Sunday, November 15, 2009

Two Years Ago

Abby's little brother, Bean (his nickname), was born at the end of October in 2007. She was so sweet when she visited us in the hospital. She was only 2 years, 4 months old and we were still being told she was just "strong willed". She barely spoke anything except to repeat what she heard us say. What we learned later was called echolalia. When she came into the hospital room to meet her brother, she climbed into bed with me and said that Bean was "sooo cute". I was terrified to have a brand new baby and a "strong willed" two-year old. But when Abby declared that her new baby brother was "sooo cute" I knew we would figure it out and that everything was going to be ok. More than ok... we'd be great.

Abby & Bean are great friends. He's starting to annoy her more and more these days, but she is learning to stand up for herself and I've realized that in many ways, Beanie will be her greatest friend and teacher. It's with him that she is learning how to be social. How to battle for what she wants and for what she needs. He makes her laugh and I think he pushes her to try new things and have more faith in her own abilities. Bean already speaks quite well for his age and says five new things everyday. I wonder if Abby's verbal growth this Summer had as much to do with her brother's talking as much as the therapies she had at school, too.

I'm learning a lot from Bean, too. Like that parenting is hard. Period. Having a special needs child for my first child, I assumed that most of our trials and tribualtions had to do with Abby's Autism. I was wrong. Bean challenges our patience daily and I tell you... when he looks me in the eye as he rips another leaf off of the house plant I just told him to be "gentle" with... the vein in my neck bulges and I think to myself, "he is soooo lucky that he is so freakin' cute!" Because, man oh man! It's a lot easier to keep your patience when you know that the behavior can be partially blamed on Autism. With a typical kid... not so much! Time outs are a frequent occurance in our home these days. And Abby is just the innocent bystander. For once... she is my easy child.

Oh, the terribly terrific two's.

(this is what most of the photos of the two of them together look like...
constantly moving and I'm too lazy to look up the correct setting to capture them.
One of these days...)


Kerri said...

My kids are the same way! Best friends and yet he knows exactly how to drive Emily crazy! We've noticed a great improvement in Em as well since Jack became verbal. At 3, some of his language skills have surpassed Em's, but I truly believe this has helped her. He's having some trouble "dealing" with Emily not really playing with him and it's hard to watch, but they are both learning from each other. You're right that it's a good thing he is cute, otherwise he'd be in A LOT of trouble!

Dani G said...

YES! Your Beanie is totally like a little PLAY project (DIR/floortime) for Abby! His very presence is going help her in so many ways. It's really one of the reasons I want another baby. Just someone to be there for Brodie and help her on this journey. It's just all the other stuff (fears) that keep me from doing it. Sigh. Abby is learning things for your Bean that you don't even know about or think about- just by watching him.
And parenting IS really hard. Like, really really really hard. Good thing we look so good doing it!!