Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Conversation With My Son

Last night, I had the most intense conversation with the V-Man and even though it was completely one-sided - it felt as if perhaps he understood me. Even a little bit.

I found it almost therapeutic and I suppose as a parent of a non-verbal child or even a newborn - it seems and feels silly to talk endlessly about the weather, the food you're going to eat and so on.  So I usually don't say anything to him but the necessities (i.e. "This is our bus stop", "Time to wake up!") and after last night's experience - this will change.

I woke him up last night by covering him with a blanket on the sofa and that had him screaming. So I grabbed him and had him sleep beside me on our sofa bed.
I started to hug him tightly and soothed him with our "Alphabet Game", that we haven't played in months.
To play, I just ask what starts with the letter A, B etc and list as many words as possible with that letter. It seems to calm him down and give some comfort in the rhythm of my listing.

I got to letter "B" and he was calm and really listening.
Then I decided to talk to him. For the next fifteen minutes, lying in the dark - it was just us and nobody else.

I told him I'm sorry I'm mean and yell so much. I told him I love him a lot.
I told him I hope he's happy and that I would do anything to get rid of his autism and I really hope he does speak some day because I'm sure he has a lovely voice.
I want to hear his voice, his dreams and nightmares, his happiness and pain and to hear him talk and ask questions.
I want to know his goals and what he wants to be when he gets older. I want to know everything and anything he wants to share with me.
I want to know how his day at daycare was and how his time at overnight care was too, instead of reading about it from someone else in a notebook.
I want to know who his friends are, if there's someone he likes or is trying to play with.
I want to know why he fights with A-Man and what he thinks of his sister.
I want to know if there's something at home he'd like to learn, like cooking.
I tell him he's brave and I cannot imagine being voiceless and not in control of my body.
I tell him I understand his frustration.

I thank him for being born first and taking a huge one for the team.

For those fifteen minutes, while I'm quietly talking in the dark, he's listening. He's calm and not asleep. He alternates between holding a blanket over his head and holding my hand or rubbing my boob (which I push his hands away) -and looking me in the eye.

For those fifteen minutes - I forget he has a diagnosis. A label. A condition or two.
For those fifteen minutes - it's just us and we're having a deep conversation.
For those fifteen minutes - I am in tears but manage to get my thoughts out loud and clear.
For those fifteen minutes - his autism took a break.

Here's to the next fifteen minutes.


  1. This post left me thoughtful and teary. How beautiful. I am looking forwards on meeting your family now much more than before. I try to have conversations with my son every day and of course there is no days that he answers. Or if he does, I can never be sure if he understood. There is no way of understanding the never ending monologues world unless you have a special kid like this - how pointless it seems when you don't know if he will ever answer back. I feel blessed every day that 'it's just autism' with my kid. I feel blessed that mine does want to communicate with us so much - that he wants to take my hand and use me as a method to get milk. But also to bring me there to be with him, whether he wants to bounce on the bed or fall asleep, he wants my presence, he wants to have a meeting where we pay attention to him. I feel blessed that he is overly affectionate and gives nose kisses to those that are most dearrest to him. And that he knows how to apologise by kissing if he has done something naughty or wrong. He knows he can change my anger into affection just by giving me a kiss and a hug. To these I am utterly grateful for. Keep talking to your kid. Put it into the routine (Every time I leave my child, I kiss him three times and tell him to have a good day with his three different nicknames and tell him that I love him. Every time I pick him up, I greet him with 'hello my love, how has your day been'. In the evenings I try to find a time to play with him on the bed or jump him up and down or just pick him up and talk with him. Those are important times in the hectic day-to-day experiences. It's important to verbalise, even though he won't answer. Routines are only difficult on the first three times you do it - after that, they stay. Most difficult part of being an autistic child's parent for me is just that: To change routines.

    1. Thanks so much KatiC!
      It's not that I never talk to V-Man - it's more that I have a routine as well and tell him I love him and to have a nice day and I'll see him at the taxi at 3pm - of course, but to have a proper conversation - I ashamedly admit is rare.
      But it really did seem as if the autism was at bay for those 15 minutes because he was super quiet but wide awake and just looking at me and communicating in his own way. Including hiding himself in the blanket when I asked about fighting with A-Man :D.

      Can't wait to meet! :)