It's funny being a single dad. People automatically think you're some kind of wonderful human being. I don't get it. Single mothers? Well, they're just benefit scrounging layabouts. Single fathers? Oh, we're all heroes! It'll be me and Peter Andre fighting it out at the Pride of Britain Awards.
Well, I was reading through some of my past blog posts last night, and I think there's a key bit of information I've missed out so far. And here it is:
I'm a Shit Dad sometimes.
Maybe I've portrayed myself as the Dalai Lama of Autism (or, as my mate Greg very kindly pointed out, due to my portly manner it's probably more Buddha). Well I'm afraid the halo has slipped. Yes, I try my very best to be positive ... but I can be moody and impatient. I hate routine. I hate sameness. I love spontaneity and acting on impulse. The very things that can cause havoc with the autistic mind. And sometimes ... sometimes I just can't be arsed with it.
I'm not saying this because I want people to rush to the comments section and tell me what a wonderful job I'm doing... I'm only telling it because I want this blog to be an honest portrayal of our life together. And some of my posts are in danger of turning into 'The Darling Buds of May'. Yes, The Boy finally goes to a brilliant school with a brilliant teacher. But he still spends a huge chunk of his day refusing to go into the classroom, hitting, swearing, insulting and spitting. Home life is still spent walking on eggshells, trying to decide which behaviours to ignore and which to make a stance over. And it's this challenging behaviour that has by far the biggest impact on our lives.
I suppose it's the whole nature or nurture thing. How much of this behaviour is because of his autism, or because of his upbringing? Am I too soft with him? Too hard on him? Not consistent enough? Too rigid? Have me and his Mum spawned a monster by trying to do the middle-class thing and keep everything amicable and "all about The Boy"? And no matter how many times it is repeated to me that "he can't help it, it's part of his condition", like so many other parents who walk a similar walk, there's still a part of me that thinks "I've created this".
So there you go ... I'm not perfect. Turns out, we're all just the same.
Let's vote for Peter Andre.
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.