When Christmas comes Twice…
Note: this should’ve been posted on New Years Eve, but was postponed… sorry!!
When last I blogged, I was determined not to do so until I had a subject matter somewhat less depressing than has become my slight trend. Irritatingly (and predictably) this was never to be, and thus I resign myself to this: whatever comes out comes out. I make no guarantees to quality, mood or tone.
On that statement, let’s bridge the gap that covers Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve!
I’ll begin by saying that I did return Boy to his mother on Christmas Eve, despite my misgivings. The tricky thing about separated parents is neither of you can make rules that apply to the other. Everything has to be a balance of acceptance that how one chooses to raise a child and in what atmosphere may not be the same as another, and I have no right to make arbitrary decisions regarding who she permits to be around Boy. I know how I’d react if she tried to enforce a similar decision upon me (ignoring the fact that in my egotistical opinion I possess a modicum of common-sense and judge of character that, dare I say, she oft exhibits herself to lack – that said, I present Rule-that-you-can’t-make-but-do #1: I’m always right). It might sound arrogant, but… *shrug* …I probably am.
TheChimp and I spent Christmas Eve with close friends, the majority of which was spent frantically wrapping presents for a small nation, whilst consuming alcohol, and simultaneously trying to recall what was just wrapped, who it was for, where’s the bloody scissors, and who’s got the sodding Sellotape now? It definitely required 4 of us. 3 to wrap (2 of which to maintain a list of what and who-for, and 1 to attempt to wrap for the other 3 of us to mock) and 1 to label and make more presents appear each time we thought we were nearly there. It’s tradition. Finally, with the aid of ropes, a compass and abseiling equipment, we managed to navigate past the shiny colourful mountain of delight we’d helped to create and made it home to our bed to wait for the joy of Christmas morning to wash over us. Which it probably did. Had we been awake, we might have even noticed. Instead, the joy of Christmas afternoon shuffled up alongside us, gave us a quick nudge and wafted vaguely in the direction of downstairs and presents whilst looking embarrassed. 8 pairs of boxers and 36 pairs of socks later, our Christmas Day was done and dusted. Hurrah!
Of course, Boy gets TWO Christmas days. This year, the actual one at his mothers, followed by a bonus one when he gets to mine on boxing day (we alternate – one year she has him for Christmas and I New Years, following year vice versa). So, tea time of Boxing Day appeared, and Boy was collected and brought to mine, and his 2nd-mas began. It lasted all of 3 minutes. Once he’d grasped the concept that he was allowed to open the small pile under the tree, he did so rapidly… the only aim being to get the wrapping paper off. Each parcel was torn into, paper tossed to one side, present tossed to the other without second thought, moving on to the next. There was no smile, no delight, just an autistic boy going through a process. Once the process was complete and everything unwrapped, Boy returned to his semi-vacant state, thumb in mouth staring into the corner of the ceiling out of the corner of his eyes. Admittedly one thing sparked a reaction, because he instantly recognised it… BUBBLES! Boy loves his bubbles more than anything. He also appeared to appreciate the Peppa Pig keyring, with buttons that when pressed made suitable Peppa Pig noises (fanx to Grandma and Granda for both). Everything else was either beyond his comprehension, patience or sphere of interest.
Buying for an autistic 8 year old like Boy means buying presents suited to your average 2 year old. Simple toys. Large jigsaws, shape sorters, things that make noises and flash when you touch them, without a complicated task needing to be accomplished first. Folks tend not to get that.
He did however receive several envelopes with cash in from those who had given up trying to choose something suitable, and that’s gone towards getting him his own iPad for speech augmentation purposes… if I can master teaching him to use the app.