Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's hard to explain why an older brother with autism acts like he doesn't like his five year old brother. It's even hard for me to understand at times. That's been the topic of conversation Andrew have shared multiple times over the last few days. He's become more observant than I ever gave him credit for. Maybe he's getting older and wiser, or perhaps his heart has been broken enough times to put the pieces together.
Today he comes to me again and tells me Clee doesn't love him. I tell him Clee loves him very much, but it's hard for him to show it. He begins to list all the reasons why he knows Clee hates him.

These are the following reasons:

He tries to get involved in the game of chase Clee has prompted Emme to start, but Clee tries his very best to pretend Andrew is not there.

He broke the arms off of Slimer. (nnnnoooooooo!!!!!!!)

Clee wants a piece of candy opened up. No one will do it for him. He starts to cry. Andrew comes to the rescue! He opens it up and gives it to Clee. Clee throws it on the floor. I pick it back up and give it to him again. He gladly takes it with a smile. That should have been Andrew's smile.

He sees Clee lining up his cars and Andrew joins in with his new ecto1. As soon as Andrew sits, Clee picks up his cars, puts them in their bucket and goes somewhere else to line them up.

Clee wants Emme to jump on his new trampoline with him, but Emme is too engrossed with wii resort and asks Andrew to do it. "Sure! I'll jump with you, Clee!" Andrew jumps on the trampoline just as fast as Clee pushes Andrew to the floor.

When he tries to hug Clee, he just squirms away, but he sees me and Emme hug Clee all of the time and he never runs away from them.


I tell him that:

Yes, Clee does squirm away from mine and Emme's hugs almost every time, we've just learned to be persistent.

That he wants Emme on the side of the trampoline when he's jumping -not on it with him like Andrew was trying to do.

When Clee is lining up anything, he doesn't want to be bothered at all. Period.

Clee usually prefers to get things done for him by adults. Don't ask me why.

Everyone in this family has had something of theirs broken by Clee. Either hide it from him or get used to it.

And the game of chase... well. I didn't know what to tell him about that one.

I told him these wise words from Fiel. Clee sees Emme as a someone he knows will take care of him, and Andrew isn't old enough for that kind of responsibility yet and to savor it, because like Emme he'll soon be helping me out with Clee for years to come.

Lastly I told him that Clee's way of telling Andrew that he loves him is when Clee comes up right to his face and gives him a big smile.

These words of comfort helped a little, but he still insists that his big brother hates him. I can only assume he's not the only child who thinks that way. Autism or not.
There will come a day when Andrew will realize that Clee doesn't hate him, but in fact he loves him unconditionally, right? And they are blessed to have one another, right?
Right?? Am I right here?
These types of conversations wear me out, y'all. I never know what to say. Let's face it, I'm no Danny Tanner. One of these days, I'll either be crowned as mother of wisdom by my children, deemed mother who failed in pep talks, or somewhere in the middle. I'm guessing somewhere in the middle. Only time will tell.


Grandma Gerri said...

I'm sure he does love Andrew even if it doesn't feel like it some times. I think the answers you gave were very wise. One day Andrew probably won't be the smallest brother and that might make all the difference to Clee. Right now it just doesn't seem so. We all know that Andrew is a fantastic brother to Clee and Clee will realize it too.

Meg said...

You are an auh-maaa-zing mom! I would have completely drawn a blank on what to tell my kid. I probably would have cried. You are smart and compasionate and I am sure Andrew is happy to have a mom that helps him to make sence of life with his older brother. Props to Nat!

chaffinclan said...

Poor Andrew. Methinks Clemon has had a case of the jealouses since Andrew's birth.

chaffinclan said...

You are so wise in your old age. I agree with Tice. Clee's always been jealous of baby Andrew.