It’s eight o’clock in the morning, and Little Man is shrieking at the top of his lungs “I don’t like this baby let’s just give him away!” Big brother with a bowl of cereal in hand standing just outside the downstairs bathroom is laughing so hard that milk and cereal are spewing out of his mouth. I stand by my theory that the Baby, and Big Brother have a secret alliance against Little Man. Dad is mortified, but relieved to see me standing in front of him because he should have already been on his way to the office fifteen minutes ago.
I motion for Dad to go. I look inside the bathroom (the Baby is completely satisfied) watching Little Man shrieking, pacing, cursing his very existence. I look a little closer, and I see that Little Man’s favorite light-up tennis shoes floating in the toilet. Little Man is eight years old and his super power is Autism. Routine is key in helping him deal with life’s everyday issues so seeing his favorite shoes floating in the toilet while his brothers are laughing at him is a major catastrophe in his world.
I stare the alliance down with a stern look, and say to Little Man “We can not give the baby away, but we can put him on the “Naughty List” along with anyone who is an accomplice to this bad behavior!” Now I realize the baby has no idea what the “Naughty List” is because he is only two years old. My goal was to get the attention of Big Brother who is nine, and has had his Christmas list done since before Halloween. I know that Little Man will stop shrieking if he hears that retribution is on its way.
Big Brother immediately begins to protest that he did not put his brother’s favorite shoes in the toilet. I am pleased because my plan to weaken the alliance is working, a divide and conquer technique that comes in handy when the alliance has a strong hold on Little Man. I tell Big brother that in the eyes of the law he is an accomplice to this crime since he is participating in the torture of his middle brother. I then add that there is still time to redeem yourself from the “Naughty List” by heading out to the kitchen to finish your breakfast. I also suggest that he could clean up some of the mess in the kitchen as a kind of insurance policy with Santa.
Little Man is still pacing, furious with the very self-satisfied Baby, but somewhat more calm by the fact that Big Brother has stopped laughing at him. He also likes the idea that Big Brother will have to clean up the mess, he helped to make in the kitchen. I also think he was secretly hoping that Big Brother would wake up Christmas morning to no packages under the tree. Little Man then says “What about him, please can we just give him away?” I reassure him that the Baby will not get by with his heinous crime. Little Man is staring at me intent on seeing the Baby get his punishment. To appease him I tell him that I am certain that Santa will take away one of the presents that the baby was hoping to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
I proceed to remove his shoes from the toilet assuring him we can wash them twice for good measure. He watches me, and I notice he his deeply thinking about everything I have said. He now looks a little sad. Little Man has a kind gentle heart, he is by nature a compassionate little fellow. He now feels badly that his brother is on the “Naughty List.” He does not want the Baby to miss out on getting one of his presents. He doesn’t want his brother to be on the “Naughty List!” So he looks up at me with his beautiful brown eyes full of concern, and says “Can we just throw his favorite shoes in the toilet?” 😉