The Monster.

Once upon a time there was a lovely young girl named Jessica.  She was my son’s best buddy.

They played video games, sang songs and hung out.  Jessica spent a lot of time taking care of Toots when I was in trial last year, right after she found out she was pregnant.

For those of you who are not familiar with Jessica, she is a legal assistant in our office and guest posted regularly here before she had her baby in April of this year.  You can get a sample of her stories here and here.

Now, Tootles knew there was a baby in Jessica’s tummy.  He would say, “The baby is in there!” and point at her tummy.  When she was further along, he would say, “The baby is swimming in there!”  Once Jessica was on maternity leave, we told Tootles it was because she was having the baby.  It was coming out of her tummy.  He didn’t ask any more questions but from time to time, during her absence, he would tell me he loved her or ask me if he loved her (also his way of saying he missed her).

I didn’t really think too much of the whole baby thing other than to think of how exciting it would be to see Toots get to interact with a cute little baby.  Jessica and I talked about how Toots and her baby would form a little baby gang and hang out together.  I was very excited that she would be coming by a few weeks after giving birth with the baby!  I shared the news with Tootles expecting (foolishly) that he would be just as excited.

His reaction?

“NO BABY!!  NO BABY!!” He was freaked out.  Shocked.  Terrified and shaking.

What?!

Maybe, I thought, he simply did not know what a baby was…?  Or, uh… well, I didn’t know.

We waited (me a little bit on pins and needles) as she was set to come in the afternoon.  As a bit of a precaution, I let the ABA tutors know about his apprehension.  They agreed that, if necessary, they would prepare him further and perhaps, do a program.  Everyone was laughing at the possibility that Toots would be afraid of a baby.  Everyone but me…

The end of the day came at about 4 p.m. and, no Jessica, so we started out the door of the office to go home.  Just as we went outside, Jessica walked up with the baby carrier from the car.  Immediately, I felt something clinging to me with the Defcon 1, death grip.  With the clinging was shaking and screaming, “Car!!”  “Car!!”  “Go to the White CAR!”  “GO!!” He was shrieking as well and pointing to our vehicle.  Luckily, I had previously visited with Jessica when Toots was in school and did not want to upset the baby, so I complied.

Now, you all may need to look away, lest you be terrorized and terrified at the sight of what took the blood right from my son’s face and struck him with such fear:

Terrifying, eh?

I have never watched the movie, “Alien” with him, around him, near him or talked about it.  We don’t own any Alien movies and he would have no opportunity to see a commercial about the movie, but I’m imagining that might be what he is thinking.

After all, he knew the baby to live inside Jessica’s tummy.  Obviously, since the baby was able to make it’s way out of that- it must possess some super human strength and power.  He may just claw his way into Toots’ tummy!

Learning to approach the baby with his tutor at his birthday party…

Now that Jessica has returned to work, there is a precarious relation between the two of them.  When he is home, he professes his love for Jessica.  Sometimes, he will say, “Do you love the baby?”  and then answer “yes,” when asked the question back.  But in the bright light of day, he has a new routine.

When he arrives in the office, he nonchalantly walks straight into Jessica’s office.  He does not just greet her and move on.  He inspects her office, walking all the way next to her and, with the preparation of an Olympic runner, looks under the desk to assure no hidden baby lurks under her desk space.  When he is satisfied she passes inspection, he ignores her and slowly walks out.

Yep.  That’s love there.

Don’t worry.  ABA actually is going to work a program for this.  He will be allowed to greet her from the doorway.  He can ask if the baby is here, but not invade her personal space to inspect her desk for baby contraband.   Although, I can see several career opportunities for him should the program be ineffectual.  Good thing he’s an only child, eh?

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About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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10 Responses to The Monster.

  1. Gosh they are so interesting and unexpected these emotions Do you know if it was definitely the baby he was scared of or if is the fear that he might get less attention / love from Jessica? I’m just thinking that might be something a child could feel but not know how to express. It’s so complicated but I hope he can learn to rebuild his relationship with Jessica and to include the baby

    • solodialogue says:

      Well, he gets the same attention because the baby is not with Jessica when she comes to the office but he may still have some jealousy… He – very much wants to be the center of all attention… We will work on it – you have a good point. 🙂

  2. Lisa says:

    Oh, poor kiddo. Violet’s Diary has a good point…is it his anxiety about how his relationship with Jessica may be changing now that there’s a baby? I will say, Tate is ok with our new nephew, but does not like it when the baby cries. Then he tells us the baby needs to leave..even if we’re visiting my sister at her house! Some social stories helped with Tate’s anxiety…but his was totally over the noises, not the presence, of the baby. I hope the ABA team can help T build a new relationship with the baby AND Jessica.

    By the way, that picture of the “monster”??? Soooo adorable!!!

    • solodialogue says:

      Ha! Tate telling you that the baby needs to leave is very similar to Toot’s reaction when he is around Jessica’s baby. The ABA team will get him through it, I’m sure. 😉 And yes, the “monster” is so adorable!!

  3. Teresa says:

    My friend’s daughter HATES babies! She is terrible around them. My thought is that she has hypersensitive hearing and the crying bothers her. No matter, there is no reasoning with her. Parents can’t take her in the store because she’ll throw a fit if she hears a baby crying.

    My son, on the other hand LOVES babies. He walks up to strangers and will pat the little baby heads. I think he likes them because they are soft. Still, he acts inappropriately.

    At our house acceptance of new things comes with lots of time and exposure. Great idea to team up with the ABA guys. They’ll likely be able to present you son with many opportunities to see and think about babies. Hopefully, in short time he’ll also be happy to see the baby.

    Wishing you continued strength!
    Teresa

    • solodialogue says:

      You know, it’s funny you mention the other babies. Now that Toots knows about Jessica’s baby, he has shown some fear of other babies he sees in the mall as well. He will get all clingy with me as we pass an infant in a stroller.

      Your son is on the opposite end of mine! How funny. We need to bring them to a middle ground together. Thanks, Teresa! 🙂

  4. Oh this was just a joy to read! Really enjoyed. And what an adorable baby. :)))

  5. Angela says:

    Oh my – I just found your site. I love the baby search squad story. You were right, he was afraid of the baby. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Poor T. A change with one of his favorite people. And honestly, when we came home with our first baby 18 years ago, I was pretty scared myself! There were many times I would’ve jumped in the white car if I could have! 🙂 My prediction? The “new” will wear off and he’ll learn to love that precious baby and realize he can boss that little one around one day! 🙂

  7. eof737 says:

    The range of reactions and emotions are remarkable… 🙂 Congrats to Jessica and her family!

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