Ask any parent who has two kids, one autistic and one not and they will most likely respond that one of their biggest worries outside of managing ASD is making sure that the other child feels equal in the love, attention and energy you can provide to your children.
I often worry about my little girl. She is the 5-year-old, very gregarious, dynamic drama queen and often a bit bossy younger sibling to T. I don’t think she is intentionally bossy. More likely that behaviour pattern comes out of her mirroring what we say or how we interact in working with T all the time. In order to create interest/action that really resonates with him and help him establish what the “rules” are within the house, socializing and day-to-day functioning, we are often repeating that same conversation.. That repetition has created a little girl monster… hands on her hips, blurting out statements like “T, Look in my eyes..good looking!” and “Good job T, I’m really proud of your smart decisions”.
She is wise beyond her years. An old soul.
I think all the time about what is going through her head?…How much she understands now that T is slightly different? When will she start asking those tough questions? When do we explain Autism to her?
Is she getting enough attention on her own or is she dramatic as her way of seeking attention we have been neglecting to provide her?
My belief is to make sure both our kids feel that infinite love we have for them and never that it’s some sort of competition on who carries mom or dad’s heart with them.
Which is why it was a welcome opportunity this past weekend to enjoy our very own girls weekend as dad and T went up to the cottage.
It was a lovely time spent shopping, cuddling on the couch, watching a movie, heading to a birthday party and stopping by a local street festival in the rain. An event that had my little girl shakin her bon bons and soaking up all the awesome music we were witnessing throughout the day. Couldn’t be more proud.
By Sunday, I was madly smitten with that little girl and wondered what I could do to make it a really lovely morning. So I hunted down a little heart shape mold and made her heart-shaped pancakes. She was thrilled and as we sat there eating our pancakes in the quiet of our house, I thought about how nice it was to just have a few minutes with just her and I…ssshhhh quiet…amazing..:) We might someday have up and down roller coaster relationships but for now, I will love that Bestie roll we are playing together.
and then she said “Mama, I love you…you make my heart so full…just like these pancakes”
I love you N…now pass the syrup.