A Day in The Life

Mark Love

I thought a good way of summing up what it’s like to be my son’s carer is an account of a typical day in our lives – the day we were meeting The Nice Lady from Carers in Bedfordshire to discuss this blog…

The morning started with me discovering that, overnight, my 18-year-old son had been enjoying a little personal, alone, gentleman-time with himself. This would have been fine and natural but for the fact that he was wearing a pad at the time… and that pad was not clean.

To distract from the visceral horror of this, I put on a podcast. The comedian Richard Herring was asking whether his guest would rather have a hand made of ham, or a nipple that expressed sun tan lotion. At that precise moment this seemed only marginally more ridiculous than the tasks I was currently performing in the service of a young adult’s bottom.

Misery really is an exploded continence pad.

 

To compound the matter, my son appeared to have cunningly urinated AROUND this pad, AND the multiple layers of paper mattress protectors, to score a direct hit on all the stuff that you really rather wish he hadn’t.

And so, a minor chore became a major one. This would be the fourth morning in a row he had taken out every single item of bedding. It would also be the fourth day in succession that he had taken off his hat when I’d asked him to remove his gloves…. I am beginning to suspect that he may not be Oxbridge material. 

 

After he had been bathed, clothed and breakfasted we sauntered down to town to stock up on the continence products that he was currently burning through. My son doesn’t particularly enjoy this, and so I, calmly, and with the absolute minimum of swearing,  explained to him that we wouldn’t have to do it, if he could simply learn to enjoy toileting himself on, you know, a TOILET!

He looked at me as though I had just made an improper suggestion to his mother, which I would never do. Not ever.

Back at home the boy watched the movie ‘Cars’ (I must scream it to the world, my hatred, from the top of someplace very high!) while I fed him lunch and cracked on with more laundry. My son will only watch 3 movies. This is a vast improvement from the three years where he would only watch the one. Every day. If that movie had actually been a language course, then by now Ik zou een hele nieuwe taal vloeiend kunnen spreken.

I decided that we would be eating a simple curry that evening. But, of course, I’d run out of ginger! Obviously, most people could just quickly nip out to the shop… But in my house this would constitute a deviation from my son’s routine and would therefore be VERY BAD INDEED. So I bravely put it off until we were due to meet The Nice Lady From CiB.

 

Finally, the pixelated yawn that is ‘Cars’ spluttered sentimentally off into the sunset. I sent my son off to the bathroom, which, I later discovered, he had somehow managed to turn into Lake Erie.  Calmly, and with the absolute minimum of swearing I explained to him that I’d really rather he didn’t do that again. 

Suited and booted and ahead of our meeting with The Nice Lady from CiB, we set out to the shop to hunt for fresh ginger. We were just a few doors down when I spotted that my son had somehow ripped his jeans. From arsehole to ankle

Calmly, and with the absolute minimum of swearing, I explained to my son that I’d really rather he’d informed me of this BEFORE we’d left the house. He gave me the kind of sheepish look that made me fearful there may yet be other, more heinous crimes waiting to be discovered.

 

Back at the house we determined together that it is VERY difficult to remove tight trousers without first removing our size 8 shoes. But somehow, calmly, and with only a modest amount of swearing we managed to get ourselves together.

 

The meeting went well. Not for one second did The Nice Lady from CiB appear to suspect that I had a breast pocket bursting with fresh ginger. My son, for once, did not seem aggrieved by this deviation from his usual routine as he could now finish destroying the shoes that he has been methodically kicking apart since I bought them last week.

 

From time to time I kept his compliance levels maintained with a fruity lollipop. I was a little worried that, were I to be stopped and searched at that precise moment, I may have had a few too many lollipops on me to be considered for ‘personal use’. We were also disconcertingly close to a children’s play park.

By the time we returned home through the treacly winter sunshine, my son had managed to kick his right shoe into the shape of an open-toed sandal. He spent the rest of the afternoon, when I was not looking, surreptitiously turning his socks inside out so that he could pick off the bobbly bits and scatter them all over the living room rug, while I, calmly, and with just a soupcon of swearing, tried to encourage him to stop.

Later, because I must have seemed under occupied, my son decided to deposit handfuls of water onto the kitchen floor. Curiously, he didn’t recognise this as behaviour that was in any way unreasonable. But he DID know how to mop it up by using a towel and his foot as a mop.

Not for the first time I accused him of being an evil genius who was not in any way intellectually impaired, but actually just a colossal d*ck.

Then, much later, Mum engaged our son with a rendition of ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,’ which he gleefully parroted as ‘Cheek, Roughly Around the Chin Area, Chest and Thigh’ like a badly dubbed Kung Fu movie.

Then it was just the nightly nuclear detonation of our daughter’s Asperger anxiety. And finally the mean comfort of sleep until…

IT ALL BEGAN AGAAAAAAIIIIIINNNN!!!!.

Am I speaking your language?

 

*These are the words of Mark and not Carers in Bedfordshire