Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chris the stepfather

My two brothers and I are all married with kids now, which I think is a sort of milestone for our parents. Given the generational dynamics of parenting, I have to think it's fun for them to watch us do it, to see themselves mirrored in us, and to see where we've chosen to deviate from what we learned from them. We were just visiting them last week, and I think J and I put on a good show, partly because I put a heavy emphasis on amusing myself, and I'm hilarious.

At one point J and I were talking about wind.
Chris: Oh yeah? How do you know what the wind's doing when you don't feel it or hear it?
J: Then it's not there!
Chris: Oh, look who knows so much!
J: ...Is that Chris-language for "wrong"?
He knows me so well.

Another time we were riding in the car. If J has any sort of typical Aspie-like obsessive thing, it's computer time: once he gets some, he'll jones after it in a really annoying way. So he interrupted whatever boring grown-up conversation was happening.
J: I'm going to tell a story now. Once, there was a blonde-haired boy who wanted more computer time.
I couldn't resist.
Chris: Was the blonde-haired boy being really passive-aggressive about it?
Which sadly went over his head, but I thought it was awesome.

We can take a little getting used to. I tried to get him quelled for sleeping, which is a dodgy proposition sometimes anyway, and this particular time we did things out of order: more than a neurotypical kid, J relies on a consistent order of events and gets tripped up when the order changes. (It will, for example, be a while before he's adaptable enough that we can take him on a vacation to a foreign country.)

Beyond the re-ordering, though, he was just fidgety and cranky that night, so I gave up and came upstairs to the living room to hand off the quelling to Anna.

I said, "Crabby little bastard. No idea what his problem is." My mother, a kind and gentle soul, sort of stared at me: I obviously love J very much, so those seem like harsh words. Rather than addressing the language issue, I waited for Anna to come back shortly, knowing what was coming. Sure enough, she returned, having experienced the same failure I did.
"Crabby little mofo. Oh well."

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