Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The green eyed monster

I've bored everyone enough talking about Bike Camp (you can read about it here, here and here) so I'll switch gears and take a minute to talk about my daughter, Lizzy.  She was really upset that Alex had all this face time with me while at Camp and she didn't.  And it's something that's a reoccurring theme in our house.  

From her point of view it goes a little like this: Alex spends time with mom.  Mom spends time with Alex.  Mom loves Alex more than me.  I hate Alex.  End of story.

She's five, what did you expect?

Lizzy's old enough to see that I do spend an inordinate amount of time schlepping Alex to all of his therapies.  She sees that as time away from her.  Even when I bring the her with me to an appointment it's the sheer fact that we're there for Alex, and not her, that gets her goat.  She's jealous. 

She's not old enough yet to know that what we're doing with Alex, all the appointments, therapies, social groups---it's all work for him.  Hard work.  She only sees that I'm spending time with him and that equates in a five year old mind to me loving him more.  

And I hate that she picks up on it and perceives it that way. 

I've had a talk with her, one about how her brother's different and some things like tying a shoe or throwing a ball are hard for him.  She hastily responded, "Well, mom, I already know that!" like I'm an idiot.  She's not quite grasped the understanding that Alex's differences require extra time and extra work.  She's not quite there in understanding that my love for her is not dependent on face time. 

We do manage to do things, just the two of us.  We go to the park and catch butterflies.  We go to Dairy Queen.  She paints my toes a bright I'm a hooker pink and I smile, say I love it and wear it for weeks.  We walk the neighborhood and count the fountains.  I secretly think she does that just so she can come back and tell Alex how many we saw and gloat.  Just to get under his skin, cheeky little girl. 

But she's just not there with the understanding.  I know one day she will be.  She'll love him as fiercely as I do.  But right now she wants to kick the daylights out of him and in some ways I don't blame her.  I'd be a little pissed too if my mom spent more time with my brother. 

And that's one of the many ways this thing called autism, SPD, whatever you call it or what ever you have, spreads like a nebulous cancer and affects us all.   


  1. What a sweet piece! Lizzy is gorgeous! I don't think I've seen a picture of her before. You're right that eventually she will come to understand what is happening and the love for her brother will trump the jealousy with mama's guidance.

    You have to step over the anger for the autism because it will take hold of you too - and zap your energy. Save up- cuz after all that driving for therapies you need your energy so you can strut your hot pink toenails!! ;)

  2. We did a whole lot of therapies for Joey (who is now 3) at home from the time he was 13 months until he aged out of the program and we had a 2 month break from all the therapies and he started preschool. I loved about having the therapists come to the house was they always brought stuff for my daughter (who is now 5). We also brought her along to all the doctors appointments (she's now in school during most of the appointments and for that I'm thankful). The doctors offices always gave her whatever they gave Joey.......suckers, stickers, toys, stuffed animals........We are very fortunate that she thinks that her brother is pretty awesome......Which I can see why..he's the one getting all the needle sticks and SHE gets a prize for just coming along. It's a win win for her.

  3. @ Karen V.--thanks, she's cute but I'm totaly biased. ;) I'm not angry as much as just sad that sometimes she has to deal with this too. She's so sweet and loving, I hate to see her down.

    @ Rebecca--we used to have the therapists come to our house but stopped as he got into school all day--we LOVED it. They were part of the family and got that the siblings were just as important. You're docotor's offices (and kids) rock for understanding!!!

  4. I'm not biased and I think she's adorable too!! She also sounds so so sweet!! I'm sorry things are a little tricky with her at the moment and I hope they get easier. I *love* that you rock the I'm a hooker pink nail polish!! That's awesome! I'm sure she'll understand soon, sounds like she's halfway there already. Good luck!!

  5. Wow. Reading this brought back a ton of memories. Cody, my autistic son, is the oldest of four. Katelyn is my youngest child and my only girl.

    You are right. There will come a day, probably sooner than you think, when Lizzy will be understanding and protective of her brother. Although Katelyn is only nineteen and ten years younger than Cody, she acts like his second mother.

    Keep doing the "hooker pink" nail polish and stuff she likes. You are a great mom. I'm sure of it. :)

  6. That is so hard. Tough on you all. Lizzie is absolutely gorgeous and she is only 5. Hopefully things will get easier. You can only do your best.

    xx Jazzy

  7. Lizzie is beautiful, and sounds like she has a great personality. I mean, hooker pink? Come on! Some day she will get it and love her brother, too.

    Curious now how many fountains you have in your neighbourhood. Know how many fountains I have in my neighbourhood? Zip. Zero. Actually I can't even think off the top of my head where the nearest fountain would be...hmph!

  8. I just realized that your family is much like my sister- and brother-in
    -laws....7 year old boy on the spectrum and an NT 5 year old girl. They struggle with this constantly. It can't help but affect them but it sounds like you are handling it splendidly. There will a whole subculture someday of siblings of ASD kids and won't they have stories to tell :)

  9. Thanks guys!

    @Christine-we have 2 main fountains and one in a cul-de-sac. On private property there are about 15-20 within walking distance. Crazy, right?? KC is apparently known for its fountains so they're everywhere--Alex LOVES it and I almost wrecked the car ond day when he screamed so loud--he found a new one!

  10. She's adorable! I know it must be challenging, and someday soon she will understand. I think the nice thing is that she so wants your time and attention. That will end someday, so I suppose, although it's difficult, at least you can enjoy being the center of her universe.


Comments make me all squishy but remember to be nice. If you're not nice then what you said goes *poof.* There's your warning.