There's so much talk about children spending too much time in front of the television nowadays. Sometimes, I wish The Boy would do it more. I wish it was something we could do TOGETHER. I remember as a child the thrill of watching a programme as a family. Shared laughter, hiding behind the cushion, my Dad doing his Larry Grayson impression. I miss that. The chance to be a family. Together.
There's not many programmes that can hold The Boy's attention for their duration. Certainly not on the first viewing. It's not really until the seventeeth viewing of the same Power Rangers episode that it really becomes fascinating. That fascination remains until around viewing number seventy one when suddenly it will be discarded without warning. Thrown on to the pile of neglected Ben 10 DVDs that went the same way some months earlier.
Doctor Who though, apart from the Weeping Angels which must never, ever be talked about or referenced in any way, Doctor Who will hold his attention from the first viewing. And we sit and watch it together. And last night as the theme music started up the anticipation filled the air. "It's the new music from the Christmas one!", he shouted, not with the fear that change normally brings, this is Doctor Who, it doesn't have to follow convention, "I like it".
I didn't have a clue what the episode was about. It was something about wi-fi and people with half a head. But The Boy seemed to get it perfectly.
And then, the magic happened.
We live in South East London. In a rented flat that's quite high up. Oh, it's as glamorous as they tell you being a single parent. I just hope that when the bedroom tax kicks in I can hang on to the six en-suites. But being high up has its advantages. It means if you squint a bit you can see some of the London skyline. Including The Shard.
So in last night's Doctor Who Matt Smith rode a motorbike up the side of The Shard. And suddenly The Boy seemed about to explode with excitement. Because what we were watching on television was of course that very instant being beamed live from The Shard itself. "He's there!", he screamed, jumping with delight, pointing out of the window, not sure whether to watch the vista outside or the television inside. "The Doctor's there!"
And I probably should have tried to tell him as I have many times before. To explain that Matt Smith is an actor, that it was all filmed some time ago. That none of this is real. But I saw the excitement. I saw the joy. And once again I remembered what it was to be a child in front of the television on a Saturday night.
Real life can wait for one more day.
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.