“Oh god, you still have magic sperm coming out of your mouth,” said DS1 to the wife.

Now this may be a difficult sentence to swallow, especially coming from a nine-year-old. Can I get any more innuendo in here?

While you return your bottom jaw to its correct position, allow me to explain.

We went to see Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald, last weekend – in 3D don’t you know.

All clear, now? No? OK, I’ll carry on then.

Aside from spending most of the film watching DS1 trying to catch objects that appeared to fly towards us, it proved to be quite an experience – a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours of escapism that left a certain person’s curiosity working overtime.

The film (spoiler alert) ended on a bit of bombshell, when it was intimated that this character, Credence Barebone, who had been blown to smithereens in the first film but was still alive in the second one (this is not the bombshell, by the way) was the long-lost, never-before mentioned, brother of a certain Professor Albus Dumbledore, off of that Harry Potter septology.

Sorry, if you don’t know your Potter, but read the seven books or spend 20-plus hours watching the eight films if you want to keep up – or just skip this bit.

So, anyway, this prompted some serious investigation into whether Credence was Dumbledore’s brother or not.

A quick Google produced a plethora of theories from Potter nerds, some plausible, some clearly not.

The lack of a defining reason, and the fact that there are three (yes, three) more films to go in the Beasts franchise, in which the answer to this cliffhanger will no doubt be revealed – by my reckoning in 2024 – left the boy in a bit of a state of flux.

Here was a question, to which we had no definitive answer.

More questions than answers

Endless questions followed. We rewatched bits of the first Fantastic Beasts film looking for clues – and, while we managed to work out how the blown-up kid survived, we couldn’t solve the brother mystery.

Now, one of the rumours – which has now been confirmed by the writer herself – is that Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald were a little more than best friends in their youth, and may have enjoyed the odd dalliance or two.

And the wife, perhaps foolishly, looking back, suggested that the couple had decided to become parents, extracted some sperm, fused it with a donor egg and made a little Dumbledore.

We have been very open about this kind of thing with the boy, and, I think, it has certainly helped with his understanding of the sex, marriage, relationship, LGBTQ conundrum. But it does get us into some sticky situations at times. Ah, the innuendo is back.

Anyway, we were, by this stage, coming up with our own ridiculous theories, and the wife was just about to spout her latest fallacy (or should that be phallicy), when DS1 interrupted her and uttered the immortal line at the top of this page.

Three hours later, I’d somehow managed to extract myself from the conversation and hidden myself upstairs under the pretense of doing something – although I was kept regularly updated by an excitable young lad every time he’d discovered another theory.

It was getting too much.

“Make it stop!” the wife messaged me from another part of the house.

The next morning, she went into DS1’s room to make sure he was awake and getting ready for school.

“If it’s not about Credence then I’m not interested,” he greeted her.

The great tiredness

What with the late running of the fireworks blog and the Fantastic Beasts palaver, there’s quite a bit to catch up on in between – probably too much for one post, but let’s see how this pans out.

The day after the fireworks he spent the day in bed, alternating between reading and sleeping – seemingly drained from the day before.

Indeed, to prove that point he later admitted to the wife that he was “exhausted from the day before”.

But he did have the energy to slag me off in my absence that afternoon, as I got a message from the wife telling me the only things I am good at “is watching football and cricket”.

To be fair, that’s pretty accurate. I hardly miss a thing while I’m at a game.

He wasn’t complaining about being ill, but I did wonder if his lethargy was part of an elaborate plan to skip school on the Monday.

It certainly seemed that the ‘great tiredness’ was still in residence when I went into his room the next morning.

Normally, he’s up, demanding the password for the Xbox and/or breakfast (by that I don’t mean he needs a password for breakfast, I mean he’s demanding something to eat) before daylight has struck, but on this particular morning I had to shake him awake.

He looked at me bemused and promptly went back to sleep.

I woke him again, to tell him we needed to get going or he’d miss judo.

I popped back two minutes later and he was asleep again.

I tried once more, but he was still out of it. We agreed that he wasn’t ill, just tired, but going to judo wasn’t going to happen. He would go to school, though.

I left him be for a while, before having to wake him again to get dressed.

“Just because you’re tired doesn’t mean you can stay off school,” I said.
“I know,” he said, before flopping back down again.
“I’m tired all the time,” I said, flippantly. “But I still have to go to work.”
“I know,” he uttered, resignedly.

He hauled himself out of his pit. But would he get dressed? No.

He kept flopping to the ground.

“Come on, get dressed,” I ordered. He wasn’t ill. He said he wasn’t ill. I didn’t think I was being harsh.

I handed him his clothes, but he ran off, and a Benny Hill-esque chase around the house ensued (without the clothes falling off any scantily clothed women, who just happened to be hanging around the house, unfortunately).

Not too tired to run then, I thought (probably out loud).

Eventually, I wore him down, and, after recovering his uniform from the study bin where he’d dumped it during his mad dash, I had to dress him myself, while he lay there apparently unable to operate his limbs.

Picking him up from school that day, he seemed fine – tired, but OK – and I reasoned that would be the end of it.

However, the following morning brought more getting ready for school issues.

“What do you want for breakfast?”
“I don’t want any breakfast,” he answered.
“OK, well, can you get dressed, please?”
“I can’t get dressed until I’ve had my breakfast.”
“What do you want for breakfast, then?”
“I don’t want any breakfast.”
“Well, get dressed then, please.”
“I can’t get dressed until I’ve had my breakfast.”

Circle and vicious sprung to mind.

Cop that

Now, you may recall he had been showing signs of anxiety over the school play.

He was happy that he’d got the role he wanted – being part of the props team. But now there was a new worry.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do,” he said.

I managed to collar his teacher after school to chat about his concerns regarding the play, despite the boy’s reluctance for me to do so. But we had to knock this on the head.

We chatted in the boy’s earshot, initially. Then, as he appeared to be taking it in, we gradually included him in the conversation until he felt like he was taking control of the situation.

We agreed that, once the teachers themselves had worked it out, they would write in his script what he had to do and when with regards to the props.

He smiled shyly at this news. He smiled even more when he discovered all the stagehands were going to get a special T-shirt with ‘Crew’ written on the back.

The other thing that was disturbing him was the singing. He has always found the noise of this difficult to bear (and, having been to several performances at the school, I’m not surprised).

His teacher had recognised his difficulties with this element, though, and resolved to find him some jobs to do while the singing practice was going on.

She even asked him to suggest some jobs that he could do – giving him that feeling of control. A sound move.

He walked away happy, a spring back in his step.

“See, it was good to chat about it with your teacher wasn’t it? We talked it through and we’ve come up with a solution to help you,” I said.

He grudgingly concurred. But he has seemed a bit more chilled since.

Additionally, all the props boys have now been assigned roles as policemen in the show, and he has taken this in his stride – there now being a sense of purpose to rehearsals for him.

I think being a copper has also appealed to his sense of rules.

He has been practicing arresting me, rather too enthusiastically it has to be said, and issuing the lines he has been given. (These are being said en masse by the cop squad, so if he fails to speak on the night nothing is lost ­– again, taking that pressure off him.)

I’m trying to get him to throw in an ad-lib. “When you’ve finished your lines, I want you to shout out: ‘You’re nicked, son’, in a Cockney accent,” I joked.

“But Dad, it’s not in the script, so I can’t.”

You can take the boy out of his autism, but you can’t take the autism out of the boy.

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