Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Table For Two Sir ? (....If Only)

If you have read this before then you’ll be aware that I have a son who has high functioning autistic spectrum disorder, some people call it Aspergers.
South Park even called it Ass-Burgers in a typically controversial approach to one of their episodes.
Anyway, we hardly ever go out for lunch with my son these days because it can be a minefield of things waiting to go wrong. He has food issues and cannot cope with having things he doesn’t like on his plate. This is particularly difficult when on holiday and you say to the waiter something like “could we have the chicken dippers, on their own please, nothing else on the plate”.
That somehow gets lost in translation and the waiter appears with full salad garnish, resulting in our son running away from the restaurant and refusing to go back there because “they are stupid” and they should know he doesn’t like salad.
Another example is when we ask for a drink to come with nothing in it, no ice, no slice of orange and ideally with a green straw (or whatever phase of colour preference he’s going through!). Inevitably, it will appear with a slice of lemon, ice and a pink straw, which results in the drink sometimes being knocked over and him running away from the restaurant because “they are stupid”.
Before we had children, we loved eating out, having a starter and taking time to enjoy our meal and a nice bottle of wine. ....These days we are lucky if we get past the bread rolls before an incident occurs.
On another related restaurant story, my wife and her mother were out to lunch with the kids a while back.
One of the traits that many people with ASD have is that they are very literal and have little or no concept of other peoples’ feelings, to the extent they will say things that are true which those of us blessed with social tact would not.
For example, “Do you like my new dress?” could be answered with “No, the colour doesn’t suit you and it makes you look lumpy”
(Actually, I think I will start using that as my default response every time my wife asks if something suits her!)
Anyway, this large, actually obese person comes into the restaurant and our son says quite loudly “check the size of that man over there, he’s huge”. Luckily, no one really picked up on what was said.
Slightly flustered, in fact a lot flustered, my wife asks him not to say that again to which my son replies at the top of his voice “ok, but he’s massive. I’ve never seen anyone so fat” …………just as the gentleman sits down at the table next to them.
What is it they say in showbiz? – Never work with children and animals.

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Blueberry Smoothie Incident

edited to take part in yeah write #42

A true life example of how chaos can descend on my existence.
Setting: our small dining kitchen.We are having a relatively peaceful family meal, just prior to my wife having to leave for work. I am left to do the washing up, there are dirty plates, glasses, saucepans everywhere - the place looks like a bombs hit it.

I get ready to start cleaning up and my wife comes in with her jacket on and takes up the remaining work-top space, writing a shopping list for later. At the same time my daughter (who is blessed with "perfect" timing, we suspect on purpose) decides she's going to make a blueberry smoothie. I have a natural instinct for spotting trouble and intervene by shouting at her to be patient and to wait until her mum is out of the way.

However, my daughter proceeds to close the kitchen door, then opens the fridge and takes out the punnet of blueberries anyway. In a split second I realise she has the punnet up-side down and before I can do anything, the blueberries are all over the floor. I instinctively shout "no-body move" like I'm in some cop show and start trying to clear some of the debris before people start standing on them.

Incidentally, these were no ordinary blueberries but Finest Organic, £3.99 per punnet blueberries, that I only bought because my prodigal daughter doesn't eat normal day to day fruit, like apples or bananas. In fact the blueberries were the cheaper option compared to her other choice of cherries. I mean have you seen the price of cherries lately? .....Sorry, I digress.

Anyway;- My wife, (who's running late by this time) is becoming increasingly annoyed at being held up and like some twist of fate, my son tries to enter the kitchen at the same time. Of course we shout at him not to come in, and he over-reacts and starts having a meltdown in the hall.

I clear up most of the blueberries and my wife escapes out the door and heads off to work. By this time my daughter has the blender and ice cream out and then asks me for a yoghurt. I go to the fridge and realise the yoghurts are at the back, underneath a boxed pizza, which also has yesterdays roast beef and a left-over slice of cheesecake balanced on it.

I manage to find a corner of the table free to place these items on, while I get the yoghurt out for her. Meanwhile my son, who has came out of his meltdown asks me for ice-cream. I snap at him that I have my hands full and as I turn around quickly to put the cheesecake back in the fridge, it slides off the plate and lands upside down on the floor. Arrrrgggghhhhhh ! ****

So now I have to clear up all the dishes, cooking pots, a blender, the remaining bloody expensive organic blueberries, a quarter of a toffee cheesecake which my daughter has just stood on .......and I still have an upset (autistic) 9 year old demanding ice-cream in his special bowl that I can already see is on the worktop beside the sink waiting to be washed.
God, give me strength !

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Relax, its Sunday !

Ok, so where to go with my journey to Blog-ville? I'll certainly not be taking you through a chronological explanation of my life to date. That would be mind numbingly painful for all of us, besides I'll need to keep that for my autobiography ;-)

As my hastily thought out title suggests this will be more akin to a less structured approach and i guess I'll go where the mood takes me. That could be bad and it could be good, sometimes i get frustrated with the monotony of life. I'd never give up my children for anything, but the stresses and hassle they cause you sometimes make you yearn for the days when you were able to chill out on a Sunday morning, have that deserved lie-in, spend some quality time together and head out for a relaxing lunch.

Alas, it's not to be.
WARNING - Having children can seriously damage your well-being, sex-life (I think I had one once), financial state, social acceptance and can be excruciatingly painful.(especially if you have ever stood on a piece of Lego at 3am)

Saturday, 26 November 2011

First Post

Well, I usually have plenty inane ramblings to get out of my system and find writing to be a good release. this is the first time i have attempted a blog, and right now i have no idea whether i will be arsed to continue - or if it's another one of my great ideas that i never quite get round to delivering on. I'm sure my wife would re-iterate that with several tales of my inability to get off my backside and actually do all the stuff I'm supposed to, but hey, what else are wives for if not to nag the hell out of their husbands and blame us for everything? Granted it may just be because they've had a bad day dealing with the trials and tribulations of motherhood, womanhood and the school-run, but we are only human too !

I jest of course, 99% of the time my failings and lack of motivation are of my own making. I'm just so bloody tired all the time these days. The combined joys of parenting an Autistic 9year old boy, a demanding 11year old girl and being the wrong side of forty are taking their toll.

Still, whats life for if its not for living ?