When you look on the internet, on Facebook especially, there are no shortage of inspirational memes and poems about autism. They tell us how it has made us as parents better people, or how we are blessed to have someone with autism in our lives. You know the ones I mean. Now, I love these inspirational postings, heck, I have even made memes along those lines myself, BUT, sometimes, it does the soul much good to take a step back and look at the lighter side of autism parenting. The side we live every day. The side we can all identify with but sometimes feel guilty at smiling about. Well, I don't feel guilty and neither should you. This is our life, and if we want to have a laugh about it at times, well, that's our right.
I made a meme the other day, in a tongue in cheek, lighthearted way, and it went down a storm. People were reading it and nodding their heads and smiling, knowing that the person who made it, just 'got it.' They live the same life. They know it's not all rainbows and butterflies. And they wouldn't change it. But they can laugh about it.
So, I decided to write this post in the same vein about some of the lessons being an autism parent has taught me. Not the ones where I am a better person, or less judgemental, they are a given. These are the REAL everyday lessons. I hope you smile and nod your head when you read some of them.
Lessons being an Autism parent has taught me.
1. Sleep is for wimps.
2. Never buy anything for the house without first considering how much it would hurt were it to be thrown at my head.
3. Disney films are incredibly well made. So much so, that they don't get boring, even on the 6 trillionth watch in any given week.
4. I am perfectly capable of running at Olympic sprint speed should the need arise. It is amazing how fast you can run when you need to catch up with your child.
5. I do actually have eyes in the back of my head.
6. Poo is even messier than I realised. A little goes a long way...
7. Be careful what you say around your child if they are a 'scripter.' Grandma really doesn't appreciate being told by her 4 year old grandson that she is a pain in the ass.
8. Clean furniture is vastly overrated.
9. All those years when I was able to pee in private, I wish I had appreciated them more.
10. People who make seemingly 'crass' comments like 'Oh, but he might grow out of it' actually mean well and don't deserve the slap you are giving them in your head. Sometimes, people with no connection to autism just don't know what to say.
11. Random strangers don't like to be sprayed with apple and blackcurrant flavoured water when they are innocently meandering around Tesco doing their grocery shopping.
12. 'Old MacDonald had a farm' is an incredibly annoying song.
13. Mr Potato Head glasses cannot be bought on their own. They only come with the whole Mr Potato Head set.
14. Having to buy 4 Mr Potato Heads just to get 4 pairs of spare glasses is expensive.
15. Venetian blinds look better when they are all bent in the middle.
16. Fingerprints on the windows only really show up in the sunlight.
17. Always check the knobs on the oven/washing machine/dishwasher/tumble dryer before you switch them on. They aren't always at the setting you left them at.
18. Pizza does burn quickly when in the oven at 240. Even though you put it in at 170.
19. Just because someone asks for grapes, doesn't mean they want grapes.
20. Asking Caidan to do something 'quietly' will result in him running around screaming the word 'quietly' at the top of his voice.
21. I still have so many more lessons to learn. And I am looking forward to learning them.
Please feel free to add any of your own 'lessons' learned in the comments.
Thank you for reading!