Saturday, June 19, 2010

Child Hurricanes

One of the aspects of our new house that we enjoy the most is that it comes with built in friends for the kids. We are at the back of a driveway shared with three other houses. The house beside us back here has three boys ages 8, 5, and 2. Combine four active kids (the toddler is certainly active, but not much of a bike rider) and a long, cement driveway and you're guaranteed many, many hours of biking, skating, scootering, skateboarding, wall-ball, and basketball.

Most often, George is off by himself; but when he joins in, the others are very good about including him. Emma and the older boy have become great friends and are very evenly matched in humor, energy, and silliness. The five year old is almost always along, but is suffering from having his big brother's attention pulled away by this new long-haired interloper. His reaction is to get in Emma's face and bug, taunt, and pick at her until she is screaming with frustration and goes inside. Usually, within a half hour, they're all back outside again, having fun until the next whirlwind fight.

Yesterday, hearing a louder-than-usual screaming match, I headed outside. The boys had already left and a sobbing Emma was pushing bikes into the garage. We sat on the steps to talk and she filled me in. As the usual jealousy led to the usual arguments, Emma must have yelled to the older brother something about how she hated his younger brother. The usually diplomatic big brother leaped to the defense of his sibling and both boys began yelling at her about her "stupid" brother who was "worthless" and "doesn't know how to do anything".

And the mama rage erupted.

But I kept calm and we talked about how that felt and how much we love George. We talked about his strengths and how much he's grown over the last year. And what a good sister she is to him. Then Daddy came home from the store and was filled in.

And the daddy rage erupted.

But I calmed him down and we decided to wait a day before going over to our neighbor's house to kick their butts discuss the situation.

Luckily, today we were able to think more rationally and realize that this wasn't necessarily an attack on George. Our knee-jerk reaction as special needs parents is to protect first, think later. But in this case, it was just a normal kid fight that had escalated to the "your brother's dumber than my brother" level. We spoke to the father today and he agreed, but also took some time to talk to his sons about Autism (which he had also done when we first moved in).

Half an hour later, it was back to driveway races as usual. With all kids equally involved. Hearing George call, "Come on, guys, follow me!" and watching the others chase after him did our hearts good. It was a normal summer afternoon. Normal in a way we're still getting used to.
New Friends

Saturday, June 05, 2010

(It's no longer Sock Love Thursday)

Let's see now, it's June. Huh. And I've updated all of twice this year. Sorry about that.

Winter was hard this year. I had to step away from the computer a bit and instead of writing about life, I tried to actually, you know, live it. Exercise, keeping the kids busy, getting my health back on track (Did you know that six months of snacking and eating nothing fresh will pack on the pounds? I know! Shocking!); basically just digging my way out of the 3 foot radius around my desk and the fog within my head.

How exactly have we spent the last five months? Let's look at the calendar, shall we?
Hockey & ice skating
Dental surgery for George (and all the involved paperwork)
Emma turned nine (NINE!???)
Field trips
Huge graphic design project for Bridgeway House
George's IEP for next year (and all the involved paperwork)
Lost 20 pounds
Jason came home from Iraq
Family vacation to Disneyland
Bought and moved into a new house

(Oh, and those last three things? All happened within three weeks. We're ready for summer break now, please.)

I'll try to be around more often with lots of pictures!