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Living with Luke 29

November 8, 2013

These are strange days indeed.  The thing about Tiddles is that you know exactly where you are with him because he is so unpredictable.  

Take the other night for instance.  

When he got back from his session at his group, he absolutely did not want anything to do with me, everything I said, he would say the opposite.  He didn’t want a cuddle, didn’t want me near him and having not seen him all day, it was a difficult thing to accept that your son apparently hates the fact that you’re in his space, his town, his country, continent, or even in the universe at all with him.  He avoided me as if his life depended on it.

When I got back from rehearsals however, it was a different story.  I went upstairs to see him, and he was watching a film as usual.

“Ok?” I asked.  Nodding of the head in reply.  That’s as good as it gets sometimes, so I took that microsecond of contact and went downstairs.  I’d taken a few steps when I heard Tiddles walking out of the bedroom.  I stopped on the stairs and looked round as Tiddles popped his head around the corner looking, well, not quite AT me, but certainly around the space where I currently occupied.


No reply.  

“What do you want?”  

No reply.  

“Ok, I’m going downstairs now.”  

No reply.  It wasn’t really a surprise that he didn’t reply, because I knew that he only would ever say something if a) prompted, b) he couldn’t make it clear with a pointed finger, or c) there was cake.  There was none of the above and so I carried on downstairs and went to the kitchen.  

A few seconds later, he appeared in the kitchen.  He’d followed me obviously.  I know special needs children have a particular talent unique to them, but teleportation is beyond even them, no matter how many episodes of ‘Star Trek’ they watch.  So anyway, he came into the kitchen, took me by the arm and led me back to his bedroom, where he threw me, ‘Hong Kong Phooey’ style, onto his book and train covered bed and proceeded to pull the duvet over me, and then jumped on me.  

Now this particular form of apparent torture was mine and Tiddles connection.  Since he had been a very small boy he loved piling cushions on top of me and then leaping onto them/me.  As he has gotten bigger, the leaps and jumps became more, how shall we say, dangerous.  Many is the time when he has jumped two footed onto the base of my spine, with painful results.  Once the previous sofa had been consigned to the great charity shop in the sky, however, the cushion jumping adventures had stopped.  But this was one of the few times in recent years that he had done anything similar to those brief moments that we, meaning me, enjoyed despite the potential damage. 

We spent about 10 minutes playing together.  ‘Playing’ is probably the wrong word – I would lay under the duvet, he would sit on top of it and we would ‘play’. It wasn’t exactly ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, but hey, sue me.  In the beautiful world of Tiddles, this was as close to playing as we get.  There was and is something peaceful about lying there, even though my body was tensed ready for any punches or knee drops that I anticipated would be coming. 
And they did. 
But it was all part of the game, all part of our connection and in that all too brief time, we were Luke and Dad, not Tiddles the Silverback and The Old Man.
As a dad to Tiddles, I take these moments where I can get them.  As parents of any children, these moments become more rare as our children grow up, so we take the opportunities when they present themselves or they are gone forever.  With Tiddles it doesn’t matter what I am doing, if he wants to play, we play.  Because a little while later, he was back to shouting at me again and normal service was resumed by the morning.  Tiddles had returned and Luke was back in Narnia.
As a dad to Tiddles, I can’t take it personally.  However, as is usually the case, I was reminded of a song by 80’s artist Paul Young which I heard again the other day.
And when you hear him say,
“I don’t want your love.”
try not to turn away,

A broken man almost died of a broken heart…


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  1. renee stally permalink

    Love it , gets me everytime xx

  2. Julie Bruno permalink

    This is a wonderful description of a daily occurrence in the land of autism. : ) My 13 yr old emo aspie rarely leaves her bedroom unless there’s food on offer. However this week her dad has been away in Norfolk helping to pack up my recently deceased father’s house. I have noticed how the changed group dynamics appear to make her how shall we say slightly more conversant than normal over dinner. Of course the subjects of conversation or the streams of consciousness which is more what they are, can be geeky but at least she’s talking to me. : ) x

    • Thanks for your comment Julie, and very sorry for the loss of your dad. Yes, it is strange what can bring our beautiful Narnians out of their shells, even if it is just for a while! Thank you for reading.

  3. Julie Bruno permalink

    Thank you for your condolences. It is almost a year now since we lost dad to secondary brain cancer. Ironically the day after his anniversary is completion date on the house. My little Narnian hates going to grandad’s because it feels too sad. There are of course other underlying reasons such as my brother having the broadband disconnected. The man is clueless when it comes to keeping aspies happy! : ( We did overcome this technical hitch by purchasing a t-mobile dongle so that she can still use the lappie. However she is as my mum used to say “like a cat on hot bricks” when out of her own territory & routines.

    Your words have inspired me to start my own blog which I’ve been threatening to do for a while. 🙂 Have you read “My Son’s not Rainman”? Absolutely brilliant!

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