"Oh, good, he has a cup. I was afraid he would choke again."
"If you give him meat, he will."
*hands him another chunk of ham*
Normally we host holiday gatherings at our house to contain the demons and limit how much stress is put on them and us. Normally people don't like us much and don't wish to attend our parties. This past year or so, our popularity has increased and many people want to come visiting for the holidays. I'm not sure, but I think it's because I haven't had reason to offend anyone recently. That may have changed tonight when I told someone that they were friggin insane if they thought for a second my kid would be spending the night at their house but that's beside the point. The point is we had company. who don't listen.
I can be a little... specific... when it comes to my boys. I text Alex's daddy somewhere around the last day of school that Alex's bus staff were sweet enough to give him a $5 gift card for McDonald's if he was looking to spend 30 minutes or so with his boy. I detailed what to order, how to prepare it, what goes when, how to feed him, where to sit.... and then suggested drive thru and eating in the truck with the same ordering, preparing, feeding instructions. Daddy said, "maybe tomorrow." I don't know when the last day of school was, time has sort of lost relevance with no routine to make it necessary. We're just floating around aimlessly, in no hurry. BUT, "tomorrow" has definitely passed. with no Alex/Daddy man time.
Alex's step-mom- his mommy- and his sister had plans to come see Alex today so I text her to confirm the time to make sure she had fresh coffee and asked if Daddy was coming with her. and he was :)
I sat Alex down to talk...
I thought I had this Christmas perfect. I had it all figured out. I have learned lessons and I know what I'm doing. I was NOT going to try to make Alex want toys he has no interest in. I'm tired of buying the "perfect" gift just for his brothers or the girl to end up with it because he has no interest. This year I would respect his severely limited interest (yes, singular) and only buy toys made out of a certain material and there was no way in hell I was wrapping a single one of them.
This Christmas is going to be just the way Alex wants it.
Christmas Eve, I'm sitting there with Alex *patiently explaining* that Santa was not coming until he got his butt in that bed and went to sleep, Santa doesn't deliver to kids who refuse to sleep... and Alex laughed. He laughed hard. He was letting me know that there was no way he could sleep, he was just too excited about Santa coming. (who knew he even knew who Santa was!? I've been talking about Santa for years and he never seemed to care!) (or, maybe, as my husband seems to think, I'm delusional and these conversations are all in my head.) (either way, I like it.) We talked about Santa and the things Alex wanted. For the record- teething rings were not ALL he wanted but I'll be damned if I have a clue what else he could possibly want. Sometimes, I really wish he had words.
I waited forever for the Melatonin to kick in so I could very lovingly and oh-so-carefully lay out each carefully chosen gift in perfect lines of squeezable, squishable, stim-worthy awesomeness.
Christmas morning, Walter goes with me to let Alex know that Santa came. He dance-skipped his way to the living room and sat down beside his stash. He picked up each one and admired it, turning it in his hands, giving it a little bit of a clench before throwing it and moving on to the next one. Until the time came that he sat beside me and solemnly watched everyone else unwrapping gifts, exclaiming at what they found hidden inside. It seemed to me that maybe he might be a little sad that he has no gifts to open, which is ridiculous because he hates wrapping paper the way Dracula hates sunlight. Absolutely ridiculous, Alex wanting wrapping paper. right?
Just in case, Walter agrees to let his brother help him. I hand Alex Walter's present, Alex throws it at me. whew. ridiculous. Still, I can't shake the feeling that he feels left out.
When I remembered Alex's mommy was bringing presents, I decided right then and there that, even though I demanded that everyone stop with the freaking paper, the boy will unwrap a present today if I have to wrap the danged thing myself.
Mommy gave me an estimated time that she would be here with daddy and sister and I sat Alex down to talk....
I told him that his daddy was coming to see him. I asked him if his daddy was bringing presents. I asked him if the presents would be wrapped. I asked him if he was going to open them. With each yes, he got more and more excited until he was laughing uncontrollable, barely able to sit on the couch for me to tie his shoes.
When Mommy and Daddy came walking in with their bags and bags of Christmas presents from Alex's family... I have never been so happy to see so many people completely ignore every word I say. So many prints, so many bows, so very many Christmas-y colors wrapping each and every box. Daddy sat with Alex almost in his lap and unwrapped present after present until Alex reached up and finished unwrapping the one daddy was holding to the shock of everyone in the room and then initiated the unwrapping of the next present only losing interest in ripping the paper after he exposed the light up duck inside. His brothers and the girl still ended up with a lot of things but the surprise unwrapping and the hand full of toys that he is interested in is just amazing.
Thank God for family members who just don't listen. Who just don't give up no matter how many times their efforts don't go as planned.
...Well, some family members who don't listen. Don't feed my kid ham. He will choke. He did get some really fabulous Christmas-colored Goldfish, though, and he loves sweet potato casserole.