Monday, April 12, 2010

Goopiness / My feelings :(

Nikko wasn't in the greatest of spirits today, partly due to his goopy eye. Did I mention this yet? Two weeks ago Ronin had some goopy eye thing going and it lasted for three or four days. Then I think I wore my contacts way too long and I got the goopy eye thing. Yesterday Nikko had goopiness in his left eye, and today it looks like both. And today, Audrey developed the goopiness. It looks rather irritating, and I think Nikko was sullen at the dinner party we went to at Maggiano's this evening because of it. The kids behaved pretty well except toward the end of dinner when Audrey melted down, signalling our emminent departure. Another late bedtime, just by an hour. I feel like I spent a lot of time today changing Nikko's diaper for some reason.

I've got something I forgot to post the other day. I was shopping at IKEA a few days ago with my 3 kids and my sister. I took Nikko to check out some kid rugs and pillows while Ronin & Audrey played in an area set up with kid furniture, tunnels, rocking chairs and a train table. When I came back to the area, I saw Ronin playing at the train table with another little boy that was probably younger. The mom of the boy asked me, “How old is your son?” “He’s two and a half,” I replied, “and this one [Nikko] is three and a half, and that one [Audrey] is one and a quarter.” The mom said, “Two and a half. Wow! He is very articulate! I can’t believe how well he speaks.” Suddenly I became uncomfortably aware that Nikko, holding my hand, was babbling incoherently or saying something that sounded like he was speaking Mandarin Chinese. I felt embarrassed that Nikko wasn’t talking well and I didn’t want her to hear him speaking in tongues, so I thanked her and told Ronin that we were leaving now, all while tucking Nikko closer to my side and ushering him away from the train table as quickly as I could. We left, and I felt really ashamed of my feelings. The mom was really nice and wasn’t digging or judging at all, and was paying Ronin a great compliment. But my initial reaction was dread that I would have to explain why Nikko wasn’t up to par, that he had a speech delay as well as developmental delays all folded into autism… I know that I didn’t owe anyone an explanation for Nikko. I’ve been in grocery stores with all three kids and Nikko would start whining and crying, making a scene and I’d brace my backbone for any offhand remarks or stares that might come my way, and not even look around me just so I could focus on the task at hand and get us out of there. I’d chalk up the experience to doing what you gotta do and just dealing with it. But in this situation, I was totally caught off-guard by MY OWN actions, how I wanted to get away from this nice lady in case she started asking questions about Nikko, who wasn’t doing anything wrong except being himself. What upsets me is that I was embarrassed about Nikko being different, almost apologetic. I feel like I cheated him by not saying how terrific he is, even though the moment was about Ronin. I’m not even sure where I’m going with this, but I feel like I failed Nikko by not wanting to draw attention to him, next to his very articulate brother. :(

1 comment:

  1. Aww, (((Hugs))). I know how you feel. Feelings come and go and they may change as your kids grow older and they too change their ways of how they act in public, etc... I too have always wondered if other parents notice the differences of my kiddos. Although I'm always happy to welcme any parent who has questions or might look strangely at my son with autism or even my daughter (she has a hemangioma on her forehead). Trust me we get looks all the time! But I'd rather a parent ask me questions instead of ignoring us. It shows that they too are aware and also accepting and willing to learn about others differences.