This is what drove me crazy and made me laugh and shout and cry with frustration and exhaustion in equal measure. This is what made me more tired than I ever thought I could be before I had a child, constantly picking up toys and clearing mess in one room while Tom was busy getting everything back out in the room I had just cleaned before, going round and round all day in a circle of fruitless labour like Sysiphus rolling the boulder up the hill for all eternity. This was the glorious, messy world of early years childhood with autism on the side.
I remember forever remaking beds after Thomas had stripped every bed completely bare and rolled around in the bedclothes on the floor, day after day after day. While I was remaking the beds upstairs, he’d be throwing the cushions on the floor in the living room downstairs. When I went downstairs and tidied the living room, guess where he’d be? Yes, upstairs immediately stripping the beds again. Or getting all my bracelets and bangles out of my drawer in my bedroom and arranging them on the floor. And while I put them away, he’d go into his room and tip his cars out onto his bedroom floor. And when I went into his room and tidied the cars away, he’d be back in my bedroom getting the bangles back out, stripping my bed again and arranging my bangles on the bedclothes on the floor. And don’t forget the toilet roll unrolling game. And getting all the plastic tubs out of the kitchen cupboard, and throwing my tea bags on the floor. If I was in one room tidying, he’d be messing up the next one. Round and round and round we go, where we stop nobody knows…..
I am glad life is neater and easier now but I look back with fond memories and a wry smile. I love that boy. Look at how happy he was with his mess and total lack of apology. Look at his curiosity – how does the toilet roll work, how many tea bags are in this box; can I climb this TV; how wet can I get if I play outside when it rains; can I bury my cars in the flower bed; can I fit into this sandbox? His life is one of continual discovery and I am discovering with him. We are on this adventure together, learning side by side. He’s ten years old now, we don’t have the same level of mess and hectic craziness, but we still have our moments. I love our life; it can be hard at times, occasionally sad, but we laugh a lot. Our house isn’t the tidiest but it’s full of love. #SorryNotSorry.