Rubbing Off

As I’ve mentioned a lot of times around here, R seems to be skewing towards the NT end of things based on the milestones we’re seeing.  We’ve recently made the decision that he’ll go to pre-school starting in January so that he gets more interaction with other NT children, rather than simply holding him out till next September.

One of the weirdest parts of it is watching how R’s progress is rubbing off on the Monster.

I had ice maintenance duty at the curling club this morning, so I arrived home to the boys having their lunch – every other Sunday is the Monster’s Sunday Funday at the JCC, so he had to eat before the carpool to drop him off.  The Monster has recently started eating real peanut-butter sandwiches again, so both boys were having the same thing.

R was exhibiting his latest new behavior – pointing to himself and saying his name.  I’ve not seen him doing this before – he can label anyone else in the house – so this earned some serious praise from me.  The Monster, on the other hand, was not about to be one-upped by his little brother.

“[R] is not [Z],” he declared from his seat, between popping grapes into his mouth, where ‘Z’ is his cousin.  Indeed.  R is not Z.  And so he was getting a lot of praise as well.

I think it’s one of the most unusual things that I’ve seen, the way that R is turning into a social model for the Monster.  Granted, there’s four years between the two boys and the Monster needs to be picking up age-appropriate behaviors… something that’s a problem since R is as inclined to be a ‘normal’ child as imitate the big-brother who he worships and thereby reinforce those behaviors we’re trying to screen out.  Since R is picking up the verbal cues for things, it seems to be reinforcing the Monster’s using the same cues… and since R is using more words to express his world-view, the Monster is being more descriptive.

It’s not an effective substitute for what I think we’re missing from the school, but it’s an interesting tool…

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