Every so often, I’m left alone with both boys. My wife needs her time away as much as I do, and it gives me time to see how the boys interact.
Yesterday afternoon, I agreed to watch the kids so she could go out with a few other mommies and play at the pottery place around the corner.
Obviously, as I’ve mentioned, one of our largest concerns with having a second child was the possibility of a second child with autism. The secondary concern was trying to figure out how the Monster would cope with another child in the house.
Now, he doesn’t directly have any issues normally with other children. We have, however, seen how our friends’ and family’s kids react to the arrival of a subsequent child, and obviously, it’s always a concern. When you add in the fact that there was really no way to prepare the Monster for the new baby – we didn’t know what he did or did not understand, it was clear that the books about a new baby coming weren’t registering and the autism-specific book we had was well above his level (meaning – it was really meant for a child a few years more advanced functionally than him) – we really didn’t know what to expect.
As I joke today with people who know our situation, the autism actually worked in our favor – namely the whole ‘routine’ thing.
Sure, the Monster wasn’t the most thrilled when the baby arrived. Not that we know that he actually registered that the baby was staying… but he also wasn’t horrifyingly against it (because he loves babies). Within about a month, though, the ‘routine’ that the baby was present had fully sunk in, and it was perfectly normal. We even had afternoons where, because of the way we load the kids into the car, he burst into tears because he thought we were ‘forgetting’ the baby.
So what does this have to do with yesterday, mm?
There were two funny incidents:
- Obviously, the baby still naps. Around 6ish, the baby woke up from his nap, at which point the Monster got up from eating his dinner, went up stairs and banged on the door, calling for me to come get him.
- After I brought the baby downstairs and changed him, I gave the Monster his iPad for a bit while I prepared the baby’s dinner. The Monster sat down on the floor right beside the baby, and turned so that the baby could also watch the screen while he was playing on it. (I don’t know how much of the last was conscious, but it was cute.)
Course, there was also a good ten minutes or so this morning where the Monster insisted on tackling and hugging the baby while the wife was sorting things, but as long as no one’s sounding like they’re in pain and the Monster’s not dragging his brother around…