Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad


with 12 comments

Pudding has settled in incredibly well to our new surroundings.  We live in a very small community with just 4 other houses, and now everybody knows her and Cubby.  Of course, it doesn’t take long to get to know someone when they ring your doorbell, and march into your home uninvited when you answer the door.  If ever I forget that Pudding has no concept of boundaries, I’ll just wait for one of the neighbours to let me know.  It won’t take long.

When the Consul General and his family first arrived here, their residence wasn’t ready, and they had the pleasure of being our neighbours for a few weeks, which meant an intimate acquaintance with our daughter.  She liked to call on them, do a tour of their house, check on the cats, then leave.  Living with Pudding, I forget how strange her behaviour must seem.  This tall preschooler who invites herself into your home, but refuses to speak or look at you.  Fortunately, they took it in their stride, and even told me how charming they found her, which is very diplomatic of them.

Another colleague of my husband and his family live directly across from us.  They’ve probably experienced the most visits.  Pudding has taken it upon herself to invest in the welfare of their pet rabbits.  They even have the grace to extend an invitation to let her feed her furry friends, which is nice, but unnecessary.  Pudding would gatecrash anyway.

Another house has a family who are based at the Embassy in Pretoria, they too have experienced a Pudding tour.  I thought about apologizing to them for the impromptu visits, but one day I was typing away at a blog post and I turned around to find their 3 year-old standing behind me.  I’d say we’re pretty even.

And so the remaining house.  Until this week it had been unoccupied, but the couple who live there returned home.  I met with the husband and we had a brief chat about our little community, and England as we’re both expats.  I awkwardly mentioned about Pudding’s habit, and again, he was kind enough to say it wasn’t a problem.  We’ll see if he continues to say that for the next three years.

Add to this cast of characters the housekeepers, nannies and guards who appear to be enchanted by the troublesome twosome.  They accept her endless quirks without question.  She is free to be herself, which is usually an atypically social and giddy girl.  After a school day of targeted therapies, Pudding is ready to let loose, and I let her.

If you were to ask me, I’d say that exploring her environment is a necessary step for Pudding to feel comfortable in her new environment.  A comfortable Pudding is a child who is ready to learn, develop, and show us what she is made of.  I wonder how this move might have gone had we lived in a less welcoming (and forgiving) community.

So my girl is currently free range, and I don’t think she has ever been happier.  Because we happen to live in this incredibly supportive community, I’ve allowed her all the freedom she desires.  One day there will be boundaries to learn.  One day there will be appropriate social conduct lessons.  But for now, there is freedom, and a strong feeling of home- even if not all those homes are our own.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Glad you are all adjusting. Glad that everyone around you provides the support the children need to feel content.

  2. I think I would adore some Pudding visits! The irony of her lack of “boundaries” in the home of a diplomat is not lost on me. Why should she know boundaries when relations across borders is what your lives are all about? And how can she not succeed, in spite of autism, when surrounded by the gift of interwoven cultures bridging gaps? She is a smart and lucky girl! 🙂


    October 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    • Thanks Karen, perhaps I can persuade everyone that it is part of her diplomatic mission. Might work!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      November 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm

  3. At least she rings the doorbell, Christian just opens them and walks right in! Our neighbors first intro was when he walked in sat down and asked them to change the channel, then opened the fridge declaring ” I am hungry”. Keeps me on my toes.


    October 28, 2011 at 12:19 am

    • We live in Johannesburg, so doors are locked, grilled, and triple bolted, or yeah- she’d be in there too!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      November 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

  4. the confidence she will gain from these positive, nurturing interactions with your kind welcoming neighbors will go a long way towards her development. You are blessed to live near such kind, open folks.


    October 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

  5. heh. . . very diplomatic. . . heh! Cause they’re diplomats. See, I pay attention.


    October 29, 2011 at 12:10 am

  6. I am loving to hear about Pudding’s visits! I wish you all were stateside as I’d love to visit your family 🙂

    It is a great experience for both her and the family’s she visits in her daily check-ins. I am so very happy to hear that you are not embarrassed and are taking this all in stride! Many parents I work with totally freak out!

    So many people can benefits from these great positive interactions with her and other children on the spectrum. It really creates a safe environment for all 🙂

    We went to see Ghostbusters re-release last night at a big movie theater and there was an adult on the spectrum that kept pacing the top row behind us from one end to the other and back and forth again until the previews started. My husband (who notices everything and is irritated by much) asked if the man was on the spectrum. When I confirmed he was…he didn’t mind his seat being kicked every few minutes. The more my son and husband interact with children and adults on the spectrum, the more understanding they have become of behavioral differences.

    Way to go! I love hearing stories about Pudding and can’t wait until she is old enough for me to start challenging her with some Gifted and Talented work!! (now is not too late to start!)


    October 29, 2011 at 7:03 am

    • I think I’ve run out of embarrassment! And you’re right- we all need to live together in this world. I’m not sure we’re ready for G&T, but she is reading more and more short words. 🙂

      Spectrummy Mummy

      November 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

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