Thursday, April 16, 2015

Learning from Dexter

Max and his younger brother Dexter have a very sweet relationship.  They truly love each other.  Dexter is the first person Max says hi to and gives hugs to after school.  Dexter loves to give Max hugs and kisses.  It is pretty adorable.

One thing I never thought was how much Dexter will teach and influence Max.  Dexter and Max are physically very different.  Max is huge and has always been in the 100% or above on all his growth charts.  Dexter has been between 1% and 20% on all his growth charts since birth. 
At 10 months Max weighed 30 pounds and was 30 inches.  Dexter is only 23.5 pounds and 31 but he is 21 months.  So they are very opposite.
 Both boys at 10 months old.  #thebros
Dexter can't fit into the outfit Max is wearing yet.  Ha!

Max and Dexter developmentally are very close in age.  Max is about 2 years behind peers (typical children) that are his age.  Dexter has a slight speech delay, but he is getting some early intervention help.  So they are able to really influence each other. 

Today we got the dreaded call at school.  Max bit another student.  He has never bit someone before.  I was hoping to avoid this.  But, alas, he bit someone.  My heart sank.  Max is such a tender heart.  He cares a lot about others, and is always saying "That ok mom" when I bump into something or get hurt somehow.  So now what?  Where is he learning this from?  Yes, it was the first time, but he never has done it before?  His teacher asked me if Dexter bites.  I said yes, he is teething, he bites everything.  She said, he is watching Dexter.  He is testing out what Dexter is doing.  Ah!  That makes sense.

I can work with this.  He is influenced so much by those around him, and doesn't understand facial expressions well at all, so we really need to talk to him and repeat things over and over for him to grasp a concept.  For example Max used to throw all of his trucks and cars in the sink.  This was such a hard stage.  Because everything would go int the sink.  And he would get SO mad when we would clean it up.  We realized that he was "cleaning" and we were just not seeing his perspective.  When we had dirty dishes we would put them in the sink.  When he was done playing with a car, he would want to "clean up" and put it in the sink.  So in his mind, nothing was wrong.  He was learning a social situation.  We worked with him and showed him over and over what goes in the sink, and about 4-6 months later Max doesn't put all toys in the sink now.  It just took time.

Looking back on a lot of situations I can see how he was being so literal.  Because that is how he views the world.  At this years Easter egg hunt we told him to "Pick up all the eggs" and he did a great job.  But when he came across an egg that was shaped like a basketball, he looked at it and said 'Not an egg!" and threw it to the ground.  Literal thinking.
Dexter will continue to teach Max.  He will show him the world better than we can.  I love that I have two boys close in age so they can help each other.  Dexter adores Max, and Max depends on Dexter.  It is a bond that will grow.  I love them to pieces.  
My shy boy and my camera happy boy.  This picture explains them so well. 

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