There's definitely an air of Harry Potter fever around here. I'm hoping it stays dry tonight as Lady and I are planning to queue up outside the bookshop at midnight to buy 'The Deathly Hallows'. We are very excited to see how it all ends, having enjoyed and discussed all the previous books in great detail. Lady has been telling me some of her latest theories, most of which involve Poly-juice potion. She's convinced Snape is evil, while I'm of the opposite opinion. Can't wait to find out! I'll read lots of it aloud tomorrow, so we can enjoy the story together. We all went to see the 'Order of the Phoenix' film the day after it was released. (We couldn't go on July 12th, since that other Order, the Order of the Orange, were having their wee walks around various towns and we just stayed at home well away from it all.) The film was great. We went to an early show and there were only a few others in the cinema with us.
As I write, Lady and Thomas are playing the HP PC game. Duncan has been customising his trains. He keeps painting them with the watercolours paints. He wanted the red trim at the bottom of each engine to be lighter, so he mixes a bit of red and white to make it just right.
One of his favourite toys these days, is a wipe clean drawing board, that scrolls between 4 screens, and allows for a short commentary on each screen. Duncan just uses it as a dictaphone. He keeps recording little songs or phrases and playing them back. It's hilarious! He has made the rest of us speak into it too, telling us what to say. Lady had to repeat the expression 'G for gow, G for gow, ow, ow.' What it means or where it came from, I've no idea. There's a song he sings, it's either, 'I'm a robber man' or 'I'm a rubber man'. But he shouts it really loud in this harsh rock star voice. As expected, there've been several word perfect recordings of classic Thomas The Tank Engine stories too.
Duncan's speech continues to improve. He now gives me more complicated instructions like, 'Put the 2 keys in the cupboard downstairs, now.' It's a far cry from when he was almost 3, and I got all excited because he looked at a plane flying overhead and muttered something which sounded like it may have been the word 'plane'. He only knew about 10 words when he was 3.
He's commenting on stories I'm reading. I was reading Snow White, and he kept looking at the picture of Snow White's mother, then one of the evil queen. After a lot of thought, he told me that 'the nice queen turned into nasty queen.' He got upset when I read about the woodcutter's instructions to kill the girl, saying 'no die! No Snow White die!' and was relieved when she got away safely. He tells the story back now, with a bit of prompting, and always emphasises that Snow White does NOT die.
Thomas was talking about something peculiar Duncan did, and said he was a bit like an alien. He didn't say it in a mean way at all. It seemed he was trying to find words to express the differences between Duncan and himself and other boys. I said, 'Duncan's not an alien. He's a boy like you. He's autistic and just does some things differently to you because of his autism.'
We'll just keep talking about these sorts of things as we go. There won't be any need for a big conversation, a big revealing of the family secret, because everyone is growing up knowing about and accepting of, autistic differences.