The Crisis Support Team arrive because it is Thursday, but I had forgotten.
I show another two people into my home – they’re an investment in the future, for the boys – if and when, we ever experience a crisis, Ben and William will be on hand, or rather, at the end of a designated telephone line, ready to come and help me, wherever I am, with whatever is going wrong.
That’s the theory.
However, before the theory can be put into practice, they have to form a relationship with the boys, so when the crisis hits, everybody knows everybody else; not just a couple of strangers butting in.
Building relationships takes time. One hour, once a week, on a Thursday. Building a relationship with people, some people, some autistic people, can take a lot longer.
Reality means I now do what I have to do, while being observed by Ben and William. I suffer performance anxiety. It’s difficult enough doing what I have to do, but in the heat of the spotlight, it’s even worse. What’s worse, is how it highlights my ineptitude.
I have a short-hand version for Nonna because I do not want to explain their purpose in front of the boys at 50 decibels – 'Ben and William are from Social Services,' I say, because it’s the nearest translation I can manage.
Nonna is always perplexed by their appearance, every week, several times each visit, whilst they’re physically present, as well as volubly critical – “but dey don’t do anyting. Why dey are ere den?”
It gets worse later, after Ben and William have left, at dinner, discussion time, around the table.
Nobody listens to anybody else, as usual. It’s a cacophony of independent conversations and monologues, now that the boys can talk, because speech therapy was a success, up to a point. Until Nonna voices the subject she always voices on a Thursday night, to her son, who’s tired at the end of the working day:
“Dey came today.”
“Who came today?”
“Wot dey call again, Maddy?”
“Social Services,” I mutter, because I can see it coming but can’t avert the derailment without appearing like a rude bully of elders - a bad role model to the children. I need to think of something!
“Dat’s right. Social Services came to see dah children. But dey didn’t do anyting.”
“So wot appen next den?”
“Are dey going to take dah children away?”
That’s the bit they always hear as they stampede from the room, with shrieks of terror to rival Banshees.
Next week I'll interrupt, change the subject, or start singing.
4 hours ago