Do you ever have those mornings, that within just a few minutes of the day, you look at your child and say, "This is going to be an autistic day?".
That's what happened to us on Christmas morning.
Don't get me wrong. We had a wonderful day, but I couldn't help to notice that Brian was off in so many ways and I believe he would've appreciated the day and had more fun if he wasn't having an "autistic day".
We awoke and decided to check NORAD to make sure Santa had come to Maine before we went downstairs. When we got to the site it said that Santa had finished his entire 2009 trip and Corbin hurriedly ran down the stairs while I followed behind carrying his cuddly little brother.
Corbin started to dance as he saw the piles of presents and the set-up toys. Not sure how Santa does it at your house, but he always sets up one big present for each of the boys so they can immediately start playing. For Corbin, Santa had built two Lego Indiana Jone airplanes, and for Brian, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Raceway.
Corbin started to fly his airplanes all around and after just a few examples Brian figured out every aspect of the raceway.
This was the first year that Brian really got the idea of ripping the presents open but just didn't seem to care about the contents,which is kind of normal for him. It's aggravating though, holiday after holiday, to really believe you found just the right gifts to really get no reaction.
Corbin's big gifts of the day were a few science themed presents (as he has decided he will be a scientist when he is older), including a microscope and a telescope from my mother. He also got a few movies he's been wanting, a robot, legos, spy gear (his other career choice), a woodworking set, and so much more.
Christmas is so magical for Corbin. I love this age. Every gift, right down to the new toothbrush, got a huge smile and a "Wow!". He truly loved the whole experience of Christmas and I truly cherished sharing it with him.
Brian's theme this year was definitely cars. On top of the Mickey Mouse Raceway he also got a Disney Cars spiral race track, an electronic race track, a parking garage, and a Hot Wheels race track. He got his own digital camera and toy laptop as he's obsessed with my adult version of them.
After opening presents, Brian took the one new train he got, that came with a Thomas video, and disappeared into his playroom to play trains. He didn't touch any other new toy for the rest of the day.
Later in the afternoon we went to my fathers to open more gifts with our family. He immediately remembered Grammie's ceramic Christmas train that sits on a high shelf and started pointing and saying "choo choo" obsessively. He would climb to whatever relative he thought didn't know he couldn't have it, and hug them, then pull them to the shelf and say, "choo choo". He did finally give up on it after a short tantrum.
He opened his presents from his family and just threw them aside. Though I know my family understands Brian better and better every year I still feel bad that he does not show appreciation for the presents that they spend time picking out for him.
Then, after not really showing a care in the world for any one present he had opened that day, he eyed his younger cousin's gift- a Fisher-Price Play N Go School House- and decided that was what he wanted. Who would've ever thought he would have any care at all about such a toy. But he did and he put his blinders on and went after that present. He wasn't having it that he had to share it, especially since it wasn't even his gift. It took several trips to my parents bedroom and rubbing his back, giving deep-compressions, practically sitting on him to give him the pressure he was seeking, and singing little lullabies to him to make him finally give it up. I said to him, "We can go back out and play but no more yelling, it's time to be happy. Happy boy. Are you ready to be happy?" and he said, "Happy, yes I do". And we walked out hand-in-hand and he did a wonderful job.
He makes me so proud.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!