Near Enough

Pretty nice stab at a label by her Beanliness here:


Obviously I drew the picture. I asked her to write what she saw. She was only half paying attention as she wrote it, with no help from me.


Beginnings of Word Play

Wordplay and weird jokes! They are dear to my heart, and my husband’s. Our lives are basically endless variations on this scene:

I’ll leave it up to you to decide which of us is Inigo and which is Andre the Giant.

While there are so many wonderful and precious things about the Bean, it has been hard on us sometimes that she is limited in her ability to use and understand language. Don’t get me wrong, the things she says are frequently hilarious, but it’s mostly unintentional. She twists up her sentences and scrambles her syntax, and it’s really hard not to laugh when she’s bellowing at you:

“Mommy is a nappy-poo! I am angry-mad Evey!”


I'm a Tigerrrrrrrr

I am a scary tiger!

However, we think there are glimmers of hope. On a recent car journey, Bean was in the back, happily singing about the Gingerbread Man. You know:

Run, run, as fast as you can

You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!

She is big on repetition, and she repeated this, I don’t know, several dozen times– we learn to let it wash over us. Then she started riffing:

Run, run, as fast as you can

You can’t catch me, I’m the Banana Man!

Trev and I both laughed and praised her. Then we tried to get her to do a bit more: Ice Cream Man! Sausage Man! Fish Finger Man! She told us we were silly, or that we were too noisy, and to “stop talking now, please.”

So we lapsed back into silence. After a few moments, she started up again:

Run, run, as fast as you can

You can’t catch me, I’m a Biscuit Man!

We’re going places, people.

Ain’t No Party Like a Bean Party

The Bean is about to turn five, and we think it’s high time she had a proper birthday party. Lord knows she gets three invitations a week to other kids’. Over the years we have been to:

  • Tons of “Wacky Warehouse” parties, where the kids run around and go down slides and into ball pits while the parents sip coffee and fail to hide their hangovers;
  • A Formula 1 racing party, where the three-year-olds got to drive little cars around a track– or to try, anyway;
  • An enormous disco at which there were more than 50 kids AND their parents;
  • A “Wild West” party at a church recreation hall where the kids panned for gold in a sandbox and threw hula hoops around horses’ necks (adorable):
  • Classic “parlor-games-and-crisps” parties held at actual homes;
  • A country park party where the kids dipped nets into a pond and looked at the critters they caught under magnifying glasses.
Uncle Dave remembers the Wild West party!

We have left it a bit late, which means we will probably wind up going with option 1, which is (relatively) cheap and easy. I would love to do a party along the lines of the last one, but the weather in March– even a good March– wouldn’t be ideal.

This will probably not be a good March. So far this year, the Island seems to be stuck at the end of some sort of atmospheric conveyor belt of the Apocalypse that drops an immense storm on us every five days. As I write this, I can see that the Met Office has sixteen severe flood warnings (“danger to life and property”) in effect along the Thames, and, closer to home, over fifty flood warnings in the Midlands along the Severn, the Avon, and the Wye Rivers. Significant portions of Somerset are under water and have been since Christmas, while Cornwall had all of its rail links cut earlier this morning.

We’re not going outside much, is what I’m getting at.

I looked in to taking her to her usual birthday spot at the Sea Life Centre, but I could buy a decent used car for what they charge for parties there. Ideally we would throw a fairly unique party, one that tells you all about Bean. However, in that case, the only foods would be sausages and soft-serve ice cream, and there would be lots of tiny people dressed as Spider-Man ballerinas running around.


Which might be kind of cute.




Eye of the Tigrrrrrr

Well, it’s 2014. And my posting on this blog in 2013 led a lot to be desired. I have conducted an investigation into the reasons for my lack of posting, and can present the following statistical breakdown of factors contributing to my underperformance:

  • 42% – Health issues
  • 18% – There was something on TV/ Pure laziness
  • 23% – Work deadlines
  • 17% – Moral qualms

Let me explain the last one.

I'm a Tigerrrrrrrr

I’m a Tigerrrrrrrr

Ever since the Bean’s diagnosis of autism, I have begun to worry that keeping this blog constitutes an invasion of her privacy. Well, not worry, but to stop rationalizing to myself that somehow it isn’t an invasion of her privacy. As she gets older and begins to have strong opinions about things (e.g.: “I don’t eat carrots. I am not a rabbit.”), it occurred to me that she might someday object to my writing about her on the Internet. This blog has never had more than about 200 unique readers, so it’s not as if she’s being broadcast to the entire world, but as it is out there online it is conceivable that someone, someday, might read something and embarrass her somehow with the information. Or, in an age of technologically-savvy stalkers, do worse than embarrass her.

There’s also an awareness of hypocrisy on my part. I’ve often scoffed at the kind of parents who treat their children like designer purses or pedigree dogs, to be shown off everywhere. Is what I’ve been doing with Bean much different than that, really? Many Americans are brought up in an environment that turns them into frustrated celebrities and compels them to use their offspring as bait for attention. So I worry that I, as a frustrated writer, am using my offspring as bait for attention to my writing.

Maybe I’m overthinking this. Maybe re-activating the blog would please my family, or maybe it could help me connect with other parents who have autistic children and so expand our support network.

You tell me.


And the livin’s Evey:

Ms Cool

Paddling pool cost £5. Well-spent!

We’ve had nearly two straight weeks of sunshine and high temperatures. (Well– not high if you’re a Texan, but high for Britain– maximum temps in excess of 90°F for the last three days, for instance.) The garden, which was six weeks behind thanks to the long, cold spring, has suddenly exploded into life. People are walking around dazed; none of them quite seem to know what to do.

"It's nice and lovely to swim. I like swimming."

“It’s nice and lovely to swim. I like swimming.”

Except the Bean. She knows that you strip off and you take the Octonauts into the paddling pool. Or that you just strip off– several times this week I’ve looked over my shoulder into the garden and spotted her streaking out there. I make sure she is at least wearing underpants, but honestly, she struggled so much with taking off her own shirts before that I’m glad she’s getting practice in.

Nursery school is over next week for her (the school year is longer over here), and then it’s six weeks of lazing about, hopefully in more nice sunshine like this, until SCHOOL begins.

I don’t even want to think about SCHOOL yet. I’ll have another salad instead.