You might not believe this, but I don’t just think about myself all the time. I can see where you’d get confused, since all I ever do is blather on about myself. But I really don’t spend all my time playing video games and reading about technology. Actually, as a stay-at-home dad, I spend most of my time taking care of two little kids. Since I usually just talk about myself and my interests on this blog, I thought it might be nice to spend a little time talking about my kids for a change. Plus, I couldn’t think of anything else to write about this week.
My eldest child is a boy, and he is five years old. As you may already know if you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, he has autism. Autism is a very strange thing. Trying to get him to put his socks on by himself is like pulling teeth from cats while you’re trying to herd them. It’s not that he can’t put his socks on, it’s just that he doesn’t want to, and it take an immense amount of persuasion to get him to, and he screams and cries the whole time. On the other hand, if you ask him to add two random numbers together, he’ll give you the answer almost immediately. It’s almost as if numbers are his native language, and English is something he’s just starting to learn.
But of course, there’s more to my son than simply the fact that he has autism. For example, he loves watching TV. Just like every kid! His favorite show right now is Yo Gabba Gabba!, which is a particularly bizarre children’s show on Nick Jr. Actually, my wife has always hated this show, so it irritated her immensely when our son became obsessed with it. But she has begrudgingly admitted that there’s nothing wrong with the show. It’s just very weird. But it’s also very repetitive and there’s a lot of music involved, both of which are things that my son loves.
My son also loves cats, which is good because we have two of them. They are sisters and they’re about a year old. My son greatly enjoys rolling on them. Fortunately, one of them seems to enjoy this behavior. Or she tolerates it, anyway. The other cat makes herself scarce whenever any kids are around, but hey, at least my son has one cat to return his excessive displays of affection.
My youngest child is a girl, who is almost two years old. As far as we know, she doesn’t have autism, but she’s still young enough that it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that she might have it. So far so good, though. She has a lot of words that she says and she’ll come out with new ones spontaneously, which is way beyond where my son was at this age. (When he was little, it was the fact that he wasn’t talking at all that eventually led us to discover that he had autism.)
Here’s an example of the cute things that she does. She’ll run up to me and yell “HI!” and when I say “hi” back to her she says “too cute!” and then I have to say “too cute” back to her and then she giggles hysterically and runs away. She also seems to think that she’s a dog. She’ll say “anh yanh yanh DOG!” which seems to translate into “I’m a dog!” Usually, I respond to this with “are you a dog?” at which point she says “woof woof woof!” It’s all very cute.
My daughter loves TV just as much or more than her brother, but unlike him, she’s not picky about what’s on. She pretty much just watches whatever he wants to watch, which is certainly convenient. I can’t wait until she’s old enough to develop her own tastes and they start fighting over what they want to watch.
She is pretty much a little blond whirlwind. She gets into just about everything. She loves to bang things on other things and see what kind of noises she can make. One of her favorite toys is the piano, because it makes all kinds of cool noises. She also likes to carry things. Anything that’s small enough to fit in her hand, she’ll carry around with her wherever she goes, at least until she finds something else that’s fun to carry.
Having kids is such a strange thing. They’re loud and obnoxious, they make messes, they take up free time, and they’re demanding. And yet, hearing a little voice say “I love you, Daddy” or having a little person snuggle up as if you’re the only thing in the world that they need just somehow makes it all worthwhile. I’ll be honest, there are times when I wish I had never had kids. But then there are times when I wouldn’t give them up for the world, and the latter times definitely make the former times worth it.
To be perfectly honest, I never really wanted kids in the first place. I just kind of assumed that I HAD to have kids, and by the time I realized otherwise, I was already married to a woman who really wanted kids. Not only did I not really want kids, but I certainly never wanted or expected to have a kid with special needs. I’ve always been pretty freaked out by people with special needs. But God works in mysterious ways, and he certainly doesn’t just give us what we want. And I am grateful for that.
So here we are. I have two kids where I didn’t really even want one, and one of them has special needs. I would like to say that I definitely am not going to have any more kids, but I’ve learned that it’s never wise to make plans like that, because God doesn’t often take our plans into account when making His own. So maybe there are more kids in my future. I certainly hope not, though. Two is definitely enough for me.