By day: mum of an autistic tot. By night: mum of an autistic tot.
It’s been too long since I last posted – a proper post anyway and it’s not for lack of trying. It’s Friday night, finally put the little Pwdin to bed and am now waiting for a glass of rose (I’m usually a cab sav kinda woman but I won a taster selection of wines for completing an online survey – woo-hoo!) so here goes.
We’ve had to re-home our beautiful, funny and bouncy little sausage dog, KaBoom. To be frank it was overdue. He is the sweetest and loveliest little pup on the planet but we feared for his safety with the boy. Pwdin is, as I’ve explained, a big, strong and exceedingly handsome lad and very possessive over his mammy. KaBoom got bitten several times by Pwd over the last few months for nothing more than being on my lap. Worse, Pwdin had flung him across the room on more than one occasion. I simply couldn’t have lived with myself if any real harm had come to that animal.
We weren’t short on offers for new homes but, in my opinion, we’ve matched him to a perfect new mammy and daddy. He won’t be flung about. Instead, he goes for walks with a horse , sniffs out rabbit tracks in the garden and, I’ve heard, he even has a granny.
Beyond his safety, we couldn’t offer KaBoom the time he needed anymore. The Pwdin has become a lot more demanding of late: seeking constant feedback and searching out closeness with me and, increasingly, his daddy. These are things we need to encourage and we just weren’t prepared to neglect the dog’s needs. For the year we had KaBoom, he taught Pwdin a lot, mainly about cause and effect and helped reduce his fear of other animals. However, Pwdin’s development has stalled in certain areas, in particular, understanding that living creatures can and do feel pain and there were times he was hurting the pup by trying to drag him around the house, for instance.
This is a tough one to admit but this was the first time I felt I’ve really had to sacrifice something because of Pwdin’s autism and I’ve had to do a fair bit of soul searching to come to terms with the fact that this, may, be the first of many sacrifices. In a conversation I had with one of the professionals involved with Pwdin and a friend, it came up that they thought we made lots of sacrifices and, even, named them. To me, what they were recalling were disappointments like not using theatre tickets or going on a night out or the loss of “stuff” like books and flooring, while, other things were just frustrations like not having had a night out, just me and the hubby, for a long, long time.
Letting KaBoom go felt like a real sacrifice. Parents of all kinds of kids can find it hard to get “couple time” or have to change plans or replace household items that get broken. The only difference I could see in that, for this family, is the frequency with which it happens to us and perhaps the differences in items we have to replace (I’m not going to mention the flippin’ flooring yet again). This, though, was harder – I’m sure if Pwd was NT it may not have come to this. This really was about Pwd being autistic. I had to give up the little dog who would, if he still lived here, be on my lap while I type this. I miss my little buddy in the days when Pwdin is at school. I miss him licking my toes in the evening when it’s bed time for little monsters.
We’ve done the right thing. More than a week on it feels less like a sacrifice and more a re-ordering of priorities. I would never have let my buddy go to just anyone. Meeting the couple who are now mammy and daddy to the world’s cutest dog with the coolest name made me sure the decision was the right one (hubby was already certain – he works with them). If the either or both of you are reading this you know you have my thanks and apologies for being a blubbering mess when you collected KaBoom.
KaBoom is, quite rightly, the centre of fuss in his new home and I’m pleased to report he doesn’t seem to be missing us a bit. Things here are calmer. Pwdin gets the undivided attention he needs and we are relieved of the guilt of having to shoo a loving little dog away so he doesn’t get hurt. Our cat, the beautiful, Jon Harvey? He has never had it so good.
Eric and Ernie, the fancy gold fish, are still alive and living in the shed for the time being. Pwdin kept sticking his head and a variety of not very fish friendly objects in their tank.