But I talk about that all the time. Today, I want to say how impressed I am by siblings of special needs kids. To those sweet spirits who get dragged around to waiting rooms and entertain themselves while their mom takes notes on therapy, or talks to yet another doctor.
My typically developing son amazes me. Not because everything comes easy for him, but because he has stepped so willingly into the role of personal aide that I never thought about him needing to take on.
To give some examples:
1. When Ryan was 3, I asked him to watch Chelsea and keep her safe while I had a shower. AND HE DID.
2. Even before he was 2 years old, he took on the role of translator when people couldn't understand Chelsea. I guess all that sitting in on speech therapy helped his verbal abilities!
3. He is constantly explaining things to her step by step. By 3 years old, I would hear him saying, "Okay, Chelsea, we need to get dressed. So what do we do first? Right! Let's choose clothes. Don't pinch your fingers in the dresser drawer."
4. I was very sick when Ryan was 4 and Chelsea 6, and he made her a sandwich with cottage cheese and applesauce as sides, then entertained her for an hour.
5. He plays on her level, and teaches patiently (most of the time, they ARE still siblings, after all!). Over and over and over.
6. He treats her just like anyone else! I love this one, since so many people will flip on the "poor baby, let me give you everything you want because you are disadvantaged" mode. Ryan will get mad at her for annoying him, and treats her as an equal, not someone to be pitied.
7. He ends up playing by himself a lot, and understands that while Mom and Dad give him as much attention as they can, but they need to help Chelsea a great deal of the time.
8. After I measure out her seizure medication, Ryan is sometimes the ONLY one who can administer it to Chelsea without her freaking out. And he will!
9. He is very accepting of others' differences, particularly speech impairments. I have heard him say things like, "That's okay, my sister doesn't talk either." Besides, he talks enough for 3 kids, so it works out.
10. He is fiercely protective of Chelsea. When Chelsea was getting teased by a boy 3 years older than Ryan, Ryan jumped in and told the boy to leave his sister alone, or he would punch him. Then he took Chelsea's hand to go play somewhere else.
11. He still does all the typical brotherly duties. Like teaching her to say "Pick nose" with actions included.