We're going away on Sunday for four days. To visit The Grandmother. A holiday. Or, to put it another way, a chance to try and fit the entire contents of a ten year old's bedroom into a Toyota Aygo.
It will start with a DVD. I will ask The Boy to start packing for his holiday. Out will come the Winnie the Pooh suitcase that he outgrew years ago, but that is always associated with such events. He will then select a Power Rangers DVD to take with him. That will go in the suitcase. And seeing it in the suitcase all alone seems to bring out his compassionate side. The poor, lonely DVD can't travel alone. It needs its friends. The rest of the Power Rangers DVDs will go in.
And now there's an issue. How can we take those DVDs without taking all the other DVDs too? They all belong together. So every DVD we've ever owned will be put in the case. The case is now overflowing. That's okay. We can just use the bed. And the last DVD goes on to the bed, 'A Dinosaurs Tale'. Now it just turns into a word association game. Dinosaurs. We need to take dinosaurs. All of them. Out will come some plastic dinosaurs that haven't been played with for years. They are launched on to the bed, together with Rex, his teddy bear dinosaur from Toy Story. But you can't take one teddy bear and leave the others, that wouldn't be fair. All the teddy bears must go on the holiday.
And so it goes on and on. On Sunday morning the car will be chugging up the M6 overloaded with suitcases containing toys and games and junk. Most of it won't even be touched. Precariously balanced on the top will be one carrier bag of clothes and two toothbrushes.
And after five long hours we will finally arrive. The Boy likes The Grandmother's house. It's a bungalow. No horrible stairs at the top of which the dark shadows live. Just like the flat.
And after fifteen minutes of us being there, the contents of the car will have been unloaded into his bedroom. The duvet cover will be replaced with his own, and the bed will be moved to the position it was originally in when he first stayed there seven years ago. And when everything is unpacked and put in its place, it could almost, almost be home.
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.