Thursday, July 15, 2010


What is it? What does it mean? According to the dictionary (, balance is "a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc." But what does that MEAN?

As a parent, the word "balance" is just there. It doesn't seem to mean anything. It often feels that our children get everything that we as parents can give without going COMPLETELY insane. And even then, they continue to get more of that energy. There is no "equilibrium". There is no "equal distribution". Those words come into play only when there's more than one child. At least, we TRY to put that into practice. Who knows if we are ever truly successful.

One would probably think that, because Rachel and Simon are autistic and Daniel is not, that means that Daniel's share of the time and attention would be less. Also, Daniel is older so he should be capable of going with less of the attention. Well, reality is Daniel is used to having us to himself, even though he was only 21 months old when he had to share the attention with his brother and sister. He doesn't care that they deserve a fair share, or that Mom and Dad need to "balance" their time and energy across 3 children. He was here first and he can be pretty loud and demanding. Sometimes as parents we succumb. Other times, we have to tell him to back off.

Rachel is a lot like her older brother. If she wants attention, she's going to get it. She doesn't care if it means throwing a fit or pushing someone else out of the way. If she wants it, IT'S HERS for the taking. It's caused the two of them to butt heads a bit, but in general, they both seem to understand that in each other. And, to make it easier, the times where it's the worst is when there are 2 parents here. When that happens, Daniel will often gravitate towards his Dad and Rachel will gravitate towards me. So, that works out just fine.

Then there's Simon. Simon sees, probably, more than we give him credit for. He seems to know when our attention has been diverted by the other two. He recognizes that the time has come to do things that we normally try to prevent him from doing -- usually stimming on a particular toy. Fortunately, for us, his favorite stimming toys make a lot of noise and we can hear him returning to these behaviors. But he loves to jump behind the couch and stay there for however long he can get away with it. He often DOESN'T want "balance" -- he seems to WANT to be ignored. That's what we have to stop from happening.

We need "balance".

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