Independent Living

“No school. Sam stay home.”

What do you mean buddy? You’re going to see H_ and D_ and A_. And all your friends? At school.

“Sam stay home.”

He’s not sick, he slept well, he ate his cheerios. This is a child who hates weekends because there’s no school.

Why, sweetie? As soon as I say it I see the confusion cross his face. We’ve not had much success with those Why Questions.

We go to the end of the drive to await his bus and have pretty much the same conversation we always do: (Sam) “Is that a bus?” (Me, repeating) Is that a bus? (Sam) “No, that’s a car.” (Sam) “Is that a tree?” (Me) Is that a tree? (Sam) “That’s a flower!”

Today he sprints back up to the house and says “No school, Sam stay home.”

Hmmm… I’m a little concerned. Did something happen at school last week? Did his bus driver yell at him? He seems happy though, content. Even when his bus arrives and I have to scoop him up and carry him back down the drive, he doesn’t cry or squirm or yell. No, he’s not really protesting. He goes up the steps and hardly looks back. I wait for a phone call from the school. Maybe he’s upset, maybe I shouldn’t have sent him?

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He comes home laughing. He waves goodbye to his bus driver. We go through his backpack and I admire his skeleton artwork from the week before.

Sam, guess who’s coming after lunch? Elly! (our very part-time nanny who’s here two afternoons a week)

“No Elly. Elly at Elly’s house.”

But you love playing with her sweetie. What’s up with this boy? Normally, he’d run to the window to see if her car had arrived.

“No Elly. Sam go downstairs play.”

She arrives and he ignores her at first. But soon enough he’s tugged her towards his trains and I go upstairs to work.

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It’s been a long day and hubby has to work late so I’m starting baths early. Bathing twins alone can easily take double the time without the tag team approach.

Okay boys, time to go upstairs for baths, I say. John moves towards the stairs.

Sam blocks the hallway and announces “No, Mommy.”

Did I really just hear No, Mommy? It suddenly dawns on me that Sam has been feeling his power and exercising his right to disagree with me all day long. Just for the sake of disagreeing! Otherwise, what’s with this mischievous grin, this happy compliance even when I force the issue?

And just how neurotypical is this? I’m not sure, I never am — but I’m thinking it’s pretty darn good.

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