Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Playing dress up

I had the one-year-old this evening. He likes to play with shoes, taking his off and putting on other people's. On multiple occasions he has put my shoes on, or the twelve-year-old's. Tonight, in a new twist, he wanted me to tie the shoes after he had put them on to his feet. Then he walked around with a big grin on his face, struggling to avoid tripping over the shoes. My shoes are huge on him--like clown shoes at the circus.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Surprise requests

I got two surprise requests from my oldest son last night.

When I picked him up from his mom's house that he wouldn't be able to go to Boy Scouts tonight because "I have to finish my homework." Now, I'm not going to argue with him when he wants to do his homework. In the past years, we pretty much concluded that getting him to do homework was a battle that cost us more than it was worth. But I hate to see him missing Boy Scouts, and I certainly don't want to see skipping Scouts for homework become a regular thing. Scouts is one of the few activities that we've found that really gets him excited and engaged. And now I've gone off and signed up for Wood Badge, in which I make my own long term commitments to Scouting. Hopefully we can get him to do his homework early on Mondays.

The other surprise came when I asked him what he wanted to do for his mother's birthday (which is Wednesday). He said maybe we (he and his brothers) could give mom a break by coming over to your house for an evening. I'm sure that his mom would really appreciate that. I hadn't expected him to suggest something that was going to impose a personal cost on me though. But I don't want to turn down such a genuine and well-meant idea. So I'm going to be going along with the idea. I hope she appreciates it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wreaking havoc

I took all three boys last night, as a favor to my ex. Normally I only have one on Wednesday nights (I alternate between the two younger boys). It amazes me how quickly they can mess things up. The oldest one threw up in the bathroom (I think he coughed too hard, he has a really light gag reflex), used paper towels to wipe it up, and then tried to flush the paper towels down the toilet which clog it up. Meanwhile, the youngest one was in the living room where he managed to rip loose a strip of carpeting that was tacked to the step -- my living room is one step down from the rest of the house. Surprisingly, the eight-year-old didn't make any major messes during the evening.

I had the eight-year-old set the table again, and just like last time the one-year-old was insistent that he be allowed to set the table also. I let him take his own plastic plate, fork, and class to the table. It continues to surprise me how much he wants to "help". Not used to that from children.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Setting the table

I've been working on teaching the eight-year-old to set the table for meals. He seems to grasp the concept, but it still takes a lot of prompting to get plates, silverware, and napkins into the right place (I'm not having him do water glasses yet). Tonight I had him set the table for dinner again.

The one-year-old saw what we were doing, and he wanted to help too. He REALLY wanted to help. So I gave him his plastic plate, fork, and a napkin to take over to his high chair and put on the tray. I'm continually amazed at how the one-year-old imitates and wants to be a part of whatever his older brothers and I are doing. I remember hearing that kids were supposed to be like this, but my two older one weren't. Especially the eight-year-old. At this age he rarely even seemed aware that other people were doing things at all.

Turning twelve...

The eleven-year-old turned twelve yesterday. We had a family birthday party for him at Round Table Pizza, like we've done for years. We made repeated requests/suggestions for a birthday event with friends, but he didn't seem to want one. I'm kind of sad about that. I hope it is his autism showing up and he really didn't want one, and not a case of him being too uncomfortable to tell us what he wanted to do and figure out who to invite. I can imagine him choosing not to have a party because he was too anxious about deciding who to invite, or afraid no one would come. Hopefully I'm projecting that.

At the pizza place, the one-year-old and the eight-year-old were both constantly running away from the table. They both liked to go to the video game alcove and sit at the racing game, playing with the steering wheel. The one-year-old has recently started requesting the "race car" shopping carts when we go to the grocery store. Then the eight-year-old started going out the side door to grab leaves of the plants growing outside. He went to the bathroom a couple of times. One time he came out with his pants and underwear down around his ankles. I yelled for him to pull up has pants and started over to him. By the time I caught up with him he was out on the sidewalk. He had pulled up his underwear, but his pants were still around his knees. While I was out chasing the him, the one-year-old (who is actually 22 months old now, so almost two) managed to get the side door open without anyone noticing. When we realized that no one knew where he was, he was climbing down the stairs, heading toward the sidewalk on a very busy street.

After we got everyone inside, I said "now I remember why I stopped trying to take them places by myself." My ex-wife's mother (is there a correct term for my relationship to her now? Ex-mother-in-law?) said that when she and my ex took the younger two to Cannon Beach, Oregon (while the twelve-year-old was off at Boy Scout camp) they had a lot of trouble with the boys running off in different directions.

Glad to know that it isn't just me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The one year old and a guinea pig

Last week my ex and I decided that the guinea pig should come to live in my house. The one year old is fascinated with the guinea pig and wants to carry it all over the house. He dropped the pig and not one of her teeth out. My ex was afraid greater injury might have occurred as well. If Mini (the guinea pig's name is Mini Cooper) is at my house, a one-year-old will have far fewer opportunities to pick her up and cause damage.

Tonight was the first night that the one-year-old came over since Mini moved to my house. He was very excited to play with her. I let them take her out of the cage. He would sit and pet her. Then every minute or so he wanted to pick her up and move her somewhere else. I got some very cute pictures of him sitting next to the pig, or with the pig in his lap. Every time he picked it up he would start to walk off and I would tell him if you're going to hold that pig, you have to sit down.

Finally I just gave up, sat down on the floor, and held the pig on my lap. The one year old would point to places where he thought she should go, but he didn't try to move her himself.it will be interesting to see how he does with her all this weekend.