Bryan lies, yep, he does. And guess what, mostly we’re happy about it. He is not a liar per se; but he now understands the nuance of not telling the truth when you think it might get you in trouble. Sounds like a silly concept, but what is more typical than a pre-teen not wanting to fess up about eating something they were not supposed to, or messing up their room, or playroom? While we always advocate for honesty, listening to Bryan say “no” when we know the answer is “yes” at times can be sort of heartwarming and charming. It is so funny too to see his face when he knows he has gotten caught. He also knows when it’s sort of ok to lie vs. when it’s not. For example, if you ask him whether or not he has had his medicine, he will always tell the truth. But, if you ask him if he had dessert or an extra cookie, he tries for the no but when pressed will give up the yes.
He has other behavior that is interesting or typical, even if by accident. If Jason is in trouble or does something wrong, Bryan will laugh hysterically. We are not talking about a smirk or little chuckle, but a full on belly laugh if Jason is mad or in trouble. Truthfully I think it stems from the fact that he does not know how to navigate us or Jason when this happens. He doesn’t want Jason to be upset or mad but he can’t articulate that, so he laughs. Inevitably one of two things happen; Jason will become infuriated that Bryan is laughing “at him” (which may or may not be the case) or he will start to laugh too and the whole situation will become diffused. The latter is always preferable, but not likely. Last week I was having dinner with the boys while Earl was at softball. I was upset with Jason for trying to use my iPad during dinner. We have a rule of no electronics during dinner, and Jason knows this rule. I got upset with Jason and Bryan started laughing so hard that we both started to laugh too. Then Jason said, “Mom, doesn’t Bryan have the best laugh?” Oy!!! My heart hurt from such a warm and loving comment, but we kept on laughing. Bryan is crying he’s laughing so hard, saying “Mommy is mad at you Jason!” Sort of typical; laughing at your younger brother, yet sort of autism-like with inappropriate laughter. I’ll take the former.
Although we have the new lying to contend with we are also benefitting from this new found awareness on Bryan’s part. On Thursday night I had Bryan alone with me after Speech Therapy. We were driving home and this was the same day that I had been at his school and received his psych assessment. We were close to home and we stopped at a red light. I couldn’t hold it in any longer and started to cry a little. Here was my delicious boy who is so smart and sweet and that dumb report got to me like I was a first timer. My right hand had been resting on the gear shift. Bryan slipped his hand into mine and pulled it close and kissed my hand. “Why are you sad, Mommy?” I said, “I’m not sad, it’s love cry.”