It's Very Hard

There are some things I never thought I'd be excited to witness my children do.  I'm not talking about those little things they accomplish that only truly obnoxious parents consumed with their own child's "superior" intellect care anything about--I knew I'd be excited about those things--'cause let's face it, at times, we're all most definitely that parent.

I was arguer extraordinaire from an early age.  Those of you who know me will not be shocked.  I had some great one-liners too.  Around 2.5, upon being sent to time out, I told my mother that she was so mean she belonged in Satan's family.  She figured that was the only way I knew how to tell her to go to Hell.

Spencer's personality has always been a bit of a puzzler, in that, he certainly gives us a run for our money (much like I pushed the limits), but in some ways he hasn't seemed "like" me at all.  For example, he takes longer to warm up in social situations (though he's not at all shy once he knows you well).  And that has made him seem more like his daddy (who his parents claim never needed one spanking!).  So, it always seemed that the parallelisms ended there.  I know that children are not exactly like one parent or the other when it comes to personality, appearance, or anything else; but so many things about Spencer resembled me as a little girl, that the few things that were different have always puzzled me.

Lately, as we've learned more about his speech disorder, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (somewhat of a misnomer, because it does not go away after childhood), I've begun to wonder how much more he would have appeared to have a personality more similar to mine had he not been been coping with his extra speech challenges.  In some ways, it makes me sad and concerned for his little personality, worried that on some rudimentary level his CAS has changed who he would have been as a person.  Other days I know that he feels loved and known, and we have always displayed the utmost desire to understand him, even when his articulation has made it difficult.

At the same time, I have to make a conscious decision to not allow behavior that is unacceptable just because I could imagine a scenario in which his speech issue is part of the cause of his frustration in that particular situation.  Can't be too strict--the kid has a hard time expressing himself verbally.  Can't be too lenient--hoping he is coming to understand social and moral norms of our family and faith at a rate which is appropriate for his age.  When it's put that way, it's  basically every parent's challenge with their child.

So, you'll now understand a little bit of why I was so excited when two days ago I told him to do something he didn't want to do and he looked me right in the eye and said, "Very hard, Mommy!"  I immediately flashed back to a few days before when I had asked him if he could find the brown bag in my room and bring it to me in the living room.  My room was a huge mess, and I think he really was having a hard time finding it.  He came in and out a few times, and finally came in and said, "Brown bag--very hard!"  So, I smiled at his cute explanation and went in and got it myself.

Well, apparently he remembered that saying something is very hard gets Mommy to do it for you.  So, when he told me that picking up the carrots he'd purposely dropped all over the floor was "very hard, Mommy!" I smiled and laughed (which probably was not the most prudent reaction), but I was so relieved and encouraged to have my child arguing with me--in English, not body language or screaming.  Thank God it wasn't more screaming!  [Let me just insert that my language developed very typically, but I also did a lot of screaming.  Right on up to thirteen or so years of age].

For the past two days, when asked to do something he doesn't want to do, he tells us it's very hard.  And he wants me to say what I told him the first time he said that, "Yes, I know it's very hard; but I know you can do it!"  He has also started making creative excuses which place the blame on something besides himself.  When he didn't heed my request to stay out of his Gig's dining room, I walked in to find him staring at the Christmas tree, holding his Little People baby cow.  I told him to come out of there, and he told me that "Baby cow want to see Christmas tree."  Makes the term my "baby" boy so much more appropriate.  He's certainly simultaneously both a baby and a boy.  And now he's one who argues with the excuse that I'm asking something too difficult of him and places the blame on inanimate objects needing something in the off-limits room at Gigi's house.  Hooray!

1 comment:

What do you think?