Thursday, May 22, 2014

NT Girls are Easy!

On Monday I had the pleasure of babysitting my friend's delightful 4-year-old daughter, and I learned some striking things about neurotypical children:

1) They're interactive. Little D and I had conversations all day. Like, I would ask her what she wanted to play with and she would tell me. Even more excitingly, she would say my name to get my attention (I totally melted at the way she called me "Miss Meredith" in her adorable little 4-year-old voice) and then ask me questions. Getting information out of Ryan, as you know, takes quite a bit more work; and he feels no need to get my attention - he just shouts demands into the air.

2) They want to help. The helping might make more work for you, but they're so interested in what you're doing they want to do it, too. Little D was watering my plants, putting my groceries on the conveyor belt, cutting my fabric, and even stepping on my sewing machine pedal for me, and she was psyched to do it. Ryan might humor me for a moment if I ask him to, say, help me cut fabric, but will soon wander off with my scissors before the job is done and proceed to cut everything except the scraps I've given to him for that express purpose.

3) They follow a kind of logic I understand. Since Ryan and I have radically different brain wirings, my days are full of interpretation and decoding and conscientious planning several steps ahead. Little D and I, on the other hand, think in the same language, so our interaction does not require constant translation from Autistic to NT and back again.

Yes, kids are always on their best behavior when their parents aren't around, but this glimpse into the world of raising a neurotypical child was eye-opening. I wouldn't trade my baby for anything, but having a whole day every once in a while in which I didn't feel like a foreign exchange student in my own home would be pretty sweet.

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