Well, it’s been one of those weeks. Went shopping Thursday morning. His Lordship pulled a muscle in his back so was off work (apparently it’s entirely my fault cos he did it doing my shed) so to avoid the shopping grumps, I sent him to the café to have breakfast and I took the kids to give him some peace. Mike buggared off to look at lego.
Zak sat happily in the trolley.
I’ve heard a lot of talk about autism and meltdowns but only ever had dealings with it once. On that occasion we were in a bookshop (stacked books make vertical lines and Alf only likes horizontal ones) and the only way to quell the noise and head banging was to lie on the floor, open my shirt and show him a boob. Needless to say, the Oxfam bookshop have not had my custom again and I hide my face when passing. On this occasion, wild horses were not going to get my miniscule mammaries out in the middle of Tesco. So poor Alf screamed himself into a fury and began bashing Zak.
So I’m trying to pick bananas out while two kids scream hysterically in the trolley. Both are big for their age, strapping blonde cherubs with infuriatingly good lungs. And out of the woodwork come the doomsayers. You find them in every supermarket where a harrassed Mum has ever tried to bribe a screaming kiddy into shutting the *** up for long enough to get food in the cupboards. Elderly ladies, sucking their teeth and twiddling their grey rinses while they try to explain that national service meant this never happened in their day. While that may be true, Alfie is a little young for conscription.
There’s no way my big brave he-man can NOT be hearing the dulcet tones of the fruit of his loins. I can picture him hiding behind his cream scone. I make a note to buy wax. And pins. The doomsayers suggest bribery, slapping, positive reinforcement, cuddling, screaming back and one even suggests parenting classes. Unfortunately the latter culprit vanishes behind the mangoes before I can shove a kumquat where the pope doesn’t rollerskate. Finally, Him of the smelly socks appears and takes the Zak away for a doughnut. So the noise is slightly less. I get to the checkout nearly in tears as Alf has added banging his head on the trolley handle to his repertoire this trip, and his aim is excellent. One of my fingers is going black and he has a split lip. I tell the checkout girl that I apologise there’s nothing I can do for him but get out as fast as I can and that I am going to just load my shopping and ignore him for two minutes while I do so or I will cry as well. We are half way through loading when Chief Suspect for the parenting course comment sidles in behind us. For some reason, no one wants to get in the queue behind this battered looking woman and the screeching child, and we are the shortest line by far. The lemon sucker behind us is muttering, thankfully Alf is too noisy for me to hear what she is on about. Alfie increases in pitch and suddenly we hear, as clear as can be “Alfie OUT! Alfie STUCK! Alfie DOWN! Alfie FLOOR! Alfie STUCK! STUCK! DOWN!”At this, I really do burst into tears. Alfie doesn’t speak often, maybe once a fortnight, and when he does, I always howl. The checkout girl gets concerned and asks if I am okay. I reply that I am fine, I am sniffling because I am so happy. Alf appears to have shocked himself into silence. Either that or he can’t scream AND eat a till receipt at the same time. I hear a growl from the wasp chewer behind us “If that made me happy I’d drink cyanide”. Some people just dont have their priorities right LMAO…