To which the other person usually replies: “Ok, what’s the bad news, let’s get it out-of-the-way first”…. (We’ll, that’s what I would say anyway) …
So……This morning, I went to get Lucas out of the car once we arrived home after dropping the older two kids at school and realised that he had done the old switcheroo with his DS game and Harley’s.
No big deal you say?
Well it is if you’re 7, have aspergers and obsess over the game in question.
Harley has spent weeks moving up level after level until he reached the one he was at as of this morning.
It is one of those levels where you can “buy” things at the virtual shop where you earn tokens with which to purchase things.
Anyway, Lucas somehow got into the settings and deleted all the high scores and reset the game.
I admit that at first I panicked because I’m well aware of the fact that Harley has lost it over things far less than this in the past. So I told Lucas off and told him that Harley would be very angry with him and he needs to say sorry when he sees him.
Lucas spent the whole day frightened and kept saying to me: “Harley’s going to punch me “ And I kept reassuring him that I wouldn’t let that happen. (And secretly crossing my fingers that it DIDN’T!)
But I knew that if I didn’t step in first, Harley most probably WOULD hurt his mischievous little brother whether physically or with words because this game meant so much to him.
So back to the opening phrase….Good news and Bad news…..
If I tried to Harley the bad news first, he would more than likely fixate on it and be unable to hear anything I said past that.
So I decided that I was going to greet him after school with some good news that would fill his mind instead.
So I went with :
“Hey mate, How are you?, Did you have a good day?”
Then “Guess what, Mummy brought her iPad in the car with her and you can play it ALL the way home……in fact, I just bought a new game for it, do you want to work it out for me?” (All said in the most effervescent voice I could muster!)
His eyes gleamed and he nodded frantically.
“Thank you , You’re the BEST Mummy” he raved (Meanwhile, I felt like a total cad for keeping quiet about the news that I knew would devastate him).
I decided to wait until we got home and practised several scenarios for telling him.
Unfortunately, Lucas being SO frightened about Harley “hurting” him fessed up and spilled the beans about the game almost instantly…..
I saw Harley in the rearview mirror and braced myself for World War 3 that I had imagined would occur in the backseat any minute now.
I waited, and I waited and I gritted my teeth ready for the screaming match.
Harley was so engrossed in the game he was playing on the iPad that he barely looked up and said: “Well, as long as you don’t touch it again Lucas unless you ask me first”……
Huh? I was in shock….What the heck just happened there?
I wasn’t sure that Harley had heard correctly or ingested the information properly (based on his low-key reaction) so after we arrived home, I sat him down at the dining table and asked him if he understood that all of his information on his game was deleted and that he would have to start over.
He nodded and said “Yes Mummy, I know, but you shared your iPad with me so I thought that I should share my game with Lucas more often and then he wouldn’t feel like he needs to steal it from me when I’m at school”…
With tears in my eyes (I’m so emotional!) I hugged my little man and told him that I was SO super proud of him.
I simply couldn’t believe that a child of only 7 and one with a complex neurological disorder that wires his brain to focus on only his own needs so much of the time, was coming out with something so thoughtful and mature!
Even before Harley was diagnosed, Mr Patient would often say to me in complete bewilderment “What is WITH that boy?”
And I would always shrug my shoulders and reply in exactly the same way:
“I’m not sure honey, but he’s Harley, he’s complex”.
And yes he surely is