|Not really relevant, but it is Christmassy!|
Christmas asperger-style has been a success.
So the big day started early, at 3.30 am, but he actually tried to back to sleep, for an hour and half! That's pretty impressive for a child who has been looking forward to Santa's visit for months.
Apart from my caring duties, there was only one thing I had to do on the day: cook the dinner. And only one thing I wanted to do: watch Dr Who. Both went smoothly.
This is not parenting as I imagined it. It's not in the parenting books, or even the books I've read about aspergers. They are all about the need for boundaries, play, exercise, outings, friends: things my son is mostly ignoring. According to the professionals, video games will make him anxious and angry and unable to sleep. Wrong.
He has spent whole days in his pyjamas, barely stirring from the sofa, while I try to hold my nerve and not worry that he will become an addict. After all, children with aspergers do have obsessions don't they? And then I can't imagine anything worse than a day without dressing, I only do that if I'm really sick.
But he is as happy and calm as I have ever seen him. He's been telling jokes and learning new magic tricks. Interests and abilities that I haven't seen for a long time.
He visited a friend, his choice and he enjoyed it.
And this morning he spread the peanut butter on BOTH slices of toast. He forgot he couldn't do it. Perhaps rigid thinking is partly the result of anxiety too? Perhaps if my boy is chilled he will be able to move forwards with bigger strides in 2013.
So many of my assumptions have to change. For me a home is a place of refuge, where you (mostly) eat, sleep, and relax, a place to come back to, with real life lived in the big world outside, so much to see and do and experience. But not it seems for my kids, for them home seems to be a place to live. Finally I'm starting to embrace this new way of living, and to stop feeling so desperately stuck and trapped.
There was one glitch, but in the interests of "responsible parent blogging" and now that my son is older, I'm not going to give you the details. It was a reaction, and we've both learned from it.
Still, even my son agrees that spending the rest of his life playing computer games is not an ideal ambition, so what next? There is one approach that I haven't tried, despite the best efforts of the lovely Bright Side of Life, but a weekend discussion on Facebook convinced me, and an email was sent to the organisation that trains parents in RDI in Ireland.
Because I have to find a way to keep this good stuff going when the holidays end and school begins...