Pudding was off school last week. She doesn’t like being off school. In fact, she loves being AT school, which is pretty awesome most of the time.
But not so awesome last week when she wasn’t there. She is very anxious that we are going to stop her going to school, so she doesn’t trust that break will only be temporary.
She wanted to see her friends, and her teachers, and seemed to be under the impression that the more she asked about them, the faster time would pass. Which is weird, because it seemed to work the opposite for me.
“You’ll go back to school on Monday,” went my litany. Over and over I said it. I didn’t even think abotu what I was saying, I just repeated myself over and over. My own echolalia.
What you might think I’d have made certain of….what any sensible or rational person would do….and absolutely what every spectrummy mummy must do is, you know, have her facts straight.
So, still thinking that it was Back to School Day, we went through the motions of getting ready. And even though she didn’t want to get dressed, she would, because it was for school. And even though she didn’t want to stop playing with her brother (I know!), she would, because it was for school.
We even went outside early so there was absolutely, positively no chance of missing that school bus. What did it matter that I hadn’t dried my hair, put on make-up or retrieved that contact lens that had slipped behind my eyeball. There’d be loads of time after I got her on the bus.
“I want to go to school.” She reminded me after 5 minutes.
I really did. The bus wasn’t technically late yet. No need to panic. I don’t know where the other kids are who normally get on the bus.
“I want to go on the bus.”
Ten minutes turned into fifteen, and it was definitely time to panic. I needed to get back inside to check, but I was a coward. I tried suggesting that she went to the bathroom.
“No. I want to go to school. Only to school.”
Finally Spectrummy Daddy comes out, having checked and found that school doesn’t go back until Wednesday. He’ll take Cubby, I’ll take Pudding to her therapy centre. I’m already late for work, but I know that if I don’t explain things to Pudding, it will be worse.
But I’m a coward. I run upstairs where it is already too late to fix that hair or find that contact lens or well, forget about make-up.
So Spectrummy Daddy tells her for me. But, you know, she accepts it. There is no meltdown. No tears. No refusing to go to the therapy centre. All the things I knew would happen just…didn’t.
So I was wrong about school, and I was wrong about Pudding’s reaction. I might think that I know her, but I’m just starting to see what she is about…and I can’t wait to know the rest.