Picture the scene.
The Teenager is to my left, belting out Led Zeppelin on his electric guitar.
To my right, Ellen is
Bob is running around asking for "marshmallows" with perfect pronunciation, and all the while The Teenager is sustaining an encyclopaedic monologue on XBox games.
The table is littered with music sheets, toys and crusts leftover from breakfast...basically nothing that would constitute a good dinner, but could easily be mistaken for the contents of a bin.
Pizza and chips are starting to sound good.
Bob has Transporters twittering on the DVD, In The Night Garden warbling from the sky-box and the Real Bob lamenting the lack of reliable staff from the DS.
In between mangling the tin whistle, Ellen takes enough breath to agonise over what to get for her birthday (FYI a Hello Kitty phone, or another Sylvanian house...the girl doesn't lack ambition).
Ya know what?... It's great.
This is exactly where I want to be and what I want to be doing.
We have had a hard, but productive week in which a token exchange system was introduced to help us get through Bob's difficulties with his homework. Up until recently we had no homework issues at all (I picture Jazzy chortling away to herself in a corner somewhere) but a few weeks ago he decided that homework just isn't fun and I won't be doing that any more, thank you.
But...when I'm on homework duty he turns into a fun-sized Elton John and it's tantrums and tiaras on the dining room floor.
I'm working on it, and it's hard at the moment but I know it will improve with patience and persistence.
Either that or I need to start testosterone injections and grow a beard.
My optimism is buoyed up by the great ABA course I am now halfway through at the ABACAS school in Drogheda, so I am qualified to bombard you with terms like "token economy" and "chaining" with wild abandon (I find if you say anything with enough authority in your voice, people will generally believe you Know Stuff...I once scored a pachillion points at scrabble using the word "vax", which I insisted was a verb...it still pains my brother and gives me wicked pleasure in equal measures ).
Seriously though, the course is giving me a deeper understanding of the methods being used at school, and is another step at helping Bob along his road. I would encourage any of you autie parents to do one when you feel the time is right.
It has been a week of volcanoes, outlandish political pensions and the sudden death of Gerry Ryan. An eye test was attended, troubles brewed in Northern Ireland and the Greek economy made ours look positively thriving.
And life goes on.
We just gotta live every precious minute of it, for the short, sweet time we walk this Earth.
I was also tagged by Jazzy with a Gratitude Award, so here is a list of things I feel most grateful for;
1. My gorgeous husband and kids. 'Nuff said.
2. My friend Lavinia telling me to get Bob assessed, when everyone else told me I was over-reacting.
3. The swallows finally making it back to Ireland. It's Spring!
4. The first sip of tea in the morning.
5. Sleep (oblivion and beauty therapy all in one...genius)
6. My friend Lorraine who came to my rescue in Bob's early autism days as his SNA in Montessori, and continues to earn her wings and halo as my home support...oh, and she's a good drinking buddy too.
7.That my 3 kids have never stopped hugging me, even though one of them is now (yikes!) taller than me. Their hugs are only lovely.
OK, that'll do you....hmmm...who shall I pass this onto? I suspect it's been doing the rounds, so I propose that if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged.
AUTISM in the title...after 3 years in a literary wilderness, this is a big deal for a former voracious reader. I have many books to catch up on, and I am starting with one of my all time favourites, Roddy Doyle.
In my imminent future I see much neglected housework, weeping eyestrain and many cups of tea.