When my eight-year-old insists on making dinner but my nine-year-old autistic son didn’t like the idea. A story of trying to keep the peace.
Alright this one is a little late in coming…. this week saw “Pizza Gate” happen in our household. My eight-year-old announced that she wanted to cook dinner for everyone the following day. Reluctantly, after a lot of arm-twisting I caved and agreed. She decided she was going to make us all pizza, I was kind of relieved as this was tried and tested many times in our household and also my sons current favourite.
So the day came along and just before I left for the school run I whacked all the ingredients, (plain flour, salt, yeast, Olive Oil and water) into the breadmaker bucket and popped into the breadmaker. Selecting the Pizza Setting, I then dashed off to do school run and let my trusty machine work it’s magic.
When we got home the dough was waiting for us. R was very excited, she got herself ready and got to work. I switched on the oven (200c) and pretty much left her to it, (obviously I kept a careful eye on her). She then proceeded to roll the dough out and placed it on the baking tray. We then popped it in the oven together and allowed it to bake slightly. Meanwhile R grated mature cheddar cheese and I opened a tin of tuna. After about 10 minutes we took the pizza base out of the oven, R got to work spreading tomato purée over the base with a spoon. Using a fork she evenly flaked tuna over the entire pizza. Lastly she sprinkled on the cheese and a final flourish of sliced tomatoes. We popped it back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
My heart went out to her, she was so pleased with what she’d accomplished it looked amazing. When it was finished we sliced and plated up with the prepared salad she made with seeds as well. We sat at the table, admired her work and called her brother to join us.
This is the point where it all went a bit pear shaped. Any parent of a child with an ASD will know; meal times can be highly unpredictable. He sat down, took one look at the pizza and proceeded to go into meltdown because it had tomato on his slice. I’d made sure his hadn’t got sliced tomatoes on but he could see tomato purée beneath. This was coming from a child who loves pizza and doesn’t usually have a problem with my home-made pizzas. I couldn’t tell if it was because his sister had made it and he didn’t like the idea of that. Anyhow, the salad went across the garden (we were eating outside). I quickly jumped in grabbed his plate, and put it away for later, then sent him upstairs so we could enjoy ours. Sounds fairly tame, right? Just wait…
This is where it gets ugly. Unbeknown to me during that time he has come back downstairs, found his dinner and taken it into the lounge. Instead of eating it he pulls it apart and smears it into the floor, (luckily we have laminate flooring, carpets are pretty much a no-no in our house).
It is physically draining when you think “I’ve just washed that”, these days I’ve kinda numbed to it and let it wash over me. It’s like its become part of the routine, I simply can’t be bothered to exert my energy getting cross any more. As for R she was very upset and all I could say was “welcome to my world”, yeah, yeah I know that was not the right thing to say but I go through this daily. Today he likes something, tomorrow he doesn’t. I felt so sorry for her she was clearly upset, her hard work and effort had gone to waste. Although it hadn’t it was lovely and daddy enjoyed it too when he got home.
Can you relate to trying to keep the balance / peace with your kids, beit with an ASD or not? Let me know how you cope.
My trusty Panasonic bread maker I use is the Panasonic SD -257. I’ve had it about 12 years and regularly use it for mainly pizza dough, banana loaf or brioche. Occasionally if I pop into Aldi I might buy their ginger cake mix and cook it in their. Very rarely do I make daily bread in it now. (When I first got it I used it to make about 4 loaves a week).