Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Boog Boogie

The Boog loves music. He's always loved music. The first time I felt him move, I was blasting Coheed and Cambria while driving home from culinary school (don't judge, they remind me of driving to campgrounds with my family while my dad blasted judge my dad, haha). In the NICU, the only way the nurses could get him to stop screaming 24/7 was to play him this CD of cheesy instrumental versions of big band songs from one of the nurses' ballroom dancing class. During his early days the only way to keep him from beating me up while he was nursing was to sing to him. My favorite lullabies: Sweet Baby James by James Taylor and Rocky Raccoon by the Beatles, because who doesn't feel calmer when listening to a good tune about cowboys or barfights and drunken doctors, right?

I digress and the Peej is stirring...

Anyway, so Ry has always loved to listen to music, but recently he has started to dance when music is playing.

It is hilarious.

Not only is my son encumbered by white man's syndrome, he also has nystagmus which affects his balance and gross and fine motor delays, not to mention PDD/NOS which causes him to experience the world in a different way from most of humanity, so Lord knows what music sounds like to him or what he thinks he's actually doing when he's dancing...but his dance moves look something like this:

Twirl in circles. Stumble. Almost fall over. Recover and give a little hip shake to make the stumbling look intentional. Stomp foot three times. Emphatically. No seriously, guys, this is some no-nonsense foot stomping. Twirl in circles a few more times. Stumble again. Give up twirling and hold onto the TV stand for support. Shake hips several times. Stomp foot a few more times for good measure.

All of this is done with a very determined look on his face, because guys, come on, dancing is serious business, and God forbid we laugh at him at any point. I try not to laugh because I don't want to hurt his little feelings when he's trying SO hard...but seriously, who could help it?

I blame Ellen.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Boog and Peej

Hello gentle readers! I apologize for the lengthy hiatus from blog writing, but I, well you know, had a baby and all, and in case you didn't know, let me tell you that caring for a newborn and toddler at the same time is a bit time-consuming (as in you need about 36 hours to get everything you need to get done in a 24 hour period) and mentally taxing (as in I actually forgot my own last name when I was signing a [very late] check to the power company a few weeks back...and yes it was printed on the top of the check...), so blogging was kind of on a back burner for awhile.

So, today I'd like to regale you with tales of the Boog and the Peej. Peej is my daughter (real name Pippa Jane, but she's rarely ever called that around here), 7 weeks old and HUGE! She is the sweetest, funniest, chubbiest little girl in the world. What's more, she sleeps! I mean, she SLEEPS! She started sleeping through the night last week. I woke up the first morning she did that, 8 hours after falling asleep, and went, "What the WHAT?!" Anyway...

Some of you may recall that I had a certain amount of trepidation at the thought of Boog becoming a big brother. He had been less than gentle with his baby dolls (as in, 'Hello, Miss Baby Doll, would you enjoy a flight across the room without an airplane?') and I feared that did not bode well for the Peej. Well, I have since learned, that, duh Mom, the Boog knows the difference between a baby-powder scented baby-shaped block of plastic and an actual baby, and my fears have been (mostly) put to rest.

Mostly Boog seems fascinated and confused by Baby Sister. He spends a lot of time standing in front of her staring at her. If I was Peej, this would probably freak me right out as it's some seriously horror-movie-kid creepy kind of stuff, but Peej seems unfazed. The whole staring thing was possibly to be expected, but what I did not expect was how tender and considerate he would be with her.

Autistic kids are not known for their empathy skills, but Boog has always transcended that stereotype by being remarkably aware of other people's emotions despite his lack of communication skills. I did not, however, expect him to be able to relate to a newborn who doesn't act like a reasonable adult. I should really stop expecting him to do or not do things...

He brings her things when she cries. Let me say that again. He BRINGS her things when she cries. He brings her his favorite books and holds them up for her to look at. He brings her his Tickle-me-Elmo and holds him to her face so he can "kiss" her like Boog likes to do to himself. Once, he even brought her his very favorite thing in the world: his grey/blue fuzzy security blanket and spread it over her legs. It's completely shocking and awesome every time he does something like this. It shows that 1. that he's aware of how she feels 2. that he connects her crying with how he feels when he cries and 3. that he wants to help her feel better and connects that with what he does to make himself feel better. It's such a complex and socially advanced thing for him to do, but it seems so natural when he does it. He's a great big brother.

The other day, I left the living room to use the bathroom and Peej was in the bouncy chair and Boog was reading next to her. I came back to find him kissing her face. Granted, Boog kisses consist of him pushing his face really hard into yours until he's decided you've had enough, but regardless of the odd manner in which he kisses, the fact is that he was doing it...completely unprompted...and he was able to break his attention away from his beloved books to do it. Again, shocking and awesome.

Yes, he does spend a good portion of time ignoring her, and yes he does steal her baby blankets and Boppy (sometimes right from on top of her or out from under her) sometimes, so don't think he's the world's most amazing big brother or anything. Except he is, to me, because he's able to overcome such massive obstacles to connect with a being who makes no effort to connect with him.

I love this kid.