This post was written in the comfort of my own home in 2010, when Finian was 6.
If I had to write it tonight, it would most likely be written from the confines of a Garda station, in the company of a social worker.
Finian and his big sister were invited to a birthday party yesterday at a really nice play-centre-type-place.
I was a little anxious as I wasn't familiar with the place and didn't have much time to prepare for the party.
And I'm not the one with autism.
So Big Sister catapulted herself into a small tornado of 10 year olds, and wasn't spotted in civilised society for three happy hours.
Meanwhile my understanding friends weren't offended at my poor conversation skills, lack of eye contact and intense focus on the whereabouts of Finian, as I busily frustrated his plans for escape.
(again, I'm not the one with autism, etc, etc)
He navigated three dizzy tiers of the soft play area like a pro, and shot down the slides like a joyful little cannon.
All the while he was watching for an opportunistic open gate, a chink in the netting, or a strategically placed chair against a railing, so he could make a mad dash for freedom.
But he knew this wasn't gonna happen with BitchMother on patrol.
So what's an autie kid to do???
And stripped off.
He dangled his crown jewels and aired his peachy little bottom to the world at large, safe in the knowledge that BitchMother could not thwart his happy exposure.
I had to wait, head in hands, until he descended the slide in all his splendour.
So he was re-dressed, re-educated in the niceties of social decorum and finally re-released (that's a word, OK?) into his natural habitat of a soft play area full of juvenile delinquents.
And then he stripped off.
In the top tier.
This time there was less discussion and more delivery of information, along the vein of "Three strikes and you're out!".