Yes, you did read it right.... *comparison* fatigue!
I have had an absolutely splendid and a jolly good show of a time with my family in the UK (said with a very fake English accent!).
We have been everywhere, man (gotta throw in a kiwi expression, although it is a very old one!).
Eish (South African word), it's been cold, wet and sometimes wild. Feels very weird to experience a UK summer that is actually colder than our Durban winter!
Really and truly, the time out has been fantastic. I needed some space and I also craved having some time with my first born. It has been great to reconnect with Thomas, without having to take into account the needs of my Nick.
Generally, I live in a bit of a bubble world. My life revolves around my family (of which there are four of us and a dog), school, friends and all that other stuff that happens on a daily basis. I come into contact with children, although I don't spend a lot of time interacting with and/or observing them.
Thus, when I leave my little bubble world and spend some real time on the outside, I get a serious wake up call....
It is kind of like, "Oh shite, so this is what typically developing kids do!"
I am thinking.. theme park, large noisy rollercoasters, kids running all over the place, yelling, screaming, negotiating, arguing, laughing and having a wonderful time.
I am remembering the most precious 9 month old boy, who had made the long trip from New Zealand, adapted to his surroundings with ease and then thrust into my arms (a complete stranger to him). There was an immediate bond within split seconds That instant interaction with him was incredible. Oh help, he is more socially advanced than my own child, who just happens to be 13!
A picnic with kids, lots of noisy boisterous boys. A tug of war, pulling hard, moving together against their opponents, team work and laugher. Not possible for my Nick.
Playful cousins, jumping, tickling, rough housing and all that glorious stuff that kids do to each other.
I watched a young man showing his delight at the musicians playing their music on a busy market street. He rubbed his hands together, over and over. I listened to the repetitive sounds that he made. Was he autistic? Who knows... and it doesn't matter.
After a while it gets a bit much. The observations start to hurt a little. The comparison is vast, a massive chasm between regular kids and the capabilities of my son.
Real time can be exhausting....
My bubble world is reality, although the opportunity for comparison is less. Right at this moment, I am keen for less!