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Sunday, November 11, 2007

A fool and his leg are soon parted

From back in the middle of the summer.

As a broad rule of thumb, I believe it wisest to remain cynical and pessimistic about the future. Every so often, I forget my thumb, and a sparkle of optimism penetrates my crust.

Sunny days in California are deceptive, mood transforming, especially after 20 days of English rain.

As the evening draws in, I decide to be spontaneous. But such rashness comes at a price. I think briefly if this is wise but brush little skeptical irritations aside.

“Come along you lot! Lets pop our shoes on and go to the Farmers Market.”
“What pop? We are pop? What we are?”
“Great! Can we go on our scooters?”
“Eh? What’s that?” asks Nonna, turning up her hearing aid in response to the children’s flurry of movement. Now that the screaming has been replaced by words, she feels she is on safer ground, brave enough to turn on her hearing aid.

I am uncertain who to answer first? I an anticipated a general protestation because of the 'outside' nature of the plan. I am not mentally prepared for this deviancy. I waggle sandals in what I hope is a tantalizing manner, whilst I think about small poorly co-ordinated people on self propelled vehicles on a road. Since we are in an unincorporated area, this means that there are no sidewalks or paths, which makes it far more difficult for them to work out where their bodies are in relation to the traffic.

I herd my cats, er children, out of the door.

The door, or rather the door frame, moves three inches to the right unexpectedly, or that is what I conclude as my son walks straight into it and bounces off. He sits on the ground slightly dazed, scratches his head in the general area of the bump and focuses on the door frame. He staggers up, in a magnanimous frame of mind, “oh well, better luck next time!” he mutters, tapping the door frame in a gesture of forgiveness. I try not to sigh. If he bears the door frame no ill will, surely I should do the same?

I will leave the debacle of the Farmer’s market for another day. Suffice to say, that the disastrous expedition comes to an expeditious end, when my youngest son and his scooter become entangled. This is the price he pays for believing that without any prior experience or experiment, that he is a skateboarding expert, even though he is on a scooter not a skateboard.

“Help my leg! I am die! I am blood!” he wails in a continuous mantra. I see Nonna discretely remove her hearing aids and slip them into her bag, with the slight of hand of an expert pick pocket. Junior continues to trail, his leg dragging behind him. With his hand in mine, we plod steadily home. His leg drags in the gravel, whipping up puffs of dirt. He makes a impressive impression of a truly dead leg as he trawls along. I can almost see him exsanguinating, although try as I might, I cannot detect a microdot of blood anywhere on his person.

I am heartily thankful that a casual onlooker would see that we are a group, albeit a loose group. Otherwise, I would be the woman, probably a child abducter, dragging a crippled child through the street to the cries of protest: “Help my leg! I am die! I am blood!” I focus on the two children ahead of me, to check that a local Hummer isn’t about to mow them down in their tracks, as well as shout to Nonna, who struggles with the abandoned scooter. Without her physical presence and mental wherewithal, I would be truly stranded. I know that I should carry him, but I am weighed down with organic purchases from the Farmers Market. “Make me home! Make it quickerer! My walk die!” he wails as we turn the final bend and home is in sight.

Nonna pauses, to rest on the scooter, “he will be in the dramatics I think!” she yells, not because she is without her hearing aids but because her grandson is so loud. Maybe Nonna is right? A career a thespian career. At least his voice will carry without the need for a microphone. No need for a voice coach, he's a natural.

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