Hi, I’m B1L, but you might know me as the father of Danny, a little boy with high-functioning Autism and SPD. He and I make regular appearances in my wife Patty’s life and also in her blog, Pancakes Gone Awry.
Patty and I actually came up with her blog name in our dating days before marriage; one of us was making pancakes that obviously went horribly wrong, but we devoured them anyway.
We decided instantly upon that “Pancakes Gone Awry” would be the name of our forthcoming collaborative ’zine’. I was going to write record and concert reviews using various aliases like ‘David Dove’ and ‘Amazon Galindo’, and Patty was going to do journaling, musings and commentary.
Sure, we didn’t do it right away like we planned, but to be honest, there weren’t too many things for us that ever did go exactly according to plan. On our first ever planned date, I bought us concert tickets to see ‘Low’, but then realized that I lost my identification and so we couldn’t get into the Metro. So instead, we went record shopping and ate frozen novelties at “Sweeties Ice Cream Shop”, and basically had a great time chatting about everything from family life to William Burroughs to the Ponderosa.
I guess we learned early on that it wasn’t the perfect execution of the *plan* that mattered, only how we dealt with the obstacles along the way.
Present day: a friend of mine on Facebook took one of those tests to determine what percentage ‘Autistic’ he was (whatever). His results came back low, implying that “he is the opposite of ‘Autistic’, whatever that would be.” To which I promptly replied, “That would mean that you are ‘Flexible’.”
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that there are times when I just wish Danny could turn off, even ignore what he’s feeling, make a blind leap of faith and just *TRY* to do what I’m asking. (It’s a hamburger, you’ve eaten them before and liked them, I’m positive…Remember when you didn’t wear socks before and got the blister? Please just put the socks on now…Okay, I wiped all of the mustard off of it, should be good to go now, please stop throwing it in the garbage…Oops, I put syrup on it already, not knowing you would suddenly hate syrup after 500 breakfasts where it was okay…) My lack of negotiating acumen and my rookie mistakes put me on the “un-favorite parent” list more often than not.
At least, until Lego.com came along. For a time our weekday evenings were really lacking in novelty, and Danny had gotten hold of this idea that he *really* wanted me to set up a computer for just him to use, so he wouldn’t have to wait around for us to be done with the laptop. Once I finished the job, we were suddenly spending time together…getting sucked into a game that Danny discovered a new and abiding love for…Pharaoh’s Quest.
We played it pretty religiously, on conditions that homework/therapy were completed first. In the beginning, it was too difficult of a game for Danny to control, but we made an interactive compromise. I would move the protagonist and Danny would shoot the gun. It was difficult at first, but eventually, he was so good at knowing when to shoot, it was almost as if he could read my mind. After awhile Danny was good enough at the game, that he could play all by himself, and I wasn’t really needed anymore.
…until Agents 2.0 came along. (And man…that game is hard, even for me.) …continue reading