The other day our youngest child, Peter, ran into the kitchen, excitedly tapped his hands on his head, and said, “Mommy, I don’t want my hair.”
I wasn’t quite sure where he was headed with this particular thought. It’s not unlike Peter to announce something that can utterly confuse me or make me spit out my coffee from laughing so hard.
Because Peter has always had some speech issues, it can take a minute to figure out what he means.
“Peter, I love your beautiful brown hair.”
“I want invisible hair.”
“I want invisible hair just like grandpa.”
As you probably have guessed from my six year old’s description, my dad is bald.
I was overdue for a little comic relief, and no one can do it for me quite like my youngest.
I may have been surprised and a bit overwhelmed when I found I out I was pregnant with him, but I now know there was a bigger plan at work. Peter fits our family so well, and he just makes me laugh.
Living in a family where one child has significant special needs can take a toll on everyone. Family roles that would exist anyway, become exaggerated under the stress.
Our eldest son, Tom, is the protector. Though we have given him no indication that this is his role and repeatably tell him that Lizzy has two capable parents, he worries over his sister almost as much as we do.
Lizzy, as well as being the child that has to deal with a brain disorder that still has no name and affects all aspects of her development, is also our princess. It is a role she takes quite seriously, tiaras and all. She knows her brothers adore her, and it shows.
Peter, the baby of the family, is our comedian. He is also the builder.
If Peter wants a rake that is his size, no problem, he will build it out of Legos. If he wants a guitar like his brother’s, no problem, just re-connect the Legos. If he wants to have a little fun with mommy, no problem, he has his Legos.
The other day I was playing my role as drill sergeant barking out the commands to get the troops out the door for school. I asked Peter to please go put on his clean underwear. I was thrilled that he just willingly went into his room.
“Here I am mommy.”
I turned around to compliment him on getting dressed so quickly and nicely. It took me a minute to realize that the reason my six year old had such a big smile on his face was that he “built” himself a pair of underwear out of, you guessed it, Legos.
Peter’s creation left little to the imagination as it did not cover the important parts one would like to cover with underwear.
I don’t know what cracked me up more, the idea that he tried to build underwear out of Legos, the fact that his underwear failed to cover one strategic part, or that he loved playing a joke on me.
To say our household can be stressful is an understatement. Our Lizzy’s special needs affect all of us. As if she doesn’t have enough to deal with, Lizzy has also had a bad case of Whooping Cough these last few months.
Watching our daughter turn red and vomit from a severe cough was hard enough for my husband and I to deal with. But for our two boys, watching their sister go through a tough time is even harder.
Not to mention that whenever one child needs more attention, it can be a challenge to make sure everyone is getting what they need.
As much as Tom has hated to see his sister suffer, he can express his thoughts beautifully. He can talk to Joe and me, as well as friends, teachers, and grandparents. He is wonderful at asking and receiving help.
But it’s not as easy for Peter. Words don’t come readily for him.
Instead of saying how bad he felt for Lizzy or even getting mad at her, Peter would tell Lizzy that her cough was “thumbs down” or “not a good choice.” I guess if those strategies work at getting his first grade class to settle down, it might work on his sister.
His ability to laugh easily and have fun with who he is can make the worst of situations a bit better.
“Elizabeth, that is a horrible cough,” Peter will say while Lizzy gasps for air.
Then he would look at me and say he needed a hug. He might even confess that he really needed to suck his thumb. Not unlike an adult may confess a need for a cigarette or a drink.
The last few months have been hard on our family. The reprieve Lizzy has had from the behaviors that can make her life, and ours so challenging have come to an end.
The odd behaviors that marked so much of our time with Lizzy are back. Hiding in closets, putting all the clothes she own on, screaming at the top of her lungs and speaking nonsensical word salads are all behaviors we had been free of for the past two years.
Yet through all the mess, I can’t help but feel grateful that we have the children we have. I marvel at their ability to handle the hardest of situations and show each other kindness and humor. When I want to curse the darkness, they provide a little light.
Everyday I get a lesson in love, humility, and acceptance from my children: The Protector, the Princess and of course, the Comedian.
And now for the winner of the My Memories Suite v3 Digital Software:
Using the very high tech system of writing the names on paper, putting them in a bag and having my husband pull out the lucky entry the winner is:
Rosann of Christian Supermom
Congratulations! Liz of My Memories will be sending you an email so you can claim your software.
A very special thanks to all who participated in my very first giveaway!! Much love to you all!!
God gives us just what we need, right?
I am still enjoying a (much-needed) chuckle over the invisible hair!
Coffee Lovin' Mom says
I love the creativity with the legos and surprised my son never tried to make underwear out of them…
Small Kucing says
LOL….kids will make you laugh and kids will make you mad. Yup sure brighten up your life . Snce having a kid, i feel “younger”.
