Best buddies

Three things from this photo

  • OMG the garden needs some attention (only a little bit in view but it’s a fair representation of the rest)
  • I must take down last years Catherine Wheel Firework
  • Captain Chaos with a couple of his best buddies.

The dog has many buddies. Our fat cat (he particularly likes him when he is covered in food and he becomes a mobile dinner plate). The Frog and the Toad who he desperately tries to lick when they hop across the garden. The Pigeon who he follows round the garden. The Sheep who he likes sniffing. The Squirrel who buries his nuts in our lawn and the dog who goes round digging them up. AND TWO COWS.

The farmer has a herd of cows in the field which backs onto our garden. Something like 30 cows and he will bark at 28 of them. Especially if they come anywhere near our (sorry his) fence. So they tend to keep their distance. But two cows are different. Two are clearly special. He doesn’t bark at them, just wags his tail furiously. When the cows see the dog they immediately head towards the fence and meet the crazy mutt. Then the meeting of species gets a tad personal. Nose to nose, looking into eyes and much licking. I’m not sure who has got the worse of this arrangement. Not sure I fancy being licked by a cow but I’m not sure a crazed Captain Chaos lick attack is much fun either. This lasts for about 5 minutes then they slowly walk along the fence munching on grass. This can go on for hours – it’s the only time the dog does anything slowly. Yes our dog pretends to be a cow.

Have any of your pets had strange buddies?

Tell me why

In my voice – Tell me why

  • My partner was taken from us when she was so young.
  • The system continually fails our son.
  • The Government can find billions to bribe other parties to keep it in power but can’t find the money to fund education support for the kids who need it.
  • I don’t sleep anymore.
  • They say the world is getting smaller yet I feel so isolated.
  • Chocolate has so many blooming calories.
  • Hair doesn’t like growing on my head yet it sprouts like an Amazonian Forest on the back of the my hands.
  • The cat continually finds a way into the wardrobe.
  • I can’t find any socks in this house.
  • They never made a Captain Scarlet movie.

In our son’s voice – Tell me why

  • My mum had to die.
  • Both my grannies had to die.
  • My hamster had to die.
  • My girl cat who was like a sister to me had to die.
  • I can’t read.
  • Some people think I am stupid just because I am autistic and dyslexic.
  • Shops have to be so busy.
  • Hazard is leaving Chelsea.
  • Do people have to kiss in films.
  • Marvel Movies are way better than DC Movies.
  • Most kids don’t like rock music.
  • Broccoli wasn’t deemed an inedible plant.
  • My Dad can’t cook.
  • In our dogs voice – Tell me why
    • I get shouted at for pinching socks.
      I get shouted at for digging holes.
      I get shouted at for eating garden tools.
      I get shouted at for eating garden furniture,
      I get shouted at for digging up plants.
      I get shouted at for burying stuff like socks.
      I get shouted at for pulling bits of the apple tree off.
      I get shouted at for escaping.
      I get shouted at for climbing in the hedge.
      I get shouted at for eating cat poo, cow poo, sheep poo.
      I get shouted at for pinching food.
      My best friend isn’t with us anymore. I know I am a dog but she was a really cool cat.

    In our boy cats voice – Tell me why

    • My sister isn’t with us anymore.

    • My best friend, the really lovely woman has gone. I miss siting on her lap.
    • I get shouted at for missing the cat litter by several feet.
    • I get really shouted at for missing the litter by so many feet I hit the wall.
    • I get shouted at for sitting in front of the TV when a movie is on.
    • I get shouted at for sneaking into the wardrobe and getting white hairs on all the black clothes.
    • I get shouted at for falling in hot plates of food.
    • I get shouted at for always tripping people up.
    • I get shouted at for sleeping on the laptop.
    • I get shouted at for sleeping on the toaster.

    In our gerbils voice – Tell me why

    • We don’t live in a toilet roll factory.

