Friday, July 22, 2011

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I've been thinking about the things we teach our autie kids that, really, we could do with learning ourselves.

I mean, I try to teach Finian about the intricacies of delayed gratification using the "first (insert word, usually something devastatingly boring) and then (insert word, something fabulous and desirable)" shtick. 
It works pretty well too, and he will now eat a healthy dinner before he gets a biscuit and do his homework before getting his iTouch.
You get the idea.
So far, so autie-tastic.

It's just a tad unfortunate that I can't apply the same principles to myself.
I seem to possess a finely honed sixth sense that alerts me to the presence of chocolate, no matter how ingeniously hidden, and forces me to inhale devour it at admirable speed.
It's a terrible affliction, and definitely not greed.
I like to imagine that I'm performing a supreme act of martyrdom by saving someone else from having raised cholesterol.
Really, I should be given a medal, or at least a sainthood (St Jean the Patron Saint of Chocolate Robbers).
When faced with a choice between a tuna sandwich and a Mars bar the size of my arm, my mantra gets amended to "first...erm...chocolate and then...well...chocolate".
When Finian masters the expression of smugness, I will be withered my inability to delay gratification...and I may even lose my halo.

Another area I've spent years working on with Fin has been his sense of his own body, where all his bits are in relation to each other and his sense of where he physically is in relation to the outside world.
Or proprioception, if you want to be fancy schmancy about it.
To this end, he has been catapulted onto trampolines, tested the g-force of swings and been forced at gunpoint gently encouraged to dance wildly  to hip-hop music containing inappropriate lyrics concerning ladies of the night with large bottoms.
Fin responds really well to BIG movements, so the bigger, faster and higher he is flung the more happy and interactive he becomes. I'm just praying that he doesn't greet his teacher by slapping her arse and calling her a "ho'" some morning.
All well and good.
But I fall pitifully short at taking my own advice.
At 40 years of age, and after carrying 3 hefty babies for 40 weeks each, I'm afraid that I would end up using my bladder as a handbag instead of a receptacle for human waste if I put it to the trampoline test.
If I was capable of shoe-horning my motherly butt onto his swing and flying through the air with the greatest of ease, my ageing inner ear would almost certainly protest by causing me to spew the contents of my last three meals across the concrete.
And as for dancing...well...the last time I danced in public was at a wedding when my brother John and I decided to get the party started by being the first to hit the floor.  The spotlight followed our footsteps around the vast, empty floor and the cameraman videoing the proceedings stalked our every move like a seasoned paparazzi  tailing John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.  The wedding guests gasped,  transfixed by our enthusiastic high-stepping.
But for all the wrong reasons.
The video evidence revealed that I dance less like Jennifer Lopez and more like an electrocuted wildebeest on acid, while I seriously wonder if John's limbs don't belong to four different people and they all wanted them back that night.
Sadly, I don't think I will ever again be drunk enough to delude myself that I'm a hot dancer...the amount of alcohol required to achieve that splendid state would result in an acute episode of deadness, thus rendering the exercise null and void.

So I expect Finian to work his sweet little butt off to help him become all that he is capable of becoming, while I get to cower safely on terra firma  with a mug of tea and my knitting..
Sometimes it's great being the Grown-Up.


  1. Ah, the days of jumping on the trampoline while praying that I wouldn't pee myself. Definitely consider it a highlight. I enjoyed your post!

  2. Hee Hee, it's a good thing that I didn't meet John at a nightclub or the relationship would never have gotten off the ground :-)
    I have always assumed that the good thing about being a grown up is making the rules for children, waiting until they go to bed and then necking a bottle of wine while scoffing a pound of chocolate. Have I gotten this wrong??

  3. We've been working on where his body is in relation to everything as well. We're specifically having issues with walking into those mirrors on the sides of cars. It's like his little head is drawn to them. Blamo! Every single time. Parking lots are just horrible.

    I have to thank you though. Your visual of having your bladder as a handbag just made me put down my chocolate. :)

  4. Feck it, just drink, dance and scoff chocolate. I do. You're only 40 once you know xx

  5. @'s a sad day that comes to us all
    @ Alison, you're spot on. there's a chapter about this in my upcoming childcare manual
    @ Lizbeth, pick that chocolate back up immediately!
    @ Blue Sky, hey I like your style!

  6. Funny how one of the benefits of adulthood is that we don't have to practice what we preach. I caught myself telling the kids not to eat cookie dough yesterday while my mouth was full of it. And they could use the calories much more than me!

  7. Delayed gratification is really tough for kids - even those without autism. It's tough for moms too (I so hear you on the chocolate). I also (clearing throat awkwardly here) hear you on the bladder woes. Twins. That's all I have to say about that ;-)

  8. 'electrocuted wildebeest on acid'? I am giggling with you now, recalling my own mad skillz as a dancer. And I am going to raise a piece of chocolate to you in solidarity!

  9. Oh, I'm laughing at the thoughts of him slapping his teacher on the arse!! Well, I'm laughing at everything else too, of course. Stick with the chocolate and tha dancing but avoid the trampoline....that bladder/handbag visual is

    xx jazzy

  10. Those bloody trampolines! Great post, you had me laughing out loud. It's great to be a grown up sometimes! x

  11. Haha! As you know I, too, am consigned to the sidelines with my knitting when near a dance floor! :)

  12. I just love your writing, you have such a talent that you should harness and write a book! I can just picture Finn slapping the teachers arse and perhaps winking for good measure lol. Seriously funny post.