Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Agent of Chaos

My daughter is an agent of chaos.

Amelia has a very strong compulsion to dispose of things that bother her. This could mean throwing all of the books, papers, and other objects off the end table and onto the floor. It could mean dropping her brother's toys from the loft down into the living room. It might mean pushing her bowl of applesauce off the table and onto the floor. It might mean opening up the printer, pulling all of the ink cartridges out and throwing them on the floor. She likes to drop random items over the baby gate into the basement. This morning, she must not have liked her shirt, because she took it off and threw it into the basement. You know that scene in The Sixth Sense, where the little boy is sitting at the kitchen table and all of the kitchen cupboards and drawers are mysteriously open? Amelia does that at our house. Only she takes out all the pots and pans, mixing bowls, small appliances, potatoes... whatever she can get her hands on. Any bowl of popcorn, crackers, Cheerios, potato chips - anything really - gets shaken about and scattered around the room. If she takes a few bites out of a cookie, it's no good any more so she just drops it wherever she's standing. She loves those little Ritz peanut butter sandwich crackers, but if it's not constructed properly, it must be discarded. We actually have to pull all of the chairs away from the dinner table after we're done eating, lest she climb up there and dispense all of the salt and pepper, and disseminate the napkins throughout the land.

Now, keep in mind, this isn't like an occasional thing. I'm sure it's related to her autism, or whatever it is. This is what she does. This is her occupation, her raison d'etre. It's like a small but continuous natural disaster is occuring in our house. It's no more effective telling her "NO!" than it is to tell the wind to stop blowing.

I love my daughter more than the English language allows me to express, but man, I can't keep up with her! Lori was sick yesterday afternoon with a fever, and I got a full dose of Chaos Girl. After an hour of losing ground, I threw both kids in the bath, just to get a breather from all of the mayhem and destruction. Of course Amelia proceeded to take every last bath toy out of the tub and drop it over the edge onto the floor.

By bedtime, the house was trashed. I just couldn't keep up. I truly appreciate my wife's ability to deal with Hurricaine Amelia every single day. I don't know how she does it...

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At 3/28/2006 8:53 PM, Blogger Morgan said...

You are wonderful writer! I am sure things will get better as she gets older. I am going to refer you to a friend who workes every day with children with different abilities. I will send you an email. She is amazing. You all ready go to her blog I thing Apunga

At 3/29/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger e4 said...

Thanks, and thanks. I really appreciate it.

At 8/13/2010 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic second born. Whatever the first is (and that's usually over-achiever, neat, intelligent, meticulous, and obedient/helpful)... the second is the polar opposite.

The firstborn is always the achiever, the second born the hellraiser/rebel, the third the social/laid-back one. When I figure out child four (right now in his terrible twos) and child five (colic baby from hell), I'll let you know.



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