I am struggling a little today. I have been trying to study but my brain keeps going foggy (I’ve started a Statistics course with half the points of my previous course – I’m hoping I’ll be able to cope better with the workload). This morning we were woken around 4am by a series of beeps. Then sometime later another series of beeps. And another, and another. I groaned and pulled the pillow over my head.
In the morning, as Prince is about to leave for school, Frank says, in his patient, gentle way, “Can you please make sure you turn off whatever was beeping last night? Mummy and Daddy don’t want to be woken up at 4 o’clock, thank you.”
Prince stares, in his detached way. “It was my alarm.”
“Yes,” says Frank, “but why was it going off at 4 o’clock in the morning?”
“So that it would wake me up.”
Ask an autistic child a direct question and you’ll get a direct answer…
Frank knows this, so he says, “Yes, but why did you set it for 4 o’clock in the morning?”
“I wanted to get up and be ready for school.” Prince is so s…l…o…w in the mornings. He is always running late, no matter what we do. We are used to it.
“But you got up at ten to eight!”
“I went back to sleep, Daddy!” He sounds pained.
Frank sighs. Prince just looks blank.
I say, “Well done for being up in time for school. Please make sure the alarm doesn’t go off before 7 o’clock. You woke me up.”
Unfortunately, although I can appeal to Prince over waking me up (I am his current favourite, second only to Glorious Grandmother), he wouldn’t bat an eyelid if I accused him of waking anyone else up.
Then comes a knock at the door. “Taxi’s here, Prince!” Chip yells. “And you woke me up last night too! I’m tired now!”
Chip’s life could be written as a series of exclamation marks. She always manages to run into school all higgledy-piggledy. This morning, with toothpaste on her cardigan, her coat hanging off her arm and her specs askew, she looks like she got dressed in a jumble sale in the middle of a hurricane. Just as well she’s charming with it. I don’t know how she manages to charm every single person she meets, but she does.
Prince ignores her and continues calmly, yet deliberately, eating his toast.
“Prince,” I say, the same as I say every morning, “the taxi is here.”
“It’s early. It’s only 8.13.”
I cannot argue this; the kitchen clock does indeed say 08.13. At 08.15 Prince promptly stands up and strides to the front door.
“Now it’s time to go.”
I follow, to make sure the door is unlocked. There’s no point trying to reason with him. That only slows him down more.
As he pulls the door behind him Prince calls, “See, Mummy, I’m not banging the door because I’m not cross!”
Hmm… I find myself humming ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ and decide to write a blog post.