And Joseph, remarkably, is Even.
Do you remember when advent calendars consisted of two thin pieces of card and 24 flaky windows, some of which mysteriously got opened before their respective days? And how if you used the same calendar for more than one year, it was even harder (and even less satisfying) not to open them early?
And how, as long as there were 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 or 24 children in your family, you could easily share one calendar between you with an equal number of goes?
Of course, if you were one of five, I’m sure you applauded the arrival of the 25 window design; such a relief.
And if you have such self-discipline that a tiny piece of chocolate or small lego item per day for nearly four weeks is not unbearably torturous, I imagine you are enjoying the delayed gratification conferred by the makers of these products. One. Small. Piece. At. A. Time. Good for you. Not for me, however.
This year each of my children have a small card advent calendar. They are also sharing an advent train, which mysteriously gains a lego passenger in complete disarray at the start of each day in a new drawer and must be put together by either the even or odd child. It certainly keeps me on my toes.
In our family, the odd child is Lily. Her birthdate is an odd number and Joe’s is even. This is what I told her to help her remember binary train drawer opening systems. She can also be puzzling, as those who know her best or work with her most closely all appreciate. She can be exact and controlling over what she will and won’t do, eat, use, lie on or play with, has a memory for tiny details, has had a number of quirky obsessions, displays an odd sense of humour and likes nothing better than to talk at you about number patterns, sculleries or whatever features loudly in her imagination that minute, no matter what you really needed to be talking about. I joked about this in relation to calendars and planning months ahead with a health visitor earlier in the year, and the upshot of this was a referral to a paediatrician, which happened today.
The doctor agrees with me that Lily is cute and quirky, with various signs of mild Aspergers, but certainly not worth diagnosing at this age. Her behaviours may appear to be more obviously different as she gets older, but nothing would change in how we parent or educate her for now. I am incredibly relieved, on at least two scores. One: that our observations of quiet but numerous behaviours have been taken seriously by a professional, and two: that as we thought, it is not serious enough to warrant intervention, formal diagnosis or labels. I was also chuffed that the doctor mentioned at the start that she had been really looking forward to meeting Lily and had noted her down as ‘bread child’.
We will not change a thing and we don’t mind how odd Lily is. We love her to bits.