    We need more silly days

    National Clear Your Clutter Day. What other useful or strange days exist in our wacky races type of world. Today is apparently Hamburger Day. Tomorrow is Learn about Composting Day – I defer to Rory for all things to do with composting. Before I start getting a bit Monty Python some national days are truly great ideas.

    Zero Discrimination Day – 1st March

    World Wildlife Day – 3rd March

    World Autism Awareness Day – 2nd April

    World Red Cross Day – 8th May

    World Environment Day – 5th June

    World Refugee Day – 20th June

    Then you get some other days…. Some other notable days include

    National Hug Your Cat Day – 4th June …. that’s for the brave amongst us

    National Donald Duck Day – 9th June

    National Take Your Cat to Work Day – 19th June ….. that’s a good idea

    National Kissing Day – 22nd June

    National Fried Chicken Day – 6th July

    World Emoji Day – 17th July

    National Hammock Day – 22nd July

    National Avocado Day – 31st July

    Spider-Man Day – 1st August

    National Sponge Cake Day – 23rd August

    You get the picture.

    So it got the two of us thinking about what days we would introduce. Some of these might already exist but that would confirm many things in my mind. The really astute of you might be able to work out who came up with some of these ideas.

    21st June Trim my beard day – as it’s National Kissing Day on the 22nd

    23rd June What was the point of a trimming my beard day – as it’s the day after National Kissing Day

    National bring your Pokemon to Work Day

    National let Newcastle United win a Trophy Day

    Go to the Supermarket dressed as Ironman Day.

    International Hug a Nettle Day

    International Captain Scarlet Day

    National Let a Pet run your country day

    International Sing Like Alvin the Chipmunks Day

    Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Purge Day

    National only eat Tomato Ketchup Day

    International Loki Day

    National Take your Gerbils to a Toilet Roll Factory Day

    International Burn Your Socks Day

    The International don’t cut your grass YEAR

    International Act like a Superhero or Galactic Villain Day.

    National Don’t Get Lost Day

    International Smurf Day

    National Take photos of pretty yellow flowers while accidentally standing in dog poo Day

    National Take Ozzy Osbourne for a Pizza Day

    National Take Ozzy Osbourne to the Alamo Day … you might get arrested with this one

    International Your Dog doesn’t dig your garden up Day

    National Dress up like Inspector Gadget Day

    National Pamper a Mole Day so he doesn’t dig up your garden day

    Admit you don’t like rhubarb and you live in Yorkshire Day

    That Monday morning feeling

    That Monday morning feeling.

    Is it Monday already. What happened to the weekend.? That’s what the cat was thinking.

    You know it’s going to be one of those weeks when the door bell rings at 7am. A food delivery to the wrong house. Wonderful. Sod’s law states that this happens only on a bank holiday and on the only morning when we are both asleep past 6am.

    I open the door and a delivery man smiles and hands me a cucumber.

    ****************

    Morning Mr Peters. Can I just hand you this first. For some reason they are handing out free cucumbers today as a free promotional offer.”

    Erm I’m not Mr Peters.

    Your food delivery sir”

    It’s not ours I’m afraid.

    Its very grey today, hope you are well.”

    Sorry wrong address.

    It is ok if I deliver now. I know the order time was 7.45 and I’m a few minutes early. Hope I didn’t wake you”

    Sorry yes you did wake me…. hang on why am I apologising.

    I will just go and get the frozen items”

    You have the wrong address.

    The directions on the order were difficult to find. Next time maybe mention looking out for the church on the right”

    Clearly there is only one person here who is asleep and sadly it’s not me.

    No substitutes today but we only have one pack of apples, so you are one short. You won’t be charged for it”

    I bloody well won’t be charged for it as it’s not mine. YOU HAVE THE WRONG ADDRESS.

    Oh. Are you sure?”

    YES

    “Really”

    Yes really.

    “But the Sat Nav directed me here”

    It’s the wrong house.

    Oh I will just go and phone base to check”

    Trust me you don’t need to. I can confirm I did not order this. What’s the address on the order.

