I’ve been considering keeping a tally of the amount of times I swear inwardly (and outwardly) in one day. Some days I feel like I am saying “For Fuck’s Sake” or “Bollocks” more times than someone without Tourette’s actually should. I’m more than happy to sit in a circle at Swearers Anonymous and tell a group why I do it. And I don’t need it to be anonymous either, clearly!
There are days when the slightest thing winds me up.
I go to the bathroom and there is four people’s pee in the toilet because nobody wants to be the first person to flush it for some reason (not five because I have used the downstairs toilet and flushed it). I shout everyone upstairs into the bathroom and ask them what the silver button is on the top of the toilet.
Joseph correctly answers “It’s a flush!”
I then proceed to explain that it’s ok to flush it in the night because whoever is wandering around the house to use the toilet in the first place has already woken me up, so the flush won’t make any difference and everyone else is dead to the world. And I go on to say that it’s ok to flush in the morning when you get up. We’re not even on a water meter so I’m not sure how this strange habit has evolved.
Needless to say, everyone is amused by the impromptu meeting in the bathroom and Joseph doesn’t understand much of my little speech so I explain as simply as possible.
“You go to the toilet, you need to flush”
If the lack of flush cannot be counted as a slightest thing, Joseph has the iPad or iPod volume on the highest level and nobody else can hear anything and I can’t hear myself talk or even think. What’s worse, is it’s usually the same 10 second clip over and over on repeat. And I haven’t just told him once to turn it down it might be 74 times and that’s before 8am. So, on the 75th time, I take the device off him and his whining starts grating on me.
If it’s not that, it could be him rummaging around the fridge 25 times, behaving like someone who hasn’t been fed for a week (if you’ve met him, you will see that this isn’t the case). We have hidden all the items he does like, but he still manages to sneak in when you’re not there, even using furniture in the house to get to places he shouldn’t, just so he can have the forbidden fruit (in his case, apples).
I realise when I go to get him a drink, that he has been drinking the dilute squash, neat and he knows not to because he looks at me with those sad massive puppy dog eyes and says “sorry mummy, smile”
Or we’ve been at someone’s house and he has gone in for the stealth attack and managed to sneak 3 apples AND eat them without anyone’s knowledge. The only evidence being 3 stalks; I’m considering proposing him for a job in MI5.
The guilt sets in (a little) when I feel cross that I have heard nothing but his voice and his quirky noises constantly for 12 hours and I always swore (yes swore) that I wouldn’t complain when he finally started to talk. All I wanted was to hear him talk and converse with me and now I am complaining because I am drained listening to the repetitive ramblings, helicopter and aeroplane sounds. There is no pleasing some people.
And when I decide to keep him up later because I am stupid enough to still think after all these years that he will get up later the next day, I hear him at 06:20 on a weekend. I want to wake the whole house up shouting FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. The pain is only lessened by him saying to me “smile mummy” and I realise I must have the appearance of someone with their mouth wide open, grimacing through gritted teeth. Maybe that’s where Joseph gets his photograph smile from?
It crossed my mind just to have my voice playing at random intervals through a tannoy system in the house:
Joseph, come out of the fridge
Joseph, have you taken a bag of crisps/apple?
Joseph, turn the iPad down
Joseph, get off the (beautiful oak) unit
Joseph, stop sitting on the (beautiful oak) table
I have never experienced water torture, but some days I feel it would be easier than this.
In my head, I decide that a 6-8 mile run might be exactly what I need. Gather my thoughts, time to myself, knacker myself out and then just chill. But the reality is more like me running quickly round the block because my lungs and legs have fucked me over in addition to my patience letting me down badly.
I am no different to any other parent (I hope) in that I don’t believe my son is a little angel; he’s not. I have exactly the same frustrations as other people I know. Some days are just inevitably harder than others.
We spend a significant amount of time together and I think part of the problem is that we are very similar (yes it’s possible to be similar to someone with autism). Joseph has many of the same traits as me, just taken to a higher level. It’s maybe because of that, that we get on each other’s tits. It’s worth noting that I don’t lie across the (beautiful oak) unit.
When I hear the words telling me I am a brilliant mum and Joseph is lucky to have me, I feel guilty at accepting the comments. I have said FUCK 142 times in a day and I don’t have the patience of a saint; I’m not deserving of such praise.
I don’t think I’m up for Parent of the Year award but if there is one for most amount of fucks said in one day (not out loud), I think I have this covered.