Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ch 27: Diapers and discoveries by Glory Lennon

“You brought me here to see this?” Richard snarled. “Like I wanna see my wife looking at another man like that?”

Heidi wearily sighed. “No, Richard, that isn’t why I’m here and I didn’t exactly drag you, now did I?”

He said nothing unless you count the growling, irritable sound coming from his throat. “Mr. Fricken Generous-to-a-fault. Who the hell does he think he is?” he shouted.

“Richard! You must be quiet here,” Heidi reprimanded in a near whisper.

“What the hell for? They can’t exactly hear me,” Richard replied still glaring at Victor, his teeth clenched and his fists balled up in fury.

“You seem to forget that the children can see and hear us,” Heidi said just as a little baby crawled up to them and sat at their feet as if hoping one of them would pick her up.

“Oh yeah, I forgot,” Richard muttered. “Hey, you gotta go away. I got nothin’ for ya, kid.”

The baby’s lips started to quiver and within a few seconds she was howling.

“Oh, fricken great!” Richard mumbled. He got down to the floor and tried to sooth the baby. “It’s okay, don’t cry, okay?”

“Oh, Sweetie, whatsamada?” Violet said suddenly turning away from Victor. She scooped up the baby whose huge brown eyes still leaked big fat tears. Within a few second, however, she was smiling over Violet’s shoulder at Richard who was now making funny faces at her.

“She probably needs a diaper change,” Victor said. His voice caught the baby’s attention and a second later she launched herself out of Violet’s arms and into his.

“Missy! What are you doing?” Violet said still trying to hold the squirming child.

“I think she wants me to hold her,” Victor said laughing. “Is that it, Missy?”

The baby squealing with delight. It made them both laugh.

“What are you? The pied piper?” Violet asked.

“What do you think?” he said, kissing the baby's soft cheek.

She nodded and led them all back into the playroom and to the changing table. But when she turned to gather the baby from Victor she refused to let go and started screaming again.

“But, Missy, you need a diaper change. You’re all stinky!” Violet said screwing up her face comically.

“Maybe she’ll let me do it,” Victor suggested placing her gently on the table.

“Victor, are you insane?” Violet asked, completely astonished.

“Why? I know how. Did it a million time with my boys. Granted it was ages ago and she is a girl but the concept is still the same, isn’t it?”  He said this in a matter-of-fact sort of way as he removed the soiled diaper, cleaned the tiny bottom thoroughly and placed a new diaper on her. He then lifted her off the table and kissed the baby until she squealed with delight.

“Don’t ya just love babies?” he said holding Missy as if never wanting to let go.

Violet gaped at him, her mouth hanging open. She’d never seen a man that comfortable with a stinky, messy diaper before and she never thought she would again. Not even Freddy was that good. She had been about to say this when a scream came from across the room.

It was Jeffery and he was howling mad and banging his head on the floor so hard they could hear the thumping over all the other noise.

“Omigosh, Jeffery!”she said sprinting to the boy and grabbing him up off the floor. He thrashed against her, pulled away and proceeded to bang his head again. She grabbed a pillow and placed it on the floor just as his head was coming down again. He stared at the pillow for a second then bounded onto his feet and looked up at the ceiling saying, “A-yos-a-yos-a-yos,”  It was as if nothing had just happened.

“That is one strange kid,” Richard said waving at Jeffery. “Why the heck does he call me A-yos?”

“That is the question, isn’t it?” Heidi said distractedly. She was watching Victor. He came toward the little boy who was now spinning endlessly until he fell down dizzy.

“He’s working it out just as I knew he would. That’s my boy!” Heidi said.

“What are you talking about?” Richard asked, before yelling at Jeffery, “Hey, you! Stop spinning. You’re gonna hurt yourself.”  

The boy to his amazement did stop but he then plopped down on the floor and started spinning a plastic plate instead and flapping his hands while making funny noises.

“Violet,” Victor said, a crease between his brows. “Why is this boy here?”

“What a stupid question!” she replied as she got up off the floor, helped by Victor who held a hand out to her even as he carried baby Missy. His eyes never left the boy.

“I mean why isn’t he at a special school? This child does not belong here,” he said sternly.

“Why not?” Violet said, now with a sense of trepidation tingling up her spine. She knew there was something very odd about Jeffery but she didn’t quite know what.

“This child has Autism, I’m almost positive,” he replied.

Her eyes widened in shock. “Oh do you know?” she asked, although now that he said it, it made perfect sense. The boy often didn't seem to hear, he kept away from all others and hated being touched.

“I have a few clients with Autistic children. I recognize the traits inherent in these kids. Tell me, does he avoid making eye contact? Hate loud noises and well, he obviously screams for no apparent reason. Plus he bangs his head on the floor, spins things and he doesn’t talk much, does he?” Victor said as he watched the boy cover his ears while making high pitched sounds.

He turned back to Violet with concern in his eyes. “His parents must be told. The earlier he gets treatment the better it is for him, for all of them. He can’t get what he needs here, Violet. I know you’re great, all of you are here. That's obvious, but he needs far more than babysitting. He needs professionals trained for dealing with this condition.”

Violet nodded but didn’t have the slightest idea how she could tell Jeffery’s parents all this. First, would they even believe her and second, could they afford whatever therapy was needed? All these thoughts were clearly printed on her face.

Victor kissed the baby and placed her on the floor with a few blocks and came back to Violet who stood quite still staring at Jeffery. “I can help you tell them. I’m familiar with this after all. When will they be here to pick him up?” Victor asked.

“They, uh...Mr. Pedrowski comes right after work, usually five or so. Oh, Victor, are you sure?” she asked anxiously.

He looked toward the boy who now stood staring into space, rocking from one foot to the other while muttering to himself. Victor shook his head. “I wish I was wrong but I don’t think I am.” He sighed then added, “Will you mind if you don’t get your car today?”

“What?” she said showing her confusion.

“If we stay and talk to the parents, it could take a while. I have several names and numbers of doctors for them to see. I’d like to give them as much information as possible, to help them out. This may be difficult for them to grasp, you see,” he said bracingly.

She stared up at him tears welling in her eyes. She seized his hand and squeezed it. “You really are a wonderful man, Victor Romanoff.”

He smiled. That’s all the praise he needed.

Heidi smiled triumphantly as Richard grumbled something inaudible.

Anyone could guess he wasn’t quite as happy.