Monday, 4 May 2020

Day Nine

Being the best isn’t always better than being mediocre. Not for everyone.

Let me explain.

I’m currently basking in the glory of winning last night’s weekly family quiz night (yes, I know it’s been nearly a whole day, but when I get a basking chance I basking take it). My daughter, however, has had a slightly different reaction.

The quiz is hosted by my niece, an all round good egg, who lives in New Zealand, and so selflessly gets up at silly o’clock in the morning to be sober quizmaster to a selection of relatives and friends whose levels of heckling increase in direct proportion to the amount of alcohol they neck. Which is a lot.

So far our family team has been named ‘The Antibacterial Handjobs’, ‘The Bastard’s On Nights But He Was No Use Last Week Anyway’, ‘The Disinfectant Injectors’, and, cumbersomely, ‘We Haven’t Got It Wrong We’re Just Social Distancing Ourselves From The Answers’.

My son joined us for the first one but has since decided to self-isolate with his X-Box. My daughter, in comparison, is completely fascinated by the whole thing, not least because she is allowed a Kopparberg fruit cider, which is essentially industrial-strength giggle fuel for her.

People with Prader-Willi Syndrome can be very obsessive, and can become easily fixated on things. This has happened with the quiz. My girl is obsessed with us finishing ‘mid-table’. ‘Mid-table’ is such a great, sports pundit-type, expression. It must have been the first or second week when my girl asked us “Why didn’t we win?”  and my husband told her: “Oh, no, it’s fine, darling, mid-table is a good place to finish.” She has taken this on board as an important goal, despite - and I am 100% sure of this - having no idea what finishing ‘mid-table’ means.

So when - thanks to playing our joker very successfully in the Music round and a strong showing in the Wild Card round (where you have to be fastest team to dash round the house to fetch a list of items) - we ended up winning the quiz, my girl wasn't initially triumphant. I felt a humming next to me on the sofa (no it wasn’t a vibrator, my niece hasn’t asked us to fetch one of those in the Wild Card round. Yet. And yes, bedside drawer, of course. What am I, a nun?). The ‘hum’ is what I call that indefinable change in the body language and in the air around my daughter when she begins to get anxious. It’s almost like an electrical charge, and you can physically feel her anxiety levels starting to rise.

“Are we mid-table, Mum, are we mid-table? We like to be mid-table, don’t we? Are we mid-table? Is first place mid-table?”

I gave her a long look, and resorted to what I call the ‘Easy Life Defence (With The Caveat That This May Be Storing Up Trouble For A Later Date)’. The best prior example of this was telling her that yes, cutting her food in two does mean that she has twice as much.

You’re probably ahead of me. What was my reply to: “Is first place mid-table?”

Song is Sugababes - In The Middle

As part of the 2.6 Challenge (which is asking people to fundraise and donate towards small charities that are threatened with closure because of the effects of the Covid-19 crisis) I'm currently writing 26 blogs in 26 days.The PWSA UK is a charity which is absolutely vital for people with PWS, their families, carers and professionals who work with them. Without urgent help, PWSA UK will fold. This charity saves lives and for some people makes lives worth living. It's a title-winning team, with not even mid-table level funding (do you see how I tied this in with today's blog? Do you see?) If you can, please go to my Just Giving page. Thanks to everyone of you who has donated 26p, £2.60, £26 or any other amount. 

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