So as I mentioned, yesterday was R’s birthday party, and we had a decent number of folks over.
As usual, after most of them had left, it ended up being just family around for a while. Us adults were sitting around watching the end of the football playoff game (even though we didn’t really care who won), and the kids were being themselves, running around the room.
Most of the time, when the Monster is left to his own devices, he ‘s going to end up playing by himself. A frequent routine here is that he’ll find somewhere to play with a toy – his iPad, something else electronic, or just a random toy – and settle in the corner on the couch. If it ends up being the iPad, chances are at least fifty-fifty that R’s going to climb up beside him… and there’s a half-decent chance that R’ll end up playing “along” with the game a bit here and there without his brother getting upset. But it’s really not “different” than usual.
And then there’s the times where you almost forget that the Monster has Autism.
Inevitably, if you load a bunch of kids full of pizza, juice and cake, they’re going to go a little bonkers. Throw in one parent who’s quite inclined to toss any of them into the air, and another who is inclined to chase them around alternately hoisting them upside down or threatening to eat their faces, and they’re going to get really, really wound up. And then they just get silly with each other until they’re so tired that they all really need to be gotten ready to settle down for naps or bedtime.
It’s times like these that all of the Monster’s issues with being social, with being verbal, with playing “with” other children fade into the background, and he’s a nearly-normal five year old playing around with his sibling and cousin. Imitating one another and egging each other on by seeing who’s going to go what direction next. Laughing, wriggling, giggling, shrieking and entirely a part of the horde taking hold of the house.
He doesn’t do this a lot (and our sanity is probably the better for it), but it is nice when he spends a little time being nearly normal.