Wednesday 5 July 2017

Saved by a pack of M&S Dark Chocolate Lemon & Lime Jaffa Cakes

One of my girl friends loves the M&S Dark Chocolate Lemon & Lime Jaffa Cakes.  They are her go-to treat - worth their weight in gold. And though I'm not so sure that financially makes sense, she bought a pack over to my house the other day when she and her little boy came round for a play date with Jane.  And they were delicious.  Today I was going to drop some to her as a treat in return, but I couldn't.  Because yesterday I had to use them to save my son from himself. 

I rarely make the effort to go to M&S, which is draft really as I like their stuff.  I but happened to be there on a few days ago collecting some of the new easy dressing school uniform for Jane.  I still can't believe our youngest will be starting school in September.

While I was there I picked up a pack of the my mates Jaffa Cakes.  Her little boy had left his sunglasses at our place during the play date and I'd also finally dug out a virtually unused nursery logo sweater that Jane refused to wear but her little boy might get use out of.  I figured a little treat of Jaffa Cakes with the sunglasses and sweater left on her door step might make her smile.

That was my plan until about 5pm last night.

At 5pm last night, one of our autistic son's was playing in the garden.  I'd just managed to get him to have a few minutes off the iPad and he was jumping about on our climbing frame, spending a few minutes sliding and climbing, sliding and climbing. Then, all of a sudden a toy aeroplane flew over the fence. It was like one of those ones you got out of a kinder egg or at the fair ground - a few bits of coloured polystyrene spliced together in the middle.

It was nothing special - but for a moment it was the world to David.  It was as if a magical gift had been dropped from the sky for him to look after.  He was fascinated with it - and it took all my efforts, explanations, countdowns, persuasions etc to get it off him undamaged and hand it back over the fence to the boy who was obviously sad to have lost it over the fence.

I thought it would be OK.  It was not.

After making it obvious I would not allow him over the fence, David ran to the front door and tried to open it to chase down the boy and the plane.  He them climbed and grabbed keys to try and unlock the door.  When I'd managed to get rid of the keys and it became obvious to David he couldn't get out  to get to the plane (he even tried to get through tiny window gaps) he began to escalate - he began to become hysterical and unable to control his emotions.   I attempted to help David calm down by finding something he wanted more than the plane to grab his attention.  The iPad was rejected.. his favourite snacks were rejected.

I don't want to give the impression that David was being rewarded for bad behaviour.  He was not.

I sometimes try to imagine what it is that's upsetting David so much but I think it boils down to not knowing... not knowing if the plane is OK, what's going to happen to it, what will happen to him if he has no plane to look after?  Because in reality this is just one thing that David has to think about controlling so he's able to cope with every day.

So I searched my mind for something to snap him out of this escalating fear that was an any moment going to become an all consuming meltdown  bound to exhaust him and everyone near him.

Then a lightbulb.... there's those chocolate Jaffa Cakes.

We don't usually have chocolate in the house.  If David knows there is chocolate then there is little to stop him eating some.  His diet does not need any more sugar.

"Chocolate?" I asked and used Makaton to sign to David.

His bleary wet eyes looked up from his panicked face.  With his bottom lip and hands both quivering, he said and signed "Coocoo."  That's how David says 'chocolate'.

And I went and got the my mates box of M&S Dark Chocolate Lemon & Lime Jaffa Cakes.  David sat cross legged by the front door and ate 1/3 of the pack.  Then wiped his eyes and went off to play.

Once the pack was open there was no way, and in honesty no real point, of not letting the rest of the house finish them off.  Once they were gone, they would be gone and we'd be back at the 'no chocolate in the house' status quo.

But now of course, I've no M&S Dark Chocolate Lemon & Lime Jaffa Cakes to drop off at my friends, with the sun glasses and school sweater.  What do you think?  Wait a few days until I can get some more to drop off... or let her know, how in a funny way, she was there when I needed help?  Maybe both?  One thing's for sure, she was right - they were worth their weight in gold!


  1. This is so lovely and I'm so glad they calmed him down. I'm not sure how I feel about the flavouring though but they may be worth a try #triumohanttales

  2. What a lovely story I think you should share the truth with her I would love to hear those words from you! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xoxo

  3. Aw, I'm sure your friend will appreciate that her cakes saved you from a disastrous night! It's funny to think of the things that will calm a child down. Good thing you had those on hand.

  4. Aha...what an experience! Spending a night on cakes. It must be thrilling experience.

  5. If they had been meant for me, I would have been glad that they were used for a bigger need. I am craving that flavour now though! #spectrum_sunday

  6. I would let her know how they had been a great help :D I'm sure she will really love to hear that someone else loves them just as much as her and helped to calm him :)

  7. Ahh this is such a lovely story! I'm thinking I've missed a trick now as I've never heard of these Jaffa cakes! Off to m&s I go! #coolmumclub

  8. What a great story with a happy ending. I know what you mean. When I start eating them, can't stop either! Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales - hope to see you again on Tuesday!

  9. Any disaster that is saved by chocolate is a great story! Glad it all worked out x

  10. That feeling of dread you get when something like this happens (seeing the plane drift over the fence) is horrible. Stuff nobody else would give a second thought but you know it's going to cause a meltdown.

    So glad the dark choc jaffas were there to save the day! Kinder Eggs tend to serve that purpose here (though, to be honest, neither of my boys really need more sugar either!).


  11. I'm a great believer in things happening for a reason. I think your friend would love to know that 'her' biscuits saved the day. After all, in life if we have chocolate and good friends, everything looks much better. #PostsFromTheHeart

  12. Chocolate saves the day! And a quick thinking Mama of course :) #postsfromtheheart

  13. I am now desperate to try these! Wonderful story, your friend completely needs to know how her biscuits saved the day!x #postsfromtheheart

  14. What a lovely story - and am so glad they worked. Meltdowns are awful and I know the guilt of thinking people are judging for what seems like rewarding bad behaviour, but we know it's not like that

  15. Ooo I've not tried that, they sound yummy. What good timing to have them in the house #besyandworst

  16. I'm glad they helped. I'd tell your friend. I'm sure she'd be thrilled her unexpected gift came just at the right time.

  17. I recall when Joseph was much younger he would become fixated in something and there was no changing his mind. I used any method possible to alter his behaviour. I may have used jaffa cakes for myself though!! #SpectrumSunday

  18. I'm sure your friend would be delighted to have helped! #SpectrumSunday

  19. I've recently discovered M&S chocolate covered Turkish Delight bars - delicious! #postsfromtheheart

  20. Awww thanks goodness for the jaffa cakes!! I love M&S! Thanks for linking up #bestandworst


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