Ms. Wordless Wednesday cuts straight to the chase, ....... “see! I’m not even going to bother this time Maddy, just tell me all about it?”
“Golly, how gracious of you.”
“I get the picture, bad picture at that. I’m gonna get you that book ‘Photography for Dummies.’”
“Your generosity overwhelms me, as always.”
“So what am I looking at then?”
“You tell me.”
“Yes, you can, you’re getting good at this now.”
“Well, I can’t. I don’t know your kids well enough and anyway they are a bit…...er...….different.”
“I know what you mean but in this particular instance he’s not being different he’s being ordinary.”
“Is that supposed to help?”
“It’s just a little hint to point you in the right direction.”
“Fine. Let me see. Well he has the mouth thing of course.”
“Well spotted. You remembered. When he’s concentrating his mouth goes slack. Lip closure, or lack of it, is always a dead give away.”
“So he’s concentrating on a…..what is that thing anyways?”
“Just an ordinary toy.”
“Ah! Got it. He’s perseverating.”
“Nearly. I’m impressed. Perhaps I should have given you a 'before' and after picture?”
“Hang on a minute. There’s a before? You’re playing tricks with me. No fair!”
“You’re right of course, but I didn’t have a chance to do a ‘before’ picture and it would have been an even worse picture.”
“O.k. So what would the ‘before’ picture have been?”
“Not pretty? Probably just as well you skipped the ‘before’ then.”
“I thought so.”
“So what was he having a meltdown about? Do I really want to know come to think of it?”
“You don’t want to know, and really it doesn’t really matter, that’s not the point.”
“What is the point?”
“The point, is that the meltdown passed. He calmed himself down.”
“So that’s him calmed down right?”
“Exactly, or rather in the process of calming down, calming himself down in fact.”
“Old toy, rediscovered.”
“The toy is magic?”
“Might as well be, but not really. It’s just that we get all wound up sometimes, into a bit of a tizzy. We all need to learn how to calm ourselves down again. It doesn’t really matter how any of us do it, just that we learn what works for us.”
“And that works for him? Watching those little coloured bubble things floating up and down?”
“Yes. Well……yes at the moment. It works at the moment but it might not work tomorrow or next week.”
“Bit like one of those Lava Lamps from the 70’s?”
“You’re showing your age dearie!”
“Oops! Still, progress nonetheless right? See I can use those English words too!”
“Indeed you can, and so eruditely.”
“Don’t show off now!”
“O.k. so that’s all for now huh?”
“Yes, lots of ‘om’ thoughts.”
“You kill me, you really do.”
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Many moons ago when my brother was visiting, he walked into the family room where the television was on.
“You’re not watching that!” he guffawed, being the intellectual type that he is.
At the time, I was in hot pursuit of my daughter whilst simultaneously breast feeding my son and carrying his 'big' brother.
“Yes, I am!” I snapped. Probably due too many leaky hormones.
The truth of the matter was that I wanted to watch Oprah on the telly. I wanted to be like my new American pal. I wanted to fit in. I wanted ‘normal.’ I knew that the vast majority of the female, stay at home mom population, watched Oprah every afternoon, whilst their little kiddie winkies frolicked and played, or napped.
My new American pal was a kindly woman with a huge heart. Whenever we met, she would ask me if I had watched such and such an episode. My response was always the same, failure. She always made it sound so interesting. I always felt that I had missed something. I had.
These days, now that life has changed so much during the intervening years, I still have Oprah’s broadcast available to me via TIVO. 5 episodes every week, which I dutifully delete every Sunday night. Although I have watched a few programmes between then and now, I can’t watch the celebrity ones as I never know who they are, I can’t watch the ‘be a better looking person’ ones because I am old, I can’t watch the ‘this tragedy happened to this person’ ones, because they are too depressing.
I remember that my mother would listen to "Woman's Hour' on the radio every day. We children were sworn to silence or banned from the vicinity. 'Oprah' seemed to be the modern equivalent. I was unable to work out why such an ordinary every day pastime, was completely beyond me? Of all the things that I could or should have done to prove to myself that 'all was well' this would seem like a bizarre choice. I chose it precisely because it seemed so ordinary and easy. It proved to be anything but.
I decided that my failure was due to the fact that my children, none of them, enjoyed afternoon naps, whereas every other mother on the planet had a different experience. I chose to ignore the different time zones throughout the world, which I believe would be evidence of denial.
Now that I am even older but not particularly wiser, I still wonder who those women are? Who are the viewers? I suspect that even her recent programme on autism would not have reached me in the situation I experienced, nor other people, who might be similarly situated. If the programme airs at four in the afternoon, [I just checked] who will be watching?
Me? No, afraid not. I'll be wrapped up in the homework debacle after a slightly more successful school pick-up run. The children I chase are bigger now than those far away days. It's still just as noisy, if not noisier around here but there are more words than there once were. But I'll give you a dare - if Oprah takes up breast feeding then I'll watch her programme.
Is that a double dare?