Saturday, September 20, 2008

The men in my life

The absolute worst thing about my husband is his looks. Well, I mean, he is handsome enough for my taste but somehow, mysteriously, he just does not appear to be aging. This is a problem because I am not afflicted with this same malady. I am most certainly aging, as any sideways glance in a mirror tells me almost daily. Not that I mind. I kind of like growing older. It's just that I never imagined myself the older woman. The thought especially didn't enter my mind because I happened to marry someone eleven years older than myself. Nik turned fifty this week and doesn't look a day over 40. I turned 39 last week and I look, well. ... I look my age. So my question is: am I going to pass him up? Are people going to start looking at us and wondering why Nik married an older woman? And how long before he is holding my elbow to help me cross the street? I guess only time will tell.

We don't really do birthdays around here but I didn't want to let #50 go by without some kind of marker. So I bought Nik a membership in a wine club and promised that at least once a month we would host a couple of friends for a glass of wine. After so many years it is time for us to reclaim our social life. I'm ready. We're both ready.

Oliver is going through something that I don't even pretend to understand. His receptive and expressive language is increasing daily. This morning I set a bowl of oatmeal down in front of him, he took one look at the steam rising from the bowl and said: "It's too hot!" Last night we were eating pasta and he said: "More noodles, please." Then he announced: "I want a towel," and walked himself over to where I keep the kitchen towels, got one and wiped his hands. On Friday, I was upstairs cleaning something when our friends arrived and rang the bell. Oliver was downstairs so I shouted to him that he should open the door. You could have knocked me over with a stack of old IEPs when he actually went to the door and let our friends in.

Also, his ability to make choices by scanning the relevant information and deliberately asserting a preference, is something I see growing by leaps and bounds. Today I held two books out to him and asked him which he wanted me to read. He spent a long time shifting his gaze between the two, he reached out and touched the picture on one, then shifted his gaze to the other, took it in his hands and then looked at me expectantly. An obvious, deliberate choice.

He is also beginning to take just the teeny, tiniest bit of interest in other children, especially children younger than he is. As long as they do all the work of keeping the interaction going. But still! It's something. And I drink it up every single time it happens.

But there have also been some really, really rough moments. Oliver isn't prone to meltdowns, but he used to be. And I am always attuned to his psychological and physiological landscape so in that way we avoid a lot of problems, I'm sure. But lately I haven't predicted or avoided some very distressing moments for Oliver. I've always looked at Oliver's meltdowns, when they happen, as neurological episodes because that is what I believe they are. Yet these days they do sometimes seem more like the tantrum that a two or three year old might have. Particularly when he wants something and I tell him that he can't have it, like his third popsicle in 15 minutes. It makes me wonder if we have hit some kind of developmental milestone and that he really IS reacting like a two or three year old might. So in a weird kind of way I'm happy about that prospect.

Sami. What can I say about Sami these days! He is a real piece of work, that one. So delightful and so, incredibly, amazingly annoying!! His questions are endless. Endless. And yes, I know I should be happy that I've got such a curious little guy on my hands. I should encourage his inquisitiveness. But Man, it's hard! He has also taken to incessantly trying to get my attention whenever I'm talking on the phone or to another adult and when I finally give it to him he'll say: "Oh, nevermind. It was nothing."

RT is 15. Do I really have to say any more? We've recently had to restrict all electronic usage to one hour per day and then just for homework. It had become so bad that he didn't even want to drag himself away from the computer long enough to eat dinner. And more than once when I thought he was taking an extra long time in the bathroom I discovered that he had taken the laptop in there with him! He thinks he's an anarchist and is constantly trying to bait us into arguing about 9-11 conspiracy theories. He also believes I am repressive and unreasonable because I will not allow him to take a shower before bed and first thing in the morning and because I insist that 3 minutes is long enough to do the job no matter how long your hair is. Now I just wish he would take an interest in girls so I would have the complete teenage package to occupy myself with.


  1. Last Christmas someone said to my husband, "You don't look a day over thirty!" (He's 44). Add to this the fact that I'm two years older than he is, and you know I can feel your pain!.

    All those developments with Oliver are so wonderful! Taking an interest in other kids, and all those language improvements...that's the stuff of my dreams.

    Good luck with the anarchist :)

  2. LOL - I am "the older woman" by about 75 days. Hubby has always looked young for his age. It was the bain of his teenage years. (When we were 19, I was mistaken for his mother!!! - I was also once mistaken for his brother, but that's a whole different can of worms).

    You have your hands full with all those men! Oliver is just charging ahead! How exciting :0)

  3. Hi Christine,

    You've been awarded a Brilliante Weblog Award. Stop by 4-frogs to pick it up :0)