    I’m sorry I can’t tell you that due to Data Protection rules sir”

    Now desperately trying not to attack this person with the cucumber. Looking at the delivery note on top of the fresh fruit you are in the wrong village. You need to be 2 miles further down the road.

    ***************

    He quickly grabbed the delivery note so he didn’t breach any further privacy rules. Looked blankly at it for a few moments. He then mumbled an apology and left. As I watch him drive away I realise I still have the cucumber in hand. Too late. Well at least I’ve got a piece of fresh food as compensation.

    I kid you not – 5 minutes later the delivery man returned for his cucumber. They only had one for each delivery house…

    Unbelievably the rest of Monday was uneventful. After a brief visit to his food the cat has basically not moved. Same expression. It’s the expression the delivery driver had. It must be the Monday look.

    Storm Bunker

    We had a large thunder storm pass over this afternoon. The cat was taking no chances. After the first bang he made his way to his storm bunker.

    Unbelievably the early morning cinema screening was very full. The cinema was mobbed. Not seen crowds like that since the ‘Everything for a Pound’ Store had a sale. It’s not a statistical significant sample population but from the early morning hordes I guess that The Avengers movie is going to pull in some astronomical numbers.

    And yes it is an astonishing movie.

    Yes the crowds unsettled our son but we took our customary place on the front row so no one could be in front of him or to the left of him. It’s so close to the big screen that I come away feeling like I’ve been chewing on magic mushrooms but it works for him.

    For 3 hours we both lost ourselves in the Marvel Universe. All our problems and anxieties forgotten. Heroic deeds fill your heart. With even a bit of free grief counselling thrown in by Captain America. But sadly it doesn’t last. You eventually find yourself back in the same place with the same issues.

    In fact it feels like we have regressed. Fifteen months ago we eventually secured some anxiety counselling for our son. I say ‘we’ as the fight to get some help started while my partner was still very much with us. It seemed to really benefit him. Progress was starting to be made. But now due to cutbacks that support has dried up. The anxieties are building and it feels like the system has cast him adrift again. We have been lucky really – far too many families get zero help – all they get is patronising comments from politicians who have no interest beyond their off shore bank accounts and rich friends.

    So as the thunder rumbles on we try to fight demons. Health anxieties, fear of death, school anxieties, friend anxieties, social anxieties, reading anxieties, fear of being left alone anxieties…..

    I’m no psychologist. I’m no health professional. I’m no education specialist. I’m not a grief counsellor. I’m just a parent trying to figure out this increasingly bizarre world with no one to help guide me. Doing the best I can. Deep down this scares me as what chance do I have when I can’t even come close to fixing myself. Queue worried face. 😱

    Pleased to report the immediate threat to life and property must have passed as the cat has made his way back to his favourite chair again. That’s one less worry to deal with.

    Get on your back..

    It’s been a ‘on your back’ sort of day.

    Not just for the pets.

    First we played football in the garden. Son wasn’t keen on using his boots so I dug out mine as well. As a I put my boots on I warned son that they would be hard to walk with on the pavement. He was fine but I perfectly demonstrated the point by going ‘arse over tit’.

    About an hour later I was again on my back. This time I made the mistake of trying to walk on our bathroom floor with just socks on. Sheet ice is easier to walk on.

    While I was on my back I spotted a sheet of paper under a sideboard. It was a photocopy of a checklist school had given us years ago. A checklist about Aspergers. Son was keen to see how he compared to the bullet points.