Romina Garcia says
You know your children will grow up with a sense of closeness and love, not only from you, but from each other. It is everything I wish for in my own children x
ps – invisible hair = hilarious
Children are such wonderful teachers. They teach us so often of what it is to love unconditionally.
And your stories always shed so much light on what really matters. It IS the little things!
I was cracking up at the lego underwear!! Too funny! And so creative! 😉
I love the Christmas photo!!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Have a beautiful Monday!
faith hope love ღ says
nice post! thank you very much for sharing…loves soraya
I am trying to picture the LEGO underwear, LOL very clever indeed. It is very good to have comic relief in tough times. It’s part of what keeps you moving forward. Never stop laughing, that’s what I say. I admire your strength.
Kathyy, you have such wonderful children… you truly are blessed. 🙂 Thank you for showing me how important it is to cherish each child for his or her own uniqueness. I forget a lot… love the lego underwear story – heehee. 🙂
Grumpy Grateful Mom says
Kathy, you are an amazing writer, and even more importantly an amazing mother. Your protector, princess, and comedian are so very blessed to have you.
I think it’s interesting how we all take on rolls. I’ll have to ponder what my kids are.
And I’m so very impressed with Peter’s building skills, despite lack of coverage. 🙂 That’s hilarious!
I’m so sorry Lizzy is still struggling so much. Sending prayers and hoping this is a better week.
Mommie Dearest Strikes Again says
This is such a sweet post! I love the invisible hair and the lego underwear! You have such a wonderful way of looking at life and finding the positive. This post truly brightened my day.
I can’t thank you all enough for such wonderful comments! You will never know how much I appreciate the support!!
I was really amazed by the lego underwear too! I can’t build anything so I’m always shocked when he comes up with this stuff!! Tom was mad at me that I didn’t take a picture of Peter in the Lego underwear but I explained to him that it just wasn’t appropriate since the underwear really didn’t leave anything to the imagination!! Lol!!
Much love to all!!
I can’t get past the Lego underwear!
Leah's Dip'n Dots says
Definitely loving Peter and his sense of humor. I have a grandson with similar issues that you mention of Lizzy, the middle child of 3 with an older and younger sister. Kind of like a reverse of your family. Those with Special Needs children are families who are in spite of their stress…extremely blessed! Big hugs to you Kathy!
Irish Italian Blessings says
I totally giggled at the invisible hair. The picture of the kids is perfect, classic, adorable and I LOVE IT! I know you don’t have it easy but your kids are so amazing! I love how supportive they are of each other and I love seeing that spark in mine 🙂
Laura Wright @ The ODD Mom says
My youngest is my comedien as well, which is much needed given his older brother’s ADHD, ODD, and anxiety. My baby dude is only 20mths old, but he’s destined to be the class clown. He’s the one who pops up to peek over the pew in church, saying “Allo!” in a silly voice or trots around the house with a bowl of Cheerios, hiding them under things for the dog to find (she’s right behind him, but he just about falls over laughing as 100lbs of dog tries to dig her way under a couch cushion for a Cheerio. He also howls at squirrels, just as the dog taught him. 😉 It’s amazing how much joy those little people bring into our lives.
Val Curtis says
Oh Kathy, you are such a gift. To your children. To your readers. Keep your sense of humor flowing and that grounded edge going. XO
Invisible hair and lego underwear? Oh, this kid as got to come over to my house and party with my kids!!!
What a beautiful mix you have in your family, Kathy! And it’s wonderful that Tom has the confidence to ask others for help if he needs it – I know you’ve spoken about his great communication skills before:)
I think my kids would be in awe of Peter’s lego skills!
Thanks for sharing,
I love this! As championM2000 said, God gives us what we need. I love that you can see how much your kids love each other. I hope your daughter gets over her cough soon. And I’m surprised my son hasn’t built LEGO underwear yet, too! Truthfully, I don’t think it has even crossed his mind! Best wishes for the holiday season, Kathy!
sandbox gems says
Lego underwear? That kid has some mad skills! My son would love it and I bet they would bond over lego creations, for sure! Love the invisible hair, too. That’s a memory keeper too. Thanks for sharing. Sorry things are reverting for Lizzy. Keep up the sense of humor and your wonderful perspective in the middle of the storm. Hugs to you!!
Wow, I think you’re all set with some very creative minds in your house. It’s amazing that your son was able to make underwear out of Legos. Cool 🙂
And, congrats to Rosann for winning the software. Awesome.
I love the invisible hair comment:) You gotta love kids and their candidness. I also like your descriptions of your kids. Made me think that I’d better come up with one for my crazy little 4 year-old.
sandbox gems says
PS–just gave you a blog award. Stop by mine to check it out when you get a chance!
