But to be fair to them, it’s all about how kids are wired. I’ve read about this loads of times, and I’m not just talking about my two autistic children. When they’re young, their perceptions of what’s going on around them is sometimes so radically different from normal (i.e. older) people, it explains why you get these looks of absolute horror when you ask them a perfectly reasonable question, like ‘Did you close the fridge door?’ Whaaat? I can’t believe you said that to me!!!! I hate this family!!!
But I must admit, I don’t really mind these mad encounters!. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes pine for the days when the little sweetie pies would look at me with doe eyes as I ferried them around, arranged their world for them and they just accepted my love and authority without question.
What I love is the alertness and engagement with life. The way kids experience things is just so highly strung and subjective! They’re so full-on and it just makes me laugh! It’s all about them and their needs, wants and beliefs, right now! And that when actual reality intrudes into their world uninvited, you get all this outrage and confusion. It’s true for teenagers and it’s true for my little nephews. It’s like their little lives are at stake if we don’t immediately see things their way!
Yes, to me this all falls into the ‘rich tapestry of life’ category. I’ve been a mum for quite a while now, and I seem to take the various alternate realities of all my children pretty much in my stride. I now just seem to accept that I’m dealing with three separate, individual little life forms, all of whom experience life in ways very different from me.
So what do I actually do? I believe them, I enter their world, from their perspective, and work things out that way. It really works and keeps the peace. They feel supported and understood. I’m trying not to say ‘validated’, but it’s the right word! And to be honest, it’s only fair. It’s a big, baffling world out there, and as a mum, it’s my job to prepare them for it all.
That’s quite a task, but letting them know their mad opinions matter, gives them confidence to speak their minds, and that just has to be a good thing.