Four quirks about Ned that don’t sound like a big deal but kind of are.
1. Ned gets upset if we are all out together and we naturally separate a little. There is no nipping off to grab a tin of beans in the supermarket for example. We all have to go together. Oh and the other fun bit, we all have to hold hands. ALL THE TIME. So yes. We are that family who takes up the whole aisle because we have to walk four abreast everywhere. Oh and we are really slow because one of those four is a baby who won’t be carried anywhere. Same goes for in the street, in the restaurant, in the carpark. I’m so sorry if you have ever got stuck behind us. But at least it’s just once for you. We walk like this EVERYWHERE.
2. Ned can’t follow a point. He will either look at the end of your finger or turn round in circles looking not even vaguely close to where you are pointing while you say “Ned, there, there Ned. On the side, not that side. On the white shelves, next to the book, see? There Ned, THERE” with increasing panic because the baby is asleep on you and Loose Women is about to come on the television and you really need the remote because your brain will fall out of your ears if you have to sit through even 5 seconds of it.
3. Ned has Echolalia. Echolalia is dangerous if you are a bit sweary (which I am) or you discuss other people in front of your child without really thinking about it (which I do).
Echolalia is basically parroting. Effortlessly. He doesn’t think about it it just comes out. So he can reel off entire TV shows, adverts, and most worryingly, things you say. It may be an immediate reaction or delayed (the most terrifying if you have been moaning about someone in the morning that you are meeting in the afternoon for example). It can also be excellent. As I put Ned to bed the other night he reeled off an entire recipe from Jamie’s 15 minute meals. I worked out that he was making Kedgeree. That’s just good information to have.
4. Time has no concept in our world. “Just a second”, “we’ll do it later darling” “we’ll see them tomorrow”, “back in a minute” all mean absolutely SOD ALL around here. Count how many times you say something similar today. Trying to explain why he can’t have the thing he wants instantly can be frustrating and upsetting and takes a lot of care around the language you use. “Please leave mummy in peace for 5 bloody minutes while I have a wee” is another a fruitless request.
There are many, many more. Some are funny. Some are not. I could write a list about the hard ones, and maybe I will one day but not today. Not today because the sun is out and we are going to the park. Holding hands all the way.