Archie doesn’t watch TV. Not since he lost interest in the Teletubbies and TTFTE (as parents of kids with autism tend to call Thomas), but he joined us this afternoon to watch the Olympic synchronised diving final; his attention captured by this BBC film shot in one of his favourite places, the Life Centre in Plymouth. Archie has no interest in fame, and wouldn’t really understand the concept, but he does love Tom Daley. All the boys do. Before the Life Centre was built the disabled swimming club we attend used to take over Central Park pool on a Sunday morning. It was always an added bonus for the boys if Tom Daley was training at the time. Now the disabled swimming club has the use of the Life Centre diving pool (with it’s magic moveable floor) so we never get to see him train. Archie, doesn’t mind, he amuses himself trying to climb up the diving boards (they have very sturdy gates, thank goodness) and tries to persuade me to let him dive.
Anyway once his attention was captured by the film he stayed with us for the entire event. This is very unusual. My helper for the day decided to hang around to watch with us and we had a bit of banter going on, which for the first time ever, courtesy of the talker, Archie was able to join in with. For example, I commented on someone who seemed to be soaping themselves next to the plunge pool and Archie said ‘wet’. Joseph was laughing at the design of one team’s swimming trunks when Archie came out with ‘swim trunks wet’. It felt like yet another big first.
We were sad to see Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield just miss out on the medals (Joseph was in tears), although we cheered ourselves up with the men’s gymnastics and it appears that in the time it took me to write this one of Tom’s fellow Plymouth College students won a gold in swimming. Pity she wasn’t swimming for Team GB, but still, Go Plymouth!
I suppose in some ways, watching Archie be part of the banter I felt a bit like we’d won gold ourselves today.