Kathy, I have always been a fan of yours and your family from your very first post on Momsters almost a year ago, how time flies! Your children are such a blessing and I love the way they care for each other. Peter is hilarious as well as very inventive.with those Legos. I sure hope princess gets over that Whooping cough soon. My love to Tom, Joe, Lizzy, Peter and to you my friend, you are in my prayers. Jodi
TyKes Mom says
I love your outlook on life. Children truly do provide light in the darkness. Even when my children are driving me nuts, their creativity always surprises me. This post is so beautiful, as your writing always is!
Robyn - Who's the Boss? says
The lego underwear is classic. Now I’m bummed (pun intended *hee hee*) that my son hasn’t tried the same. We’re stuck on rockets, space ships, and other air craft. 🙂
Ugh! I read this last night on my phone just as I was falling asleep…not because of your post…but because it was nearly midnight and I just couldn’t put the technology down and go to sleep. Anyway, I know I typed in a really great comment but for some reason it’s not showing here. So I’m sorry! Anyway, I think it’s very cool that your kids are so close. I’m sorry to hear things are getting difficult again with Lizzy. I am keeping all of you in my prayers regularly.
~Blessings and love my sweet friend!
oh and thank you again for the giveaway win! 🙂 I’m very excited about it.
Invisible hair….!! oh my God- amazing stuff. My kudos to little one..:)
Elisabeth Hirsch says
This is so beautiful! You made me cry. Your whole family sounds amazing and wonderful. And you . . . you’re so strong! Thank you for sharing this 🙂
Becky Jane says
Lego underwear works!!! It may be a bit stiff, but it’s colorful!
So sorry Lizzy is back to her ‘old’ self. Extra hugs to you sweetie!
Rebecca Hawkes says
Beautiful post. I love how clearly you see each of your children, and how you allow us to see them through your writing.
Mommy LaDy Club says
I love that!…”thumbs down”, “not a good choice”. What a little joy to have around with leggos to boot;)
You are an amazing Mom, Kathy.
I also really prefer the names in a bag and drawn out, over the rafflecopter thingy, so please do hold on to some of the good ol’ stuff!
Hey, why don’t you link this up on our Little Comedy Club?
Amber @JadeLouise Designs says
Oh Kathy, you are simply amazing! An amazing blogger and Mother! I love visiting!
Your stories of Peter sure cracked me up. I think he is an added blessing to your family, as you have a lot to deal with, you need the comedian that he brings, to help you all find joy in times of struggling.
I have to say the lego underwear…I died laughing. what a great sense of humor!
I have two 2 protectors, one of them is the comedian also, and then my little Jade is the princess and even at age 2 she knows it…Oh I”m in for a world of hurt when she gets older. lol.
your VB Friend JadeLouise Designs
Your kids are just awesome.
I once shaved all of my son’s hair off and he put a band-aid on top of his head because he claimed it hurt him. *Sighs* I felt so bad.
Hello again! After a much needed few months off from the internet and all that it is I am back and so happy to be reminded of just how wonderful your family is. I have missed reading but know for my sanity I needed a break and to find my voice and work with hubby to find out what our future holds. It is funny how just when moments get tough we are reminded to just laugh and appreciate through the silly moments and lego underwear! Lizzy is and always will be such a blessing as well as a princess no matter what obstacles she must face and she is just as lucky to have you as you her! Much love off to catch up on your life hope you head over and say hi! xoxoxo
Happy Wives Club says
Wow! The Lego visual is quite funny. There’s never a dull moment in your household. Even with all the challenges I love that your family seems to have a positive outlook on this all and laugh so often. The say laughter is the best medicine and like that lovely scene from Mary Poppins, it really does lift our spirits.
Amberr Meadows says
It sounds like you’ve got the best family, regardless of challenges. Warm holiday prayers coming your way.
Kim Bee says
Invisible hair…I am going to laugh about that one for days. Thanks for the chuckle!
Seriously, I love your kids… Lego underwear? Invisible hair? They are great, but why shouldn’t they be… look at the amazing mom they have!
Spilled Milkshake says
This is so sweet. I have to admit I busted out laughing about the underwear. How creative! He’s destined for greatness =) Your family is truly beautiful and blessed.
Thank you for being my friend.
This was such a sweet post ~ I try (stress try) to see the good and individuality in each of my kids every day. It’s amazing how different they can be.
Love that picture!!!
Joy Page Manuel says
It takes a special spirit to do what you do on a daily basis. I won’t pretend to understand how exactly you do it, but I am certain that all of it is possible only because there is much love in your home. *hugs*
Ohh your kids are so adorable! They’re really cute!
Mrs. Settles says
I love the Legos underwear! Sounds like a resourceful little guy, even if they didn’t cover all the necessary parts!
You have a sweet family. Thanks for sharing.