Dad woke up on the wrong side of the bed, Atlas had come in and pissed on his head! A mouthful of urine dribbled down from his chin, ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GET OUT OF IT!’
Dad wasn’t off to a very good start and Looby had let off a foul smelling fart! He finally dragged himself out of his bed, and fumbled his way to the toilet instead.
The first pee of the day was always the best, Dad closed his eyes and listened to it. Atlas and Looby had followed him in, then all of a sudden it was silence…
Dad opened his eyes confused a little bit, he was still peeing but couldn’t hear it. He looked down at the toilet and what did he see? Atlas holding a cup under his stream! ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GIVE THAT TO ME!’
Atlas looked at Dad’s face with a mischievous grin, then quick as lightening started drinking it! Dad looked at Atlas who was way off the chart and thought ‘this kid of mine wasn’t quite right’.
Dad had a shower and the kids disappeared, ‘this didn’t bode well, they’d be into shit!’ Dad hurried to get dressed and he braced himself, he was expecting carnage so he held his breath.
Dad had been right, they were up to no good, he walked into the kitchen and stood there stock still! His mouth dropped open as he looked all around, ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE NOW?!’
Atlas had opened the pantry door, Two Minute Noodles were all over the floor! He’d been in the fridge and freezer too, all the doors were left open and he’d emptied the food!
Looby wasn’t much better she’d found a toy, ripped it to shreds till it was destroyed. She had pulled out the stuffing with her fine front teeth, it was everywhere even on the TV!
Dad’s face was all red, he was about to explode, ‘if this shit continued, the boy would be sold!’ He’d place a sign around his neck saying ‘Free to a good home! For FU*K’S sake Atlas! THIS IS NO GOOD!’
Dad tidied and cleaned and put stuff away, there was SO much mess it would take half a day! Then he remembered the kids were downstairs but all he could think was he couldn’t hear noise.
He walked down the stairs hoping for the best but any minute now he’d run into the mess and sure enough as he rounded the corner, he could see the tap on and a flood of water!
Atlas had shoved facecloths into the plug, the water had no where to go except out. Up over the edge of the tub it came pouring, all over the floor and down the hallway. ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas! THIS IS ANNOYING!’
Dad had had enough, he felt like a wreck, he’d hardly had time to wake up correct. Almost every morning he had to deal with this, he didn’t know how he was still coping with it. He felt defeated and wanted to cry, he needed to have a long time away.
Good thing it was Friday and thank God for Mama J, she was having Atlas on the weekend for two days. He refocused his energy and got Atlas to school, he’d deal with the mess later that’s all he could do.
Atlas and Looby were no where to be seen, ‘Oh no!’ thought Dad and raced back upstairs – just in time to see Atlas piss on his bed! ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GO PISS ON YOUR OWN, and while you’re at it, GO GET A JOB!’
When he got home and looked all around, he felt very sad and very overwhelmed. He let out a sigh and one single tear, people really didn’t have any idea.
Dad life wasn’t much fun in the sun, for a single parent family with an autistic son. There was no support for Dad for respite, he tried everything but no one was right.
Atlas was high risk so care was specialised, there was no one to handle him who was qualified. Not only that but he needed two carers and the fund didn’t cover all these expenses.
Dad pulled himself together and cleaned the whole house, did all the washing and felt proud of himself. He packed up a bag for his weekend away and gave thanks for his beloved friend, Mama J.
He had an hour to himself before collecting the boy so he had a wee nap with Looby the dog. He drifted off all snuggled on his arm chair and started to look forward to not being there.
Mama J really, really did care.
© Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising 2022