Strictly Between Ourselves


The blog of 2017 is here. A bit late, granted but it is here.

So, where are we now?

Bobby came home the other day and announced that in Year 10 the school does a trip to Disneyland. “Wow, really? That’s great!” I said. I meant it. I’ve always felt that Disneyland is a compulsory part of the passageway through childhood. The trouble is that when the kids were younger, I had no idea whether they would be able to cope with it. The queues, the crowds, the chaos…Autism and Disneyland seemed mutually exclusive.

That was most of the reason. The rest of the reason was that Gavin hates enforced gaiety. I just didn’t think he’d be able to hack an entire day of Disney music, dancing and general happiness. The thought of him being sarcastic to Winnie the Pooh was too much.

But now we get the chance to make up for it!

The next day, Bobby returned home from school and said: “I’ve asked if you can come to Disneyland too and Miss said ‘We’ll see’”.

Well, that’s embarrassing. So convincing was my enthusiasm that Bobby assumed I wanted to go even more than he did and tried to get me a free ticket. Obviously, by now Mrs Drury knows that any sudden comments such as ‘No way’ might provoke a strong reaction, so decided for the 'sit-on-the-fence for two years and hope he forgets' option.

Disney is actually becoming autism-friendly, so it may be good to go for review purposes (ahem).

Alec, meanwhile, has cracked being able to take the piss out of his teachers without actually being able to talk. I see this as a genuine triumph for the comedy side of the family. The other day after PE, he let the teacher help him into someone else’s socks and then started laughing and taking them off when another teacher asked if anyone had seen Tom's blue socks. That's my boy.

Gavin and I are busy trying to find a free moment to book a city break for our 20th anniversary in October. Ironic, I know. If we could find the time to book it we probably wouldn’t need it in the first place. We’ve decided on Venice as it’s one cert in life that I’ll never take the kids there. You put Alec near any sort of hazard and he’ll try his best to kill himself, so a city built on canals is pretty much asking for trouble.

Meanwhile my friend Emma and I are torn as to whether to visit the Strictly Expo later this year when we meet up. We are both fans of Strictly, but in a covert way, because we know it’s not cool.

Actually submerging ourselves in an entire day of sequins might let the cat out of the bag. If Danny Mac’s around, though, it’s a done deal. The tickets are £70 quid though! What’s more, you actually have to plan your day. Bit like an autism conference when you have to choose which workshops you’re interested in and which talks you like, whether they overlap or not and what this headset does, and the whole thing becomes an entire headache and actually looking after autistic twins seems pretty easy in comparison.

We may have to ditch it, as organising my time when I’m with my mate Emma is something that I don’t do on principle. She seems to feel that it’s natural, because I have to do so much planning when I’m with the children, that I relax and mutate into some sort of single celled organism when I’m with her, and let her make the decisions.  This is because Emma doesn’t have kids and so her life is relatively free of washing baskets, homework diaries, consent forms, dinner money invoices etc.

Sometimes I relax too much when 'off the hook' and I now have a small reputation for breaking things in hotels as a result. My last spa break with Emma was impressive by anyone’s standards – I broke the safe to the extent that the manager had to come to our room with some power tools. Maybe I should rephrase that…Anyway, afterwards Emma said ‘I am never sharing a hotel room with you again’. I wasn't too bothered. I have learned to put any panic on hold until it's absolutely necessary. It's a survival tool gained from living with Bobby and Alec. One of my favourite phrases is The Show's Not Over Till the Fat Lady Sings. So far, she never has. I don't know why she has to be a fat lady though. I have tried that phrase in my Slimming World group but needless to say it didn't go down too well.

Anyway, Emma has obviously forgotten all that, because she’s now considering Strictly.