This week, 26 March to 2 April 2018 is World Autism Awareness week. A week in which the National Autistic Society (NAS) asks people to get involved in fundraising to transform lives and challenge perceptions about autism.
I have created a slogan t-shirt from which £5 of the profit from each t-shirt will be donated to the NAS to help contribute towards raising autism awareness and ongoing research.
Here is a small story behind the slogan…
After a few days indoors with stinking colds (the parents), we decide that we shall treat the kids to their favourite meal of all. Mac Donald’s. Happiness in a cardboard box with a crappy toy. Added bonus, I have a cold, I can’t smell all the wholesome goodness packed in the yellow arched fry house.
Mayhem doesn’t want to wear a coat. She is lying on the floor in the hallway kicking up a fuss. Did I mention she is eight years old? Not two or three, or even four. I decide to take the reasonable approach (as I do about 97% of the time). She is eight years old, after all, her communication skills are excellent (when it suits her). “Sweetie Pie,” I say “please put on your coat. It’s January, it’s cold. Even if you don’t care about getting sick,” pre-emptive strike for the backchat, “you could pass it on to the rest of us. And then we’ll be too sick to do fun stuff like going ice-skating”.
“DON’T LOOK AT ME WITH THAT FACE!” she yells
I’m not quite sure which face I’m supposed to use. Last time I checked I had just the one, which is a bit older and paler than it used to be before children, but still mine. The husband interjects to say that my face looks perfectly normal, putting to rest any fears that I’ve sprouted a four-eyed alien out of my forehead from the sheer effort of remaining calm.
Several (measured and calm) threats of “no coat, no Mac Donald’s” (with a sickly smile fixed upon aforementioned undesirable face) later, we leave the house. On the bright side, there’s a nice polished patch of flooring in my hallway where she had been writhing on her back in protest. **Note to self: Ensure tomorrow’s meltdown happens on the kitchen floor. Won’t need to mop.
She is still not wearing her coat. She says she doesn’t know how to put it on. She’s only been dressing herself since she was two. But today, she can’t quite remember how to put her arms into a sleeve. I lose my shit a little (that 3% has kicked in), but only a little. In an ‘ I’m joining you on an eight-year-old level’ snide and childish kind of way.
It happens, we wouldn’t be human if it didn’t. I would prefer to stay in a zen-like state of calm and hum like a mystical Buddha in a secluded oasis of serenity and beauty. But it’s January, it’s cold and our destination is not on my bucket list of places which conjure images of inner peace and wellbeing.