Friday, February 1, 2013

My littlest boy, the ginger

Editor's note: I don't usually write about our other child, Bailey, because this is a place for me to talk about Morgan and our journey with him as we navigate Autism. However, this is also a place for me to talk about Autism and how it has impacted my family. I don't know if Bay would be any different if his older brother was neurotypical, but he'd still be a hell of a kid. Bailey has been part of the compass that helps direct his brother. *Oh,  there are a lot of photos in this post. I figured the kiddo deserves it.

Bailey, even during incubation, was a kicker and a (I imagine) silly boy. The kid kicked the crap out of me regularly while I was pregnant, it felt like he was dancing with roller skates on. I mean, it was painful. Maybe the pain was worse because the stress in our household was setting off Ritcher scales. Morgan was in his nonverbal stage and we were in the beginnings of trying to find a diagnosis. There was a lot of kicking and screaming in those days. A lot of kicking and screaming. 

Bailey was born on a very frigid day in 2008. He came into this world making a lot of noise and has never stopped. When his older brother first saw him, I don't think that Morgan quite knew what to do with him. However, despite the confusion, there was love born that day. Morgan, for as much as I felt that he was pulling away from me and retreating into himself at times, looked at his baby brother and smiled. But, not at first.

As the weeks grew into months, Morgan, I believe, really learned to love his brother. There was no "baby envy" that is common of children that age (three when his brother was born). Maybe it was Autism. Maybe Morgan instinctively knew that this would be one of the first people to not judge him, to just love him.  Morgan's instincts were correct. That little ginger haired, blue eyed boy was born, I think, worshiping at the altar of Morgan. Serious hero complex, people.

 Bailey was one of the first children to ever really play with Morgan and vice versa. Before his brother came along, Morgan had had only two friends, fleetingly. He had no real interest in interactive play. But with his brother, well, they interacted. Bailey gave his older brother zero choice in the matter. Sometimes, quite oddly, if you didn't know what you were observing.

"normal" interaction
Seemingly "odd" interaction - this was tickling, no Bay's harmed!

Bailey, as are all children, is an individual. However, he is an individual who loves to imitate his mommy, his daddy, and his hero, Morgan. All of this started young...
Imitating Mommy

Trying to catch up
If Morgan is who gives us our cue on how to be better humans and parents, Bailey is who trains us in hilarity, hi-jinx, and what we should never say in the presence of children. Because he'll repeat it. He's funny. Oh, God, he's funny. His giggle, I used to say, is the purest thing I've ever heard. When he laughs, he laughs. From the earliest point on, he has always been cracking us up with antics just as hard as he's been making me want to tear my hair out. Like a couple of weeks ago when he said, loudly, "that lady looks like the HULK!" This was complete with arm gestures... in the middle of his ENT's office. We received from very dirty looks.  But it was still funny. *I did make him apologize... to which he said, "I'm very sorry, but Hulk looking people scare the bejesus out of me." Yeah, he's a handful.

Bay is a charmer with those big blue eyes and messy red hair. He squishes his nose and though it looks evil, it's still cute. Even when he's mad, he's adorable. It helps keep him from getting shipped to China.

Bailey is always up for a good time. Whether it's creating something like an art project, or an Angry Birds set, going to the park, or taking a road trip, the kid's always game.

Now, mischief the kid has in spades. We have back talk, we have pranks, we have run of the mill things that are normal for any five year old. However, he tried to cut the dog's hair a couple of weeks ago. When he and his brother dumped an entire box of Cheerios on the floor a long time ago, Bailey happily sat down, crunched them up and made an even bigger mess. His older brother was whooping in the background with the sweeper vac, trying to clean it up so that they wouldn't get into trouble. 

Bailey schemes and dreams. I love that. I love that he's so incredibly full of life that he causes me to shake my head in wonderment. Granted, those same schemes make me post statuses on Facebook that my friends apparently find hilarious. But hey, at least my frustration at raising a high spirited child serves as entertainment value.

The all time best thing my youngest son does, though, the thing that makes my heart swell with pride? He loves that big brother of his to the moon and back. He learned the days of the week because they have "sleepovers" with each other on Friday and Saturday and he counts down until then on the other days. Though he gets frustrated because Morgan really only likes to play with trains, THOSE are what he picks out for Morgan's birthdays and Christmases.

We're open and honest about Morgan being an Autist. He'll seek out SN kids to play with, especially if he notes that no one else is playing with them because his brother has taught him that kids are all just, well, kids. Morgan taught him right from wrong in a way that I couldn't have- he's led by example and by life experience. I don't think Bailey ever wants a child to hurt as badly as his brother has been, including himself- but that's another blog post. Bailey isn't always accepting of Autism because of the walls it can put in between him and Morgan, but he is of his brother. As much as a five year old can be. Boy, don't even let that child hear the "r" word, he'll school you on how bad it is. He can also probably give you a run-down on stims, tics, and the DSM's definition of autism.

He gets very upset sometimes because Morgan needs sensory breaks and cannot play with him. He doesn't always understand why his brother has to spend so much time doing those two or three pages of homework when it only takes the other kids a few minutes. But when the homework is done, when the sensory breaks are over, I know to back off and let those boys be boys together. To giggle hilariously as they sniff each other's armpits, build train sets, watch movies, and just.. be kids.

Another thing that Bay has done since Morgan was probably in kindergarten is take up for his big brother. We've had to pull him away from kids that he knows have bullied his brother just so Bay doesn't get in trouble or get his butt whipped, trying to whip theirs. I have to admit... I don't condone violence at all, but this fiery child of mine is willing to stick his neck out for his brother, that's kind of admirable. He's been doing it since he was three. Bailey has told kids, "If you can't be nice to Morgan, you can't be my friend." I think he sees the two of them as a package deal.

I'm so very thankful that I was blessed with two very individual boys who love each other so much.

Bailey's love for his brother is amazing. "You're the bestest big brother in the whole world!" is often heard in our home. Of course, so is "Mom, Morgan licked me!"
These boys are my <3


  1. They are wonderful together and very lucky to have each other. Love those boys so much!

  2. I hope one day my kids are as close as that. So far they are more like my little brother and I were. The most common phrase in our house has been, "Get out my room!" At least she inspires him to use pronouns. ;)

    1. Lol, oh, they fight! But for the most part, they are best friends. I hope that they stay that way through childhood and puberty, lol.