He has a brilliant sense of humour, creates his own games and jokes, and when he gets the giggles, so does everyone else in the room. You have to see it to believe it. He doesn’t let a little thing like autism get in the way of having a good laugh.
The best moments though, are the ones that he doesn’t even realise. When autistic logic and the mind of a 5 year old collide, you can really get some little gems.
Now these might only be funny to me, because, well. I’m his mum!… We all think our own kids are the funniest. But here’s a few of my favourites that I wanted to share with you:
We were practicing counting in the bath. (The Pickle was in the bath, I was kneeling on the cold floor with a warm glass of wine! Such is motherhood glamour…)
I put 5 ducks in front of him and ask him “how many?”
Pickle says “1,2,3,4…”
I say “Can you count in your head?”
Pickle looks at me with an ‘ok whatever’ expression, then calmly gathers up the ducks, balances them on his head with a deadpan expression, and says “1,2,3,4,5!”
Gotta love that literal thinking.
Last Christmas, the Pickles school had a cheery Christmas fete. The normal sort of thing. Raffles, tombola, and the opportunity to meet FC, the big man himself. Now last time the Pickle met Santa, he was 2 years old, screamed the whole garden centre down with the mother of all meltdowns. But we figured, hey why not. Let’s try again. So we queue up, pay our pound, and take the Pickle in. We’ve prepared him for this over the last week, told him all about Santa, and his understanding is good enough that we thought he might understand and maybe even enjoy it.
We obviously prepared him very well indeed, as he sprinted ahead of us, into the grotto at 100mph. It’s all dark, and as I walk in, I jump out of my skin when a ridiculously loud “HO HO HO!” booms from Santa’s tent.
I walk in to see the Pickle frozen to the spot staring at Santa. He looks horrified! It’s really dark, the only light is coming from the rave worthy, offensively flashing plastic Christmas tree, next to the big fat figure sat in the dark chair behind a big felt beard. Just some creepy eyes and a nose poking out. Jesus, I would have been scared!
So Santa starts yelling at Pickle… “WHAT’S YOUR NAME? HAVE YOU BEEN A GOOD BOY??” Poor Pickle is still frozen to the spot, wide eyed at this monster. So I do what an autism mum does… lean down gently next to him and tell him quietly and gently what to say. This tiny, quiet, mouse like voice comes out of the Pickle, as bless him, he tries to answer the noisy questions as best he can. His body is completely stiff, and I’m wondering if now is the time to wrap him up under my scarf and start running.
Suddenly, in the middle of “AND WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMA… ”
The Pickle stands up tall, puts a finger to his lips, and crossly shouts “SHUSH!!!!”.
I have to give the boy credit. It was even louder than Santa. And it shut him right up too! It shut up everyone in the tent! There were a few seconds that felt like an eternity, where nobody said anything. Everyone just waited… Then Santa very quietly and meekly said “here’s some chocolate for you then. Merry Christmas.”
The Pickle took his chocolate, said “Thank you Santa” (yes!) and walked out of there like he owned the goddamn grotto. Like his army, we marched out faithfully behind him, leaving the tent of doom behind us. I overheard someone on the way out say; “well you can’t really blame him… he is a bit bloody loud!”
I was very proud of the Pickle. And noted to myself to slip his speech and language therapist an extra fiver!
Nice one little man! Even when you’re scared, don’t take any crap from a big, fake Santa that shouts at you.
That’s my boy that is!