I could look at these flowers all day. Stunning yellows with one sneaky violet crashing the daffodil party.

The school bus was late. Very late. Our son went into meltdown. Panic attacks over detentions, expulsions and all the associated ever increasing butterfly effects. All today’s carefully constructed plans are in tatters. It’s part and parcel of being a child with autism. We now have a plan for this type of eventuality. A hand written plan we keep safely by the front door. When I say plan it’s actually an old food shopping list. The plan Z list was pulled from the wall.

Tell me 5 things you can see.

Tell me 4 things you can hear.

Tell me 3 things you can touch.

Tell me 2 things you can smell.

Smile once and breathe.

Plan now says Dad get the car keys and drives you to school.

Thankfully today Plan Z worked. Distraction and switching to another orderly plan. It’s funny as a shopping list it was poor (I remember it missed off non essential stuff like bread, milk, pet food…. but as a go to plan in times of crisis – it has been a winner. It’s so flexible the actual words on the paper are irrelevant. It adds credibility to any plan I come up with in an emergency. Because that plan must be good as it’s the plan on that piece of paper – it’s Plan Z. As we reached the school gates order was starting to be restored in his soul. He made me smile with some of his responses.

“I can see bird poo on your car. I think it must have been a big bird.”

“I can see a couple of blue flowers in the Daffodil patch. Maybe they are mutations. Definitely beautiful mutations. Flowers are very welcoming.”

“Dad I can still see that cake you made yesterday. It was so funny how you got it to collapse in the middle. After all these years and still it messes up. The cake was so like a black hole. It was both a thing of wonder and a piece of terror. It’s a special talent Dad.”

As the great Terry Pratchett once said “Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom“.

So yes my sneaky practice run for this Sunday’s GREAT BLOGGERS BAKE-OFF didn’t go so well.

Hopefully you will join in the fun on the 24th.

83 thoughts on “The Black Hole…

  1. I remember both kids getting themselves worked up and worried about school always about things they were worried would land them in trouble even if it was entirely beyond their control.

    Some kids are natural worriers but buses, being on time and keeping things in straight lines seem to be a very common thing with autism generally. Sam is a huge worrier and everything has to be just so and he gets upset, flustered and sometimes short-tempered if and when things go even slightly off but through trial, error and many heated arguments we once devised what was known as the “END OF THE WORLD CHECKLIST” for when he would bounce off the walls because something wasn’t quite as he planned.

    I’ll see if I can find it actually. Annoyed him something awful at first cos he’d get mad and say I was being facetious but his need for order and routine meant he still had a list to work with which helped him realise that actually, the bus being late, the dishwasher being put on with the cups on the top tray rather than the bottom and the microwave having seconds still lit on the display won’t actually result in the end of the world.

    Nothing spectacular though it just a really simple algorithm thing to follow steps that either took it up to a genuine end of the world emergency or space to think and guide him back down to something lower level.

    We never did hit a full code red

    Blue and yellow make green but no other colour makes blue. Blue is its unique self so it’s good to have an eye for what most people can easily miss… even if it does include paying careful attention to bird poo 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In the mornings I greet children at the school where I teach. I teach moms English at the school where their kids go. It is wonderful how you parent your son in stressful times. I see parents who don’t.

    My home church has a ministry we call Respite Night. We have them five times a year. We have volunteers including nurses, emts, teachers etc take care of children with special needs. We always have a fun theme like Super Hero night. The parents can bring their child to be cared for while the parent or parents get a night off.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Also you’ve reminded me of the endless questions, random statements and conversations I used to have in the car with Sam.

    Some off the top are “Why do people have faces?” “That chicken you made for tea made my hair stand on end” “I wish I had more grass in my life” “I don’t really like your horses they have a big face”

    Once during a Q & A session with the special effects team from Dr Who, he put up his hands and asked “How do you make the tardis look so much bigger on the inside?”

    And an all time favourite was when one of his primary school teachers told the class to find something in the room, write what they predicted it would measure – measure it and then write how near or far off they were with predictions.

    Sam: “I chose to measure a 30cm ruler. I predicted it would measure 30cm. My prediction was very accurate” 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You’re WAY more organised than you make out to be! 😉 Or is it you’re just more ‘experienced’ ??

    I think all of us could do with a really good Plan Zee (Yes! I went American there. I’ll try keeping that to a minimum from now on). 😉

    I loved his description of your sneaky practice attempt – he’s a very special little man. 🙂

    Looking forward to Sunday. I’m thinking of going for a Mango Cream Sponge! (Minus the Black Hole!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great strategy you used there and there’s something so humbling about it. I love how he was able to point out those things and communicate them in a way that warms our hearts. Thank you for sharing! Loved reading this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am going to confess…by the time I reached high school I was made up when the school bus did not show up. I knew the house would be empty so it was a day at home for me watching TV or listening to music.
    Somehow I managed to not get into trouble. I don’t know why.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hooray for Plan Z! And I don’t get why the hell the school can dock a kid for the bus’ fault. That’s just plain stupid. But kudos to you for calming your kiddo down and enjoying the daffodils. Everyone should enjoy the daffodils of the world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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