Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Define "Normal"

So I'm putting the kids to bed and Dylan has become rather. . .energetic the last six months or so. He's always hopping around, in someone's face, bouncing off walls, jumping off any piece of furniture he can climb, constantly drumming on something, etc. And he's taken to curling up in a ball, with all his blankets swirled around him, in the center of his bed. Which would be fine except that it lasts all of about five minutes and then he's on top of all the blankets and has icy fingers and toes by the time Doug and I head upstairs to go to bed.

So everybody's had a super grumpy afternoon today and I am so done with the bouncing and I say to him, somewhat impatiently, "Dylan, stop hopping around and put your head down on your pillow and lay down under your covers like a normal kid."

Without a hint of humor, and in fact with every bit of earnestness his little voice can muster, he replies, "But Mom, I'm not normal!!"

I really had to laugh at that one. Last week I had them in the car and they started arguing about something (I was zoned in on my music and had tuned them out) when Dylan started to whimper. I asked what was wrong. "Keilana says I'm weird," he whined. She responded very cheerfully, "Its OK, Dylan. You are weird, but its OK to be weird." A few days later I was on the phone with his aunt while he played upstairs and she said, "So, like, don't take this the wrong way, but Dylan's really weird," to which I instantly replied, "Oh, I know." She continued, "He's not like 'special' weird is he? Some of his behaviors are kind of extreme for someone as little as he is." I pointed out that he's in the "special" preschool class, and no one there has even considered having him evaluated, much less labeled, so I'm pretty sure that he still falls somewhere under the bell curve, even if he is skewed sort of far to one end of it. The fact is, "weird" runs in the family. What on earth would we do with "normal"? I'm afraid it would look terribly strange to us.

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