The Rose has been away baby sitting for two weeks during this summer holiday. She went to my home town near Wales and stayed with my sister and brother in law to look after her younger cousins while the parents went to work. She got paid (board and lodging included) and my sister got Grade A child care.
It’s perfect for The Rose. She’s a very caring, organised and considerate babysitter (see SOS). She loves being in charge and feels settled and safe with her aunt and uncle and adored cousins. She’s familiar with the town too, as we’ve been going back regularly since she was born. My own Mum still lives there so everyone’s a winner and The Rose gets independence and freedom in safety.
So coming back to us REALLY pisses her off!
My sister’s house is a naturally organised one. Every moment of her family life is pretty much arranged around a schedule. And her house is spotless too – because it’s devoid of objects and clutter. My sister’s idea of heaven would be kitchen draw liners made with foam cut outs that precisely hold every utensil in its exact shape and place. She loves a wipe clean surface and matching things – she thinks I live in a junk shop!
My sister likes to plan and organise but because she is NOT autistic she’s flexible, can change her mind easily and can be spontaneous without getting angry or frustrated. She naturally plans ahead while I day dream and imagine and like to be able to do whatever comes along because I am free.
My sister has most hours of the waking day covered. She even schedules time for ‘feet up with magazines’ , but of course if things don’t happen as planned she barely notices, let alone mind – oh the joys of living off the spectrum and in the typical world!
The Rose is clearly in her element with my sister’s household of course, but I like to feel I have created something similar at home. I have conquered my desire for spontaneity and bohemia pretty well. I organise bombastically; give clear (if sometimes barked) instructions; write plans, spread sheets and notes daily and I try very hard to avoid having to change my mind or alter family plans. I run a tight ship. It’s not my favourite style of behaviour. In fact I hate it, but I think I do pretty well considering it’s not my default persona and I work hard to make it seamless and to hide my own frustration at having to be so organised.
But when The Rose got back recently from working at my sister’s, she was furious.
While she was away I’d tidied her room (The Rose knew this was coming and I only really moved a few things into draws) – she was fine.
I bought the correct smelling fluid to clean the bathroom floor but filled up the screen wash in my car with a different chemical smell – she was ambivalent.
I sorted out all the clothes she’d grown out of and left them in the charity bag for her inspection before they were given away – she hardly batted an eye.
And I started to make lists for the remaining free days of her holiday and before we all go away ourselves – I was so proud of myself and not a little smug.
“MUUUMMM stop it” she spat at me this morning.
“Stop trying to be like The Aunty. It is so bloody FALSE. You do it too hard – she does it soft”
Lovely readers, never assume an Aspie can’t read the sub text.
Me? I’m off to crash in the Yurt, light a joss stick and go with the flow – well maybe – we’ll see…