Kids…amirite? There’s this saying that we want to raise strong, independent humans…but can they just not be those things right now? My babies aren’t really babies anymore at 18, 16, and 7. Yet, as an adult, I realize just how young all three of them are. I gave birth for the first time at 19. My oldest says he can’t fathom how I managed to be a mother so young. Well, because you do what you gotta do. That’s always been my motto.
Our seven year old son is autistic. His main issue is that he is behind in his speech. That, of course, affects a lot of other parts in his life. He can get angry at times. I know…I know, who doesn’t? Yet, when you can’t express yourself well, life can be hard. We’ve got a pretty good routine. Even his school has commented on the bond we have with him and our way of communicating with him and him with us. It keeps his frustrations to a minimum at home. It’s harder for him at school even with an aide because of course that person hasn’t been around him 24/7 during the span of his life. That’s not to say they don’t try because they do a very good job with him.
We treat him with respect. We treat him like he is a typical seven year old boy because in most ways that is exactly what he is. We modify where necessary. We do not baby him. We want him to grow up to be as self-sufficient as he can.
So, when he does something that average children his age would do (that he’s not done before), it is greeted in our home with enthusiasm to a large degree. It shows that his cognitive abilities are in good shape and that he is capable and willing to learn, progress, and even mature.
Last night, I put him to bed around 8 pm because he had gotten up at 4 am and wasn’t interested in going back to sleep. He was falling asleep on the couch so…hey, early bedtime. Daddy usually handles bedtime with him because they have an adorable routine and it helps them bond They both look forward to it. I did it last night because Daddy was at work.
There was no issue with the bedtime routine. I came back into the living room and decided to take command of my husband’s desktop to play on Club Pogo (don’t judge me, you hussies). My husband uses a large arm chair as a computer chair. I didn’t choose this setup. I’m also a very small person. My seven year old is almost as tall as I am now. I literally have to look up to see the face of the older two. I’m watching something on Netflix and I can’t really see anything behind me.
About 9 pm, I thought, “Man, that’s weird. I swear I heard U talking to me.” For the record, he does talk to some degree. He also does a lot of echoing. I tried to look over the chair without getting up which meant I could only see down the hall. His light was off. I didn’t see him in the hallway. I chalked it up to mommy delirium from lack of sleep.
About five minutes later, I heard him clear as day and it freaked me out because I thought I must’ve been going nuts. I jump up from the chair…and there he is…sitting crosslegged on the couch. He had likely been there since shortly after I put him to bed.
I asked him what he was doing out of bed. Made sure he didn’t need a drink / didn’t need to pee. Told him it was bedtime. And he just scowled at me the whole time we repeated the bedtime process.
It’s not really like him to get out of bed once he knows it is bedtime. I wasn’t angry. I never really got angry when the older two would get up, either. Kids do that shit. I was just shocked at his adorable defiance. It’s the first time he’s done it ever with us. It’s good to see him making cognitive progress.