Holy Sheet


I wonder what I’d have thought if told in 1997 that my baby son would be obsessed with Manchester when he was 22?

Probably, ‘Excellent, I’ll hang on to my New Order records!’

Turns out it’s manchester, not Manchester.

The current obsessive items Happy Chin drags around wherever he goes are a motley collection of sheets, doonas and pillowslips. I would have preferred New Order records, really. So much more portable.

Primary colours are favoured, and his beloved teddy bear linen of course. As we lost the matching bear pillowslip a long time ago, he simply brought me a permanent marker and a plain white pillowslip and demanded ‘Draw!’ He now has a bear pillow, albeit one with a slightly deranged looking bear on it. It’s fair to say that I’m not the artist in the family.

He’s also enjoying the activity of laying sheets over his bed and neatly smoothing out the corners. He has so many layers on it’s getting a bit Princess and the Pea in his room, and since he still enjoys his midnight snacks of leftovers, we’re using real peas!

Still, it’s a harmless enough activity, and hardly to be discouraged. Making his bed is good, right?

Take books – always a must have accessory, but bang on trend right now according to Happy Chin. Turns out the subject of the book doesn’t matter in the slightest, it’s the jacket colour scheme that’s the key. If it’s black and red, it’s worth a read, or at least a trip in the car to his house. I really don’t mind him taking our books to and from his place. I mean, he likes books! Who cares why he likes books? He just likes them, OK? Books are good.

So this morning when I dropped him off, he had a good collection going which included Roget’s Thesaurus, a German dictionary, Anna Karenina, Women in Love and Emma. I expect on Sunday morning I’ll be picking up a fluent German speaker with a wide English vocabulary who is well versed in 19th and 20th century romantic literature! Or not. I mean, whatever.

His vocabulary is steadily increasing, though. It seems every week when I go to pick him up he’s acquired a new word. Mr August taught him a new one recently, sitting on the toilet as HC pounded on the door.

‘Occupied!’ Mr A shouted, desperately trying to manage number 2’s while propping one leg against the door to prevent intrusion (who said special needs parenting doesn’t teach you cool new skills?)

Strangely, it worked. Happy Chin retreated, and shouted ‘Occupied’ at the top of his lungs for the next 2 weeks every time someone closed a door.

I made the mistake of telling him not to be a dickhead last week (yeah, I know, my bad, but it just slipped out) and he danced round the house for the next 3 days shouting ‘Dit Head.’ I’m only hoping his carers failed to understand what he was saying (I bet they didn’t).

He’s also learned about polite greeting when encountering strangers, and randomly bellows ‘Hello!’ at people when we’re out and about. It’s slightly alarming I imagine, out for your daily walk and being loudly greeted by a large bouncing individual with headphones and a doona cover, but the strangers mostly smile, so I guess it’s OK.

For years I’ve had a dream that he walks into the kitchen and says ‘Mummy, can I please have a Vegemite sandwich?’ I don’t know why I keep having this dream. Perhaps other parents dream their child is saying ‘I’d like to thank the Nobel Committee.’ When you have a child like Happy Chin, your ideas on what constitutes a Great Achievement are different, I guess.


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