This is my niece Jessica feeding her pet Kangaroo. She does this every day before rounding up the feral Koalas (a plague) and feeding them to her pet Dingo.
Which is where Boo and I spent Christmas this year. Where we ate from the barbie after making brash and direct comments to each other using lots of swear words.
And at my big sister's house they have a pool.
It also helped me to have him surrounded by family.
For 12 years I have longed and wished for someone other than myself and Mr H to truly and unconditionally be a part of my kid's lives.
I know I have the Angels and they are wonderful, but it isn't the same as having family that will welcome you into their home and make allowances to support the unique way we have to live.
So I have to travel 17,000 miles through 4 airports and their security checks with over 24 hours of flying at a cost of almost €5,000 (including babysitting for my Bratty and hotel costs in transit)
in order to have that extended family time.
It is an exhausting and stressful process - especially in light of the pop outs of adolescence.
But we do it because we cannot do this alone. You need the influence and support of other people to raise your kids properly. As Hilary Clinton said "It takes a village" - otherwise you just miss stuff.
Like Boo's eating situation. I just took if for granted that he shoves too much into his mouth and runs off, or proceeds to spit out the excess on to his plate. (I know I know GAD!) My family were really nice but they did make me aware of how gross it is.
But hey, in the scheme of our Autism Bubble home life where we get to worry about being able to talk, sleep, dress, wash, use the toilet independently and often enough to avoid a perforated bowel
and all the other things that must be taught specifically step by step.....
Eating neatly kind of got lost in the loop.
We also discovered the "privacy issue" where being in your own room naked is ok, going to the bathroom naked is okay. BUT GOING ACROSS THE HALLWAY FROM THE BEDROOM TO THE TOILET WITH YOUR WEINER OUT AND READY IS NOT OKAY!!
Fortunately this is a house of boys mostly so my niece was pretty cool saying "privacy Boo" whenever he crossed her path. But it is something I became VERY conscious of - as a result of being outside our bubble.
And finally The Incident in the Gobshite cafe Where my now 5 foot tall and very normal "looking" Boy happened to bump into someone who was waiting at the counter for the venue's extremely poor service.
The guy responded by hitting Boo.
Of course I screamed seven shades of shite out of the old queen. Starting with "he's got autism and he didn't mean it" and finishing with "You NEVER hit another person's child NEVER!"
All of this while the 14 year old manager of the Gobshite cafe tried to find enough fingers and toes to work out how to refund my $9.40 (for 1 coffee and 1 coke FFS!)
I think he was too busy growing his first pubic hair and thinking about Hilary Duff to take any notice of the exchange infront of his cash register.
So the third part of the meeting I had with Boo's supervisor at the good school when we got back was "respecting personal space and not bumping into people"
We are going to incorporate a weekly visit to HMV in Dundrum for Boo with his tutor and supervisor and a task analyis of the steps needed.
1. Choose a DVD from the shelf after reading the back of about 25 different titles before proceeding to the counter,
2. Queueing to pay,
3. Without bumping into people.
Should be fun!