About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Where's The Meatloaf?
Have you seen that scene from Wedding Crashers, where John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) is seeking solace from the breakdown in his relationship and goes to see Chaz (Will Ferrell), who is meeting girls by crashing funerals? In the scene, Chaz explains to John how he does it and offers him some food, repeatedly yelling to his unseen mother, "Ma, bring some meatloaf", at the top of his lungs.

You wouldn't think that would make a very good parenting strategy, now would you?

It's just that some nights when we try to settle M in bed, she constantly shouts in a way similar to Chaz for mum to come and so we would jokingly whisper between ourselves that she must want some meatloaf, at least we thought we were whispering until the night she called out she didn't want any meatloaf. We continued with our joke for a little while, but M was the equal of us. One night my wife was sort of ignoring her calls, when M said, "Ma, I want some meatloaf!"

In order to give D a break, I went to her room saying in as feminine voice as possible that I was the 'real' mummy, we all had a laugh at that including M, who is used to me being in character as a pirate and cajoled me to bring the other mummy, but I insisted that I was her. This went on for a few months, whenever I gave D a rest.

Then last night something amazing happened. D was watching her favourite program when M called out for her from bed. I got up and called to her in my 'mummy' voice that real mummy was coming. When I got to her room, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "I don't want real mummy, I want regular mummy." Now that might not seem much to anyone, but I'm here to tell you, for someone young with autism, that's an absolute triumph of language skills coupled with the ability to understand an abstract concept, two key areas that are affected by autism.

We both laughed and I almost cried with happiness.


  posted at 10:26 am

At 12:50 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Doesn't it also involve something about being in the moment, being present.
And humor, isn't it one of the most advanced concepts? I'm somehow thinking M was getting the humor of the interchange, am I wrong.
Yes, I with you on the laugh and the tears!

At 8:35 pm, Blogger MOM-NOS said...

YES! That's fantastic, Neil!

At 9:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful story!! I can't imagine how surprised and happy you must have felt when she said that to you :)

At 10:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the parent of a boy with sever ADHD and Bipolar disorder, I firmly understand the emotions a "breakthrough" moment can bring.

I'm so happy for you, and of course for M, that I could bust.

Here's wishing you many, many more of these moments!

At 7:53 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, you're not wrong, M was totally getting it. Autism involves a whole lot of things and none of them are necessarily present, that's why it's refered to as a spectrum disorder.

Hi mom-nos, it was one of those special moments that make everything worthwhile. I was stoked.

Hi ellie, it was a long time coming, but so worth the wait.

Hi jerry, thank you so much for your kind wishes! In an aside, in the parent get together that I posted about last weekend, some parents felt that ADHD may in fact be on the spectrum of autism, which was the first time I heard that. I hope your boy is doing fine and I know for sure he must be eating well.

At 5:52 pm, Blogger PameladHarrya said...

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