Alex has said to me, can’t you blog about something happy? Please?
I had to do some reflecting. I do realize the posts have been sad/rough. I am not going to lie, we are in a tough spot in our life. I feel a lot of inner battle and struggle. I wanted to give parenthood a view that isn’t all sunshine and roses mostly because then parents don’t feel that pressure. Parenthood is hard, parenthood is ugly, and parenthood is often glamorized to the point that parents feel like they are failing if it isn’t glamourous. Well you aren’t failing if you are trying.
That being said, these kids are the best blessing in my life. They are loving, they are sweet, and they make me who I am. They make our family what it is. I was recently interviewed for the local paper on a piece about autism (I know the editor). One of the questions the student writer asked was: “how does Nolan’s autism affect Stella?” I thought about it a little bit and I replied *paraphrased* “I think she is going to grow up thinking all kids have trampolines on every floor of the house, swings belong in playrooms, educational games are always on all the shelves, we yell when we are happy, we jump (and make noise) as we move through the house, children’s museum, or even doctors office. She will think all the modifications we have set up and the way we live is how all families live because that is what she knows.” She may be surprised when she goes to school; she may be a little confused, but most of all I really really hope she learns that all children are special, all families are special, and her parents fight like hell to make sure that she and her brother have the best life possible.
Ms. Stella is in a copying phase and she is head over heals in love with her brother. Add in a little autism and we have a little 16 lb 1 year old that does everything her big brother does, autistic or not.
I see Nolan run across the room stimming (making noises with his mouth and motions with his hands) only to see Stella chase after him doing the same thing. Today, I took Nolan to the doctor for a fever and he hopped & stimmed to a chair only to have Stella follow his exact route, doing the same thing. It is amazing what kids pick up on, it is also funny she thinks this is totally normal behavior.
A sensory thing Nolan does is drink water with hands. All water, any water. It is a little embarrassing with your little 2 year olds butt in the air on the Bay Beach Boats as he is dipping his hand in the water and sucking on it, or the splash pad, or the water table, or the pool, or the public pool, or the puddle, etc. We have pretty much accepted it as who he is and a way to improve his immune system….well now Stella does the exact same thing. Try to get a picture of these 2 in water with out one or both with their hands in their mouth. Good thing we can laugh!
Nolan love love loves popsicles (another sensory thing). You can bet if we give Nolan a popsicle Stella is reaching up and saying UH! (meaning she wants something she can’t reach). So we give Stella a popsicle too. She smiles her HUGE gap toothed grin and walks away with her popsicle too- I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even eat it but walks around until it melts. 🙂
When I lay Nolan down for diaper, Stella will lay down next to him (and keep looking at him and then me and smile like she is pretty awesome). On the plus side, I am thinking at this rate WHEN Nolan is ready for potty training I will likely be training Stella at the same time.
Climbing is a way of life here. Everything is a challenge to be climbed over. Chairs, shelves, window sills, etc. You can bet if Nolan has climbed Stella has at least attempted. I see broken bones in my future!
If Nolan gets a chair, Stella gets a chair. If Nolan touches all the pages when he reads a book, Stella touches all the pages. If Nolan squats on the floor to read a book, Stella squats on the floor to read a book. If Nolan lines up blocks, Stella takes the blocks. 😀
I love watching this relationship. Stella loves Nolan and Nolan is getting better and better at working with Stella. He does not necessarily show her love yet, but that does not mean its not there. These two are going to have something special I am sure of it. THAT makes me a happy (and successful) mommy.