Hot Pants

“Don’t blame me!”

Two weeks – that’s what it’s been, just me and my son at home alone while my wife and the two girls have been at a wedding in England. Two weeks of twice the work (cooking, washing and keeping on top of school work) – and a load of fun.

With three kids, it’s not often you play with just one or that your thoughts can be focused on just one because the littlest one is in the kitchen and the water is boiling, and your eldest? Didn’t she ask for help with her homework? Mind you, I love the clamoring for my attention… well, unless I’m on deadline for my work or until the clock strikes 9 p.m. and my wife and I are ready to chill without the kids.

Bedtime has been easy with my five-year-old son. He likes to go to bed, to follow a routine. Dinner, bath, pajamas, brush his teeth and to bed and a story. “Lights out in five,” I tell him as he flicks through a book. By the fourth minute he’s asleep.

Chill time!

But my son, who has autism, is starting to become quite the comic. Or maybe he always has been, it’s just that now with only him getting my attention I’m really seeing it.

Without the girls, we’ve had free rein to make boorish sounds at mealtime and blame the dog. He giggles and we do it again.

But in the car?

“No,” he tells me, “you can’t blame the dog. She’s not here.”

Very true.

I continue driving to one of his therapy sessions and then a large blast comes from his booster seat followed by, “The dog did it!”

“Nah, nah, nah,” I say.

“Yeah,” he says. “The dog did a very loud one.”

Ah, yes, I get your drift; we can hear it across town.

So the poor canine continued to get the blame throughout Buenos Aires without her knowledge whatsoever, becoming a source of many giggles in our Hyundai station wagon.

Cracking good fun!

That’s not all, mind you. My son’s awakening to his capacity for humorous antics. We are wrestling on the bed when the phone rings. I take the call and go to my desk to jot down a few notes and as the conversation is ending I hear my son yelling for me. “Daddy, daddy. Come quick!”

I hang up and walk to the bedroom and my son is lying in his underwear, belly up.

“What’s up?”

He turns over and says, “Poo!”

And sure enough there’s a huge one in his underwear. My face turns white and I say, “Quick! This is not good. We’ve got to get you to the bathroom. Why didn’t you tell me you had to go?” I pick him up and rush him to the bathroom, holding him out like a wet rat. Down he goes on his feet in the bathroom and up he looks at me with a great big grin. He giggles and stuffs his hand down his backside and pulls out an apple, and with a giggle says, “Joking.”

My tension eases and I say, “That’s disgusting!”

“No,” he says. “It’s a good apple.”

And he takes a big bite.

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