I've found a use for Bobby's obsession. Not that they're not useful anyway of course. For anyone wanting cheap car insurance or an accident helpline at their fingertips, they're more than just a bit handy.
It's just that, listening to his admittedly amusing 'Russian' renditions of 'Compare the Meerkat.com' wears a little thin after a while. I mean, not even Compare The Market.com expects someone to be that keen.
Bobby has been busy discovering the Compare the Meerkat.com website. At tactful points along the way, the user is asked whether they're really interested in meerkats or whether they'd like to go to Compare the Market.com now thank you very much and actually spend some money.
'No thanks', clicks Bobby happily, 'I really am interested in meerkats'. Back to Alecsandre in his dressing-gown.
The first few days of a new school year is hard for any kid with autism. Bob is always more 'autistic' for at least two weeks. By this I mean that he repeats a lot of comforting stuff to himself to allow for the strangeness of brand new classroom and new teacher.
I handed the new teacher a complete guide to Bobby on his first day back, yesterday. Hopefully it'll explain why meerkats have to feature so heavily in Bob's curriculum.
He comes home yesterday saying that their topic is Knights and Castles (last year he wouldn't chat at all about work topics). "That's great!" I say, flicking in a bemused manner through ten paintings of every single meerkat on the advert. He's been busy, obviously, just not necessarily doing the same thing as everyone else.
The phone rings, and the screen flashes up 'OUT OF AREA'. Damn them. Why do sales calls manage to filter through all my carefully constructed trip wires? I've opted out of just about everything, but still they manage it.
They hadn't bargained for my secret weapon, though. "Here you go, Bobby, answer the phone," I tell him. "It's one of those people who love hearing about meerkats!"
Bobby is stunned that despite all our discussions on the art of conversation, he is 'allowed' to ramble on to this person in a Russian accent without once asking how they are. After 'Simples!' I take the phone from him and hang up.
"Well done! I'm sure they really enjoyed that!"
And if they didn't, they know where they can stick it...