Amelia is turning 1 next week, so I'm having that time of reflecting on the past year and remembering when she was just born. How different everything was then. When Amelia was born Charlie was 1 1/2. We knew something wasn't quite right with him, but me just having a newborn I was in denial. I kept telling myself that he was just unique, and every child is different. Shoot, My siblings and I could not be any more different! Charlie was just a different child, and that was okay.
Watching Charlie grow up was quite the experience. After having Amelia and spending this past year watching her grow and develop I have realized how much we missed out on with Charlie. I remember when he turned 1 he got the "Kung Fu Panda" movie from Brian and I for Christmas. He LOVES the movie, and would sit down and watch it from beginning to end. He would not move, at all. We as new parents thought this was normal and didn't think about it. He can still sit through a whole movie today if he likes it.
Now Amelia on the other hand, she has the attention span of a 1 year old. She puts EVERYTHING in her mouth, and LOVES to explore. She is constantly keeping us on our toe's, and she is always getting into something. Charlie never did this. He has always loved his routine, and never explored much. I remember Brian's parents telling us when Charlie first learned how to crawl at the age of 13 months that we were in for it. That he was now on the loose and was going to get into EVERYTHING. He never did. Sure he got into their tuber wear cupboard, but that was about it. Now with Amelia since she is walking she gets into EVERYTHING. And I mean everything. If she can reach it, she's in it. If she can climb up on it, she's already on it. While it's exhausting, it's absolutely wonderful.
Having a baby that isn't on the spectrum is a whole different experience. We sometimes find ourselves looking at each other saying "What do we do with her?" We are not used to so much interaction, that we get lost with her. She's not like in the aspect of is that all Charlie wanted to do was to cuddle up on the couch, or stack things. She mobile baby, and you better believe that she is exploring the world at her finger tips!!
Now that Amelia has found her new independence she is really starting to open Charlie up. He is starting to explore a little more with her, and try new things. It's a little bit at a time, but I see him looking at her and watching her. Kind of like he is studying her moves and actions and taking notes.
Charlie will be 2 1/2 on April 18th. He can only say a handful of words, and communication is still next to nothing. While we are working on it, and it gets better everyday, it is still hard. He is slowly learning how to ask for things with Actions, and is starting to use words. Most of the time it's jibberish, with a few select words you can understand. Great example, I was talking to Brian in the car last night about something Charlie had said early that day when he said " insert jiberish here and here and here GOOD GIRL and more jibberish" . At the moment it was quite amusing, I had been telling Brian that Charlie told Nanny "GOOD GIRL!" While she was chewing on a toy. I had tried explaining to Charlie that Nanny wasn't a "good girl" but indeed a "bad girl" because she was doing something naughty. Of course he had that blank stare that he gets, it's like he's looking through you, not at you. and then he just walked off. So when Charlie chimed in, in the story, it's like he was trying to tell it himself. It was very cute and a moment of clarity. It was wonderful.
Brian and I live for the moments of clarity with Charlie. It makes the bad days worth it. Every time he says a word, it's like hearing him say "dada" for the first time. My heart drops and I can't help but start to cry. It's such a victory moment.