An amazing moment was had today. We went to Walmart (I know, OH LORD WHAT WAS I THINKING?!) and I let the girls look at some things they wanted to look at while we rounded the store to pick up the things I'd come in for. Winnie got to go to the toy department and Maggie got to go to the girls' clothing section - when we were ALMOST ready to leave, I spied a few things in the ladies clothing section that I thought were adorable. Its quite rare when I buy myself something new, but every now and again I see something I really like.
As I slid into the isle next to the item I wanted to look at, the girls started fighting with each other... and it was one of those fights (Parents, you know them) that was gearing up to be a full scale in-the-store battleground. Normally at this time I would quickly do my best to contain the sounds of eminent war and shuffle us out of the store, but something (probably my unwillingness to be defeated, which sometimes looks like "I'm so tired, what the heck!") SOMETHING in me today made me stop and take a completely different tack.
Very surprisingly, I found myself asking them to come over so I could talk to them, and equally surprisingly, they did. I quietly explained to them that I let them do the things they wanted to do while we were at Walmart (touching on each thing that we did, so they knew they got an equal share) and that "Wouldn't it be fair to let Momma look at something she wants to look at in relative peace?"
The reaction I got was... completely shocking. There was silence. For about 15 seconds. And then smiles. Yup, smiles. Then, not only did they let me look at shirts, they came with me, gave "helpful" fashion advice, helped me pick out a shirt, insisted I go and try it on and see it on me, which they then each pronounced how amazingly lovely it looked on me and that I should definitely treat myself to a new shirt.
The rest of the trip went very well and the girls were amazingly well behaved and once again I am amazed at my children. If anyone says that children with Autism don't have feelings like empathy, compassion and a desire to improve the feelings of others - Well, they can just come spend an afternoon with us :)