Where a dad of two great kids (one on the autism spectrum) muses about life.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
And by a 7 year old, no less. I don't know if I should be happy about this or not. I was totally flim-flammed by Buddy Boy tonight.
Let me back up a bit. Buddy Boy has been getting into playing computer games, as well as games on a Game Boy that we bought about 6 months ago. I'm sure that many of you are very familiar with the concept of using "electronic bribery" in order to encourage certain behaviors (reading, doing math problems, cleaning room, etc.). Well, not being perfect parents, we also are not above using time on the computer/Game Boy in this manner. The combination of his obsession with our limiting access has made time on electronic games very desirable to Buddy Boy.
If left to his own devices, Buddy Boy would play electronic games every waking minute we let him. Obviously, being an old fart who's first computer game was "Pong" in high school, I don't think that's very healthy.
I'm the one who usually puts Buddy Boy to bed at night. We put him to bed at 7:00 PM, as he will consistently get up between 5:00 and 5:30 AM, no matter how late he goes to bed, and we want him to get a good night's sleep.
I put Buddy Boy to bed at the usual time. We went thru our usual bedtime routine, making sure he went to the bathroom and brushed his teeth, picking out what song he was going to listen to on his "boombox" all night long, tucking him in. Prior to bedtime Buddy Boy had elected to play in his room by himself, not wanting to play with me or Sweet Pea. When I left him to go and play hide and seek with Sweet Pea he was laying under his bed playing with some small squishy animal figures.
I didn't see the Game Boy, and asked him where it was. He straight faced said "I don't know, Dad". I proceeded to take 3-4 minutes to search for it in his bedroom, but couldn't find it, so just left, as I didn't want to break our routine too much.
Liz has been the one to usually take him to the bathroom later, after a couple of hours. She's taken over this duty from me, as she thinks my whispering to him at these times wakes him up and makes it harder for him to get back to sleep.
Well Liz went in to take him to the bathroom tonight, and he was laying under his bed playing on his Game Boy. He evidently had sequestered it away someplace near bedtime, and had been playing it from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM, when Liz went in there.
Liz wasn't too happy with me.
This isn't the first time Buddy Boy has lied about something, and I certainly don't want him to make a habit out of it. But as I sit here contemplating this, I've got to think that the ability to plan out the operation, lie to my face when directly challenged, and carry it out quietly shows some real skills that could transfer quite nicely to a lot of workplaces.
Now if I can only work on some effective strategies for him to remember faces of people he's met...
Me- Joe, husband of a great wife, and dad to two great kids, who were both adopted at birth.
Liz- My ever understanding wife, who manages to wear many hats (mom, advocate, therapist, teacher) for our kids.
Buddy Boy- Born in 2000. Funny, intelligent, inventive, and autistic. Loves machines.
Sweet Pea- Born in 2002. Typical little sister. Competitive, outgoing, and smart. Loves anything pink.