    Social interaction
    Children with Asperger’s disorder might:

    • start interactions with others but have difficulty keeping a conversation going – rarely now
    • interact with people if they need something or want to talk about something that interests them, but not because they’re genuinely interested in other people – never
    • interact in an awkward and stilted way – for example, they might avoid eye contact while speaking or interpret things literally – sometimes
    • interact more easily with adults than with children – rarely now
    • not show emotion or empathy. – rarely

    Communication and language
    Children with Asperger’s disorder might:

    • be very verbal – for example, they might label everything in a room – sometimes
    • join words together at the usual developmental stage (around two years) – sometimes
    • communicate with others about their own interests –sometimes
    • use a flat or monotone voice – rarely now
    • answer questions, but not ask questions if the topic doesn’t interest them. – sometimes

    Repetitive or persistent behaviours
    Children with Asperger’s disorder might:

    • have restricted or obsessive interests that make them seem like ‘walking encyclopaedias’ about particular topics – definitely BUT his range of interests is much wider than mine.
    • prefer routines and rules – 100% Definitely
    • not respond well to change. – 100% Definitely

    As you can see the checklist was a bit mixed in comparison to our son. All kids (and adults) are different with their own specific traits. And these traits change over time. Also it is common that Aspergers will not just be the only diagnosis – frequently it interacts with other medical and psychological conditions. I’ve not seen a checklist yet which completely ties in with our son. Probably never will.

    Maybe one day we will have a go at a specific one for our son. One that takes account of Aspergers, Dyslexia, ADHD, Dyspraxia. But not today – back and buttocks are too bruised for that. But off the top of my head (or from the centre of my bruised posterior) maybe the above checklist could have added:

    • Clumsy
    • Takes language literally
    • Likes lining items up in straight lines
    • Struggles socially when ‘new faces’ are in the room
    • Can be socially anxious
    • Flapping hands
    • Poor fine motor skills
    • Difficulty understanding the concept of time
    • Can become distressed in locations with excessive sensory levels. Noise, bright colours, wall patterns
    • When sensory overload is encountered can go into meltdown

    I will leave it at that. Let’s not assume all people with Autism and Aspergers are the same with identical traits. It’s not just stereotyping round Rainman. Equally it’s not just about stereotyping around being geniuses like Einstein. Everyone is unique.

    Now it’s time to lie down on my front and rest my battered back…

    Cat and stress?

    The Boy Cat is happy. Getting his tummy tickled. Apart from eating and sleeping, that is his favourite thing. It provides such a great stress release for the human.

    THEN

    You find out that the cat has been lying on your Black T-shirt. White cat hair is not a great look on black….

    The cat – a stress reliever and stress provider….

    Role reversal

    Worlds worst telephone answer phone…..

    It’s was the dreaded MOT. The annual test of the car to see if it is safe and roadworthy. It should be renamed the ‘your rust bucket is going to cost you big time’ test.

    The garage phoned with the results. As our phone is not working properly (I blame the cat) it only works in hands free mode. So our son listened intently to the conversation.

    After the call had finished our son shook his head.

    Dad you need to work on what you are saying. It wasn’t appropriate to the situation”

    Really!!!!!

    “When the garage told you it had passed first time. You said in a high pitched shocked tone ARE YOU SURE. Clearly if you are wanting the car to pass then why didn’t you just say something like I WAS EXPECTING THAT. Why put doubt in the examiners mind. Then you made things worse.”

    This is really funny as I have been sitting down with our son and trying to explain that you sometimes have to think about the situation before saying the honest comment.

    “When the garage confirmed that it had passed without any issues you said WOW I can’t believe that it passed, so even the brakes and the emissions were ok. I wouldn’t have blamed them if they had retested the car. You should have just said I WILL PICK IT UP SOON.”

    Yes he is right and it’s a perfect case of role reversal. In my defence…. How on earth did my heap of metal money pit pass…. That’s a result. It’s a definite role reversal for the car.

    Looks don’t tell the full story.

    The boy cat has six talents:

    • Getting stuck up trees, wardrobes, roofs …..,
    • Eating,
    • Opening Doors,
    • Missing his litter tray – halfway up the wall is his latest favourite,
    • Tripping people up,
    • Sleeping.

    I don’t know who he is so good at sleeping. Nothing wakes him. This photo might suggest a scene of tranquility and quiet. No. Only two yards away the mad dog is going ballistic. Currently barking at 110dB as he tries to get the attention of his friends the sheep. I wish I could sleep like that.