Sunday, March 21, 2010

A sad tangent

5a - Ronin waking. Met me at the door, then ran and bounded back into bed. I tucked him in and asked him WHY he asks for me just for this? I slept at the foot of his bed until I heard Nikko crying at 6a. So I switched rooms. I saw that Nikko had a bit of a bloody nose as evidenced from the smears on the bed sheet and a pillow. I got some tissues to blot, and Nikko was lying on his side waiting for me to turn out the nightlight and get in bed. While I was blotting the bed sheet, Nikko took his hand and tapped the pillow twice. I stopped and looked at him, wondering if he was really telling me to hurry up. He paused, then put his hand out and tapped the pillow twice again. I laughed because it seemed humorous. I turned the bloody pillow over so I wouldn't be laying in it, then chilled out with him until I heard Ronin wake up in another hour.

There was nothing spectacular going on during the day, until we got ready for the birthday get-together dinner at the Penepacker's for Atz's and Allie's birthdays. Nikko fell asleep on the way, and even after I carried him inside and put him on the couch he flipped over face down and kept napping. I knew that when he woke up, he'd be all about the crackers on the table instead of eating real food. Later, he'd be all about the cake. Of course, these two things came to pass. In the interim, I'd say the kids did pretty well over there. Ronin was very independent and played downstairs with Sabrina. Audrey was unusually clingy to me and hung out with the adults instead of exploring the basement. It wasn't until after Nikko's nap that he was interactive, and he wouldn't stay downstairs unless I or Denis was there. He got whiny over the crackers and I told him he'd get some cracker for every bite of nugget. It worked for a little while. After I released him, he was going crazy over a blue helium balloon and the others were cracking up as he jostled around with it. There was one instance, however, that evoked some thoughts later in my evening. I was coming to get Nikko to put on his shoes because we were going to leave soon, when I came across Sabrina at the stairwell. I could see Nikko laying on his tummy hanging around his cousins, who were playing with a new Playmobile Spinx toy that Allie got for her birthday.

Sabrina, who is the sweetest girl, said to me, "Tita Mich, can you come get Nikko...?"

"Sure, I was just coming to get him," I replied.

Then Sabrina continued in a smaller voice, "...because he's ruining...everything."

I called Nikko's name and he jumped up and bounded up to me, following me upstairs. He was probably playing with some of the figurines and pushing things around, not paying attention if someone told him no or to not touch something of theirs. Kids are generally honest and for Sabrina to tell me that Nikko was ruining everything felt like I got stabbed in the heart a little. (Sabrina is a wonderful niece and very bright, I have to add. She's very sensitive and loving, which made it all the more hard to hear.) It made me think about how other kids might see Nikko as a nuisance or hardheaded, and would not want to play with him because he doesn't get it yet. I know everyone prefers Ronin over Nikko because Ronin is verbal and articulate and a cute little boy, but my heart aches for Nikko because he is not aware of what he does yet. I worry that he will be ostracized in the future. It made me think about how his peers at the Westbrook School are probably taught to be compassionate because they are in an integrated class with other special needs kids, but what happens when Nikko is surrounded by those who are less compassionate? It made me think back to that kid in the airport that didn't like how Nikko was following him, so the kid announced that "That kid is weird!" I think I'm getting depressing thinking even more about this. So I'll stop for now.


  1. Melissa,

    He's tiny... so young. He doesn't need to be good at all those 'kid' things right now. He's got other battles to win first.

    He's doing so much internally at the moment, he'll be able to handle himself with his peers eventually, but he needs scaffolding right now.

    You are doing such a good job, don't be discouraged.

    (Your niece is obviously a beautiful compassionate girl too. It's great that she can ask, respectfully, for some play space.)


  2. Thank you, Val. You're right, he's still so young. I think the word "scaffolding" is a great visual for what I need to keep giving him. I don't know if anyone else thinks this way, when they hear things like that, or even takes them the way I did. Too sensitive? (Me, I mean). Yes, Sabrina is a very lovely, intelligent girl and I know she meant no harm at all. :)