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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Free Donkey Rides At The Essary Zoo

My kids played together most of the day today.  This was really exciting for us, because they don't always play together and sometimes when they do it leads to bloodshed.  I remember when we enrolled Korban in his special needs preschool at age 3, I had just found out I was pregnant with Selah.  I remember talking to his teachers about it, and being worried about how Korban would handle a sibling.  They told me that almost every kid they taught had siblings (which was reassuring--I figured that if other parents could do it maybe I could too) and that they all did fine.  They said that most of the parents biggest complaint was the child with autism didn't interact much with their siblings.  Fast forward several months later to Selah arriving on the scene, and let's just say Korban noticed her all right.  Noticed, and cried incessantly when he saw her for the first time and even more when we actually brought her home from the hospital.  He was very jealous of me holding her and nursing her and it was a tough time.  But we made it.  And sometimes, he even acts like he loves her.  ;)  No really, he has come a long way.  He does interact with her, but he is sadly lacking in age appropriate play.  Simply put, she wants him to play with her, he wants to play with her, but he just doesn't always know how.  And when they do play together, somebody better be close by keeping an eye on them because he is rough with her and could hurt her.  Also, she is a typical little sister is the fact that she knows how to push his buttons and is usually brave enough to do that, even if she knows it won't end well for her.  But today, my kids played together.  They both played rough but no one got hurt.  We got home from church this morning and I was in a rush, putting some sandwiches together for a bridal shower at church this afternoon.  I was at the kitchen table making sandwiches when I hear Selah say "Look Mommy, I'm riding an animal!" And I look up and see Korban on all-fours crawling by with Selah perched atop his back.  They were both laughing and it was very cute.  They chased each other, and she rode his back, and he pulled her around by her sweater on the floor.  That last one worried me, but she thought it was hilarious and my floor is cleaner now.  Korban riding Selah around on his back was their favorite thing.  I asked Korban what kind of animal he was and he said "a donkey."  Selah said he was an elephant but he insisted that he was a donkey.  He kept saying "ride the donkey!" and she would hop on his back and off he would go.  It looks so funny because she's tall and her feet nearly drag the ground.  When they got done with that, he would sit on her.  Seriously.  He has a poor sense of space, and he doesn't always understand how hard he is grabbing at someone.  Basically he isn't able to tell exactly where he's at in relation to other people and he spends a lot of time trying to orient himself by running up and bouncing off of us and doing things like that.  I have to be vigilant in watching him with Selah because she is small, and he will quite literally sit on her, lay on her, push her down on the couch, etc.  He doesn't have to be mad to do this, he does it when they are getting along and trying to pay together.  I always explain to him that he can't do that because he will squish her.  Actually, my exact words to him are usually "Korban, don't squish her guts out!"  I don't know why I chose those words, but today it came back to haunt me.  He was squeezing Selah and trying to sit on her and she yelled "Stop it, Toe-ban.  You squishing my nuts out!"  Oh my.  And she said it repeatedly.  Apparently she can't say "guts" but "nuts" comes out loud and clear.  Of course it does.

This evening I was getting ready to give the kids a bath and put them to bed when Korban ran to his daddy crying and saying "Change clothes! Change clothes!"  This is nothing out of the ordinary.  He absolutely freaks if he gets a drop of food or liquid on his clothes.  He can't stand the sensation and immediately wants to change.  Before I finish this story, let me further illustrate this point by telling another story.  I left Korban at the kitchen table eating applesauce the other day and went to the laundry room to grab some clothes out of the dryer.  In a few minutes he came in there crying and wanting to change clothes because he dropped a little applesauce on his shorts.  Korban is very dependent on me, and I'm trying to help him be more independent.  Since it was only a small splotch, I explained to him that Mommy's hands were busy and that if he wanted his clothes changed he would have to go do it himself.  He is just now learning to dress himself.  He whined for a few more minutes, but I just kept on folding clothes and he eventually went on his way.  When I finished in the laundry room I found him at the table, calmly finishing his applesauce.  I thought to myself that I had handled that well and that he had obviously decided that if he was actually going to have to change his clothes himself, the applesauce on his shorts wasn't such a big deal.  I sat down beside him and told him good job.  He finished off his applesauce and asked for some more.  Still on a high from handling the clothes situation so well, I told him to go get more applesauce out of the fridge himself and I would help him open it.  He hopped up to do my bidding, and my jaw dropped.  He was butt naked from the waist down. Oh, he had solved the problem alright!  He had just taken off the clothes that were bothering him.  Now a small splotch of applesauce is enough to trigger a meltdown, but naked, he's totally fine with.  *Sigh*  That's gotta count for a little bit of problem solving skills, though, right?

Back to tonight.  Korban left Selah and ran to his dad crying to change clothes.  I heard Brad ask him how his shirt got wet.  He didn't have a drink or anything.  I was in the next room and I asked Brad if they spilled something on the floor and Korban rolled over in it.  Brad said no, that they didn't have anything to spill.  He kept asking Korban where he got the water from and Korban wasn't answering.  I asked Brad if Korban wet his pants, and he said no and told me that Korban's pants were fine and the back of his shirt was the only thing that was wet.  I started to have a sinking suspicion.  "Check Selah!" I told him.  He did, and found our culprit.  Our potty-training little sis had peed on her big bro during a piggyback (donkeyback?) ride.  Korban was not impressed.  Good thing I was planning on putting them in the bath soon anyway.  We got all the mess taken care of.  I told them I was proud they had played together and had fun today.  I was worried our donkey would retire after that whole incident, but he didn't.  He does have a new rule though:  all passengers must wear Pull-Ups.

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