wonder how the child that can sleep on his head, in a cupboard or drop to the ground at any time for a nap, has morphed into a waking creature, a very perky one at that?

Bed at 8, 'up' at 10 to tell us a secret, followed by hourly visits to impart vital or confidential information, has left us dazed. The 'warning' note to his teacher, will put her in a better coping position. If I had had a 'warning' note yesterday, I might have been in a better coping position myself. Perhaps I should have consulted the star's alignment for guidance? I was certainly in a position to examine each and every constellation with frequency throughout the night. Gecky is still alive after 3 days in our household. I am uncertain if I will fare as well.

I don't bother to check the calendar as I already know that I have a three hour appointment at the dentist in the morning and a three hour [plus] appointment at the school, for Junior's IEP in the afternoon. It is hard to assess rationally, which will be more painful?

Several zillion jobs [translation = chores] scream at me, from the never ending and constantly expanding list of 'things to do.' I consciously ignore it on the counter behind me. Things to buy, things to fix and mend, to include the sprinkler system, which in turn requires speech from me on the telephone. Is there no end to the misery and torture of my current existence?

Since I will be seeing real people today, this means that I must dress accordingly and attempt 'rational parent' appearance. Do I possess any matching garments in my closet? Will I recognize anything that matches? Will I be able to gain entry to my theoretically 'walk in' closet? Would attendance wearing a dressing gown be to obvious? I wonder if the shower I had at 3:10 a.m. can 'count' for 'today'? I fail to see how a shower at any time of the day or night will make me sound like a rational parent, when my speech is slurred by braces and my brain is slurried by sleep deprivation.

Since I am now an American, this means that if I am to present myself in public, I must be hairless. Do I have one of those things still? What is it called? Oh yes, a razor. Surely I must have one of those rusty old things hanging about somewhere?
Maybe I should just dip myself in a vat of “Immac” and be done with it?

Forget eugenics, I'm all for cloning: 'Clone! Get thee hence forthwith to the IEP meeting, and don't forget to take careful notes. Report back with 'done deal.''
I pull over the dish of 'homework' coins. I fumble. I pull out the pennies, discard the foreign rogues. I slip the former into a bag for the school charity drive. I recall that once upon a time, this was an easy exercise, swift and efficient. Did I ever “work in a Bank” or was that someone else? I cross off number 623 of the list as 'done.'

Out of the window, I see the first rain drops plop onto the patio. [translation = deck] Typical! That's all I need, a 'fight' with the tactile sensitive and the tactile immune, one with a 'rain dance' and another rolling in the puddles! Struggles with umbrellas, the armour of protection but a Rubic's cube to open. I pout, or would do if my lips were not numb.

I attempt a crooked grin. I won't have to water the garden tonight! Maybe I won't hide in the closet under a pile of rags. So there's no pot of gold, but I can still manufacture my own rainbows.


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Waiting room

It's 8:15 a.m. and I've been up for more than four hours. I'm uncertain whether I'm truly awake or not.

It reminds me of when they were all babies; you'd be nursing [translation = breast feeding] on demand during the night and would sometimes find that you'd reached a state of somnambulance; neither truly awake and certainly not asleep. It was just as well that the low energy banks prevented me from driving. [translation = and people complain about those using cell phones whilst driving!]

When I'm in the waiting room at therapy, I often here the phrase 'no-one seems to understand.' I've said it myself, far too many times to remember, especially just after their diagnoses, when everything was new and confusing. I try not to say it now, as it isn't very helpful, to me or to anyone else. It's like the weeks leading up to the birth of your first child; you've done your homework, your bag is packed, you know what style of parent you're going to be. Six weeks later after the baby has arrived, you just emerge from the shell shock phase. You cannot believe how your life has changed. You cannot believe that no-one told you about this. You forget that lots of people did tell you about it, it's just that it didn't really make sense, it didn't sink in. Now it has.

If you have a group of people gathered together for a special announcement, all the parents listen to the news that Jim and Jane are pregnant for the first time with twins. A collective gasp fills the room. All the people with children think, 'poor
souls, a baptism of fire.' All the people without children think, ‘Twins! How cute.'

When you meet someone who is pregnant and about to have their first baby, you tell them how life transforming it is. You, the pregnant person, recognize the slightly patronizing acceptance of this truth. You, the teller of the good news, know they don't get it, but they will do. Unless you're there, it just doesn't translate.

So there's no point in bemoaning the fact that no-one understands about your child. [translation = be a moaning minnie] In truth a lot of people understand little bits about your child, they're the people who also have children on the spectrum and the therapists and experts who treat them. It may not be a lot of people but it's more than some 'one.' Whilst they may not get it entirely, they'll be close enough. Just like you don't really 'get it' with their child, you get enough. You're in the same place, so take solace from that and use 'waiting time' as your own therapy by talking to the other parents there. [translation = here endeth today’s sermon]


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Sleepless in San Jose

The trouble with sleeping pills, amongst many other things, is they are not dispensed in hourly doses. [translation = one pill induces 8 hours of sleep] If the standard eight hours of sleep are not available to you this means that you will spend between 3 and 4 hours, vertical but in a fog.


One solution to this problem [sorry – challenge] is to ensure that the parent sleeps when the child [ren] do. If the child [ren] sleep for 8 to 9 hours, then this would be the ideal time for the parent to do likewise. I acknowledge the sense in this approach, but fail to observe it. [translation = ignore it] Instead I choose to spend approximately 4 hours from 8ish to midnight ish, awake and child free.

The net result of such a choice is that after my head has been horizontal for about 4 or five hours, I am suddenly forced to be vertical again, as they all wake up at that hour in the morning. [translation = rats to Daylight Saving] 'Well more fool you' I hear you cry. 'You should pay more attention to your bio-rhythms dearie!' and as usual you'd be completely right, although I'd prefer the message without the psychobabble. [translation = if you provide me with that option]

No, as I see it, the solution is twofold;
1. Ban Daylight Saving [translation = far too radical and likely to cause lots of car accidents]
2. Manufacturers should produce sleeping pills in hourly doses. [translation = cheaper and would reduce the suicide rate by 99% overnight {sub translation = or in the daytime depending upon when the crisis of conscience occurs}]
Studies have shown that……oh we won't bother with them. I just need more REM sleep. [translation = red is my favourite colour afterall]


Now if you'll excuse me, I have to nip off and clean the bifocals, as I believe that may be a contributing factor to the fog. [NB it would be a good idea to remove the ear plugs too]

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