So the last few posts have been pretty maudlin, between myself and my husband, So last night my husband intended to write a post about bringing home the baby and how his older brothers and sister unintentionally toughened him up. It turned into something quite a bit different, but while he touched on some lighter stuff with the kids, I thought it might be fun…to expand on the circus that I live with.
The oldest, as readers are likely to know, has Autism Spectrum disorder, he speaks in some strange code, writes incredibly small, and has been drawing extremely detailed pictures of everything from television, to comic books, to things he sees outside. He’s been doing this since he was four. He puts his shoes on the wrong feet so we can tell him to switch his shoes, and he plays video games with his controller upside down, and he’s actually pretty good at it. He’s been around little kids ever since he was one, and thanks to his younger brother, he’s slowly learning to play well with others. Perhaps its because he was technically an only child for some time, but he’s always been more for entertaining himself and creating these elaborate scenes with his toys than playing harmoniously with his siblings. Unfortunately, its during these times, when his siblings interrupt his play, that he loses his mind. My husband tends to hover around him more than I do, not entirely sure what he can and can’t do. But my husband has often been the only one with him through any number of public meltdowns, and he can usually talk him down. I think he plays this up though, to get out of doing things, but people sell him short a lot of the time, because he’s difficult to talk to, but he understands just fine.
Take, for instance, one afternoon, and we made one of our rare trips to the mall. During this we were approached by a man selling some kind of electrical muscle stimulator. This guy is slick, silk shirt, styled man bun hairstyle, (and his hair is awesome, by the way) and he has gold rings on most of his fingers. And judging from is accent, he’s Middle Eastern or North African or something, anyway, he was friendly, and pushy enough, but not overbearing. Well, while we were talking, another passerby glared at this man and says “terrorist.” My jaw drops, my husband does a double take, and even the sales guy stops for a second. The passerby just keeps on walking, meanwhile, Connor shrieks out “Don’t be a Douche!” as the guy walks away.
He might have accidentally picked that up from one of the adults in the room. But that’s him, eleven, autistic, and a defender of justice.
His brother on the other hand, well, he means well, most of the time. My middle child, Cal, referred to here at least as “Hulk” mostly for his crazy tantrums and his fondness for superheroes. While he seems to have an intricate grasp of sarcasm, he refuses to sit down for school. His responses to the word “no” have landed him more often than not in some pretty hot water. It’s like he hit the terrible twos and set up his office in there. I suppose it might be more like the “sadistic sixes” now though. I wonder sometimes, if its proximity to his younger siblings that keeps him on that level?
But apart from the tantrums, the occasional fistfight, and well, the typical things kids do to shirk the blame, he can be the sweetest kid. He was always there for a snuggle as a baby, a toddler, and well, even today. He, much like his older brother, quite often, thinks of others first. He’s the last one awake, but he’ll be up and dressed in a flash if he thinks that Dad is going somewhere. That’s usually where his altruism kicks in. Dad will take him to the store, even if dad doesn’t want to go and Callum loves candy.
He won’t eat many things without ketchup, but candy is its own food group.
Of course he’s likely to shop for Sissy, and Connor, and even the baby, but he knows that he can lead in like that and Dad will, of course, make sure that he gets whatever candy he wants. Altruism sounds better than ulterior motive. But that’s not the best part, lookout ladies, my son, at age four learned that the way to mom’s heart is a good foot massage. Sure he’s pretty liberal with the lotion, but a foot massage is a foot massage, even if he really only wants to knock me out late at night so he can steal the television. Okay, ulterior motives, but a foot massage is a foot massage. My middle child is the biggest pain in the ass. Four of us eat what I make, Connor eats a scaled down version, depending on textures, and my precious rainbow kid only eats ketchup. When dad makes the midnight snack run to Jack in the Box, everybody eats. Food texture peculiarities be damned, if it’s greasy and layered in cheese and bacon, it can be swimming in mayonnaise, mustard and wilted lettuce. Connor will eat it, he’ll pick off bad veg, but he will eat it. Connor will eat fruit and vegetables before candy any day, so he’ll snarf up any abandoned tomatoes and even those nasty little pickles (at least I think they’re pickles). But if it’s got another color than ketchup red under the bun, you would think we’re trying to poison Cal.
Luckily for us, his sister and long standing partner in crime is more adventurous with food.
Her baby brother, however, is the true gourmand. As we mentioned yesterday, Cohen, the baby, was small enough to fit in my husband’s two hands, and yes, we were positively terrified that he wouldn’t make it out alive with all of the smothering attention that his siblings were more than ready to hand out. He was the smallest, and then he discovered food. My husband has nicknamed Cohen “Sticky” because he’s one, and he’s always eating, and when a one year old feeds himself, his hands and face are inevitably sticky. If it goes in his mouth, he’ll try it out, and he’ll have whatever you’re having. Fortunately he isn’t really big on putting non-food items in his mouth, so we don’t have to play a game of “What did Cohen Eat today?” He seems to be picking up after his role models, specifically in the manner of “I solve my problems with violence…” Callum is a terrible role model. Like Callum, Cohen is pretty quick to the hug, and say “thank you” and high five. Much like his brother, also too adorable for words. My husband says it’s how he survives to adulthood.
You might notice that I didn’t have so much to say about my daughter, after eight years and three boys, I had pretty much resigned myself to never having that closet full of pink, that mini-me. Much like the song, she’s her daddy’s girl, her momma’s world, and she deserves her own page.
Check back tomorrow for that one. It’s bedtime now.