We were treated to a delightful greeting from Ethan as he arrived home from the early shift at work today: 'What's going on?' he enquired in a slightly irritated manner as he walked through the door to find us all home. He was referring to the fact that we weren't at church as we 'should' have been - it being Sunday morning. 'I decided to give church a miss,' I replied airily - too much going on today, and we're all a bit tired...Have we messed up your plans to come home to a nice quiet house?!' This last bit said in jolly jest.
'Yeah, you have.' came the surly reply - his tone was far from jovial and he avoided eye contact with me. Sometimes, the aura Ethan gives off makes me feel that I and the kids irritate him simply by existing. Not conducive to happy family relations.
Speaking of which, the kids seem to annoy Ethan more and more - simply by being kids. The noise, chaos, mess and lack of control over them seem an almost impossible combination for an Aspergic, middle-aged man to handle.
A few nights ago, Sam didn't come the first time Ethan called him. A minute later, I came across Ethan pinning Sam down on the bed and, in a frighteningly angry, venomous whisper, spitting out the words 'If you ever ignore me again, you're going to be in really, really serious trouble.' Is it just me or is that a bit over-kill for a 6-year-old child who didn't jump instantly into obedient action at Ethan's command?
A couple of days later, Sam (again - poor thing, he seems to be on the receiving end of Ethan's short fuse quite a lot - probably because he's the most like Ethan - I think he may well be showing some signs of Aspergers himself). Anyway, Sam plonked himself down a little too exuberantly on Ethan's feet during a maypole dance at a fete. Ethan, instantly angry at having his personal space invaded, took the opportunity of giving Sam a slight kick up the bum as he slid his feet out from under him - making Sam whimper, and making me blow my top: in front of the gathered throng of happy maypole dance admirers.
He just can't cope with the kids being kids. He doesn't like being interrupted, noise and mess stress him out, he gets irritated when his body space is invaded and he really, really can't handle not being in control of them and what they do or how quickly they do it.
As teenage-dom approaches with our eldest, I feel the conflicts between Ethan and the kids, and between Ethan and I over the kids, are just going to intensify. Either that, or he'll just retreat completely from having anything to do with them. I'm not sure what would be worse.
As a complete aside, I do so appreciate your comments and feedback. It's so nice to know there are lots of us all going through similar things. And I'm really sorry that I'm only able to post replies sporadically. Whilst I'm apologising, I'm sorry too that the blog itself is pretty uninspiring to look at. I just have so little time between work, the kids, Ethan and life in general to do anything more than write a few disjointed thoughts once a week.
Oliver starts school in September (woopee) and I'm hoping that one of the things I'll do with my extra time is become a more gripping, attentive blogger! Until then - thanks for sticking with me!