From the Archives: A Mile at a Time
There's a lot in this entry - progress, random fun memories, some things I learned from the Hanen Program, and becoming aware of some more differences between my daughter and NT children through my job at her daycare center. Also, the continuing imagery of the Fox from the Little Prince which really serves as an excellent metaphor as to how A. and I built our relationship during this period of time in her life. (If you're unfamiliar with the scene from the film I'm describing below, you can find it on YouTube here.
July 18th, 2002
A picture is worth a thousand, million words. Never underestimate the value of images. A demonstration:
Images taken earlier this evening, when A. kept rewinding and playing the piece of The Little Prince where the Prince and the Fox dance around and around in circles. She'd rewind it and grab my hand, and then we'd dance in tune to the movie. The past couple of days have been a breath a fresh air and a spoonful of sugar and a little extra spice on the side after all of the discouragement and frustration of earlier in the week.
Yesterday, I wrote the following, and failed to update:
I woke up in the morning, threw on clothes, drove. Sauntered into work to be mauled by toddlers and clung to by babies. Whenever I feed the really little ones bottles, I always find it weird that they look me in the eyes. Like, it's weird. Their little eyes are locked onto my little eyes and it's kinda scary - I'm not used to it. It feels so... I don't know. Personal. Invasive. Like, I have this weird idea, in my head, now, that you're only supposed to really *look* like that, with wide open eyes, to your mother, or your family, or those in your life you love very much - because leaving your eyes wide open like that to strangers makes you vulnerable. And, it's because of my daughter, I know. Because, that's what it's like, for her. Eye contact is something the rest of the world takes for granted. Like language, and words, and cuddles, and 'I love you'.
Right now my daughter keeps trying to pet Puppy Brite through the television screen.
And, today. It's been great. Last night was the last Hanen session I needed to attend, and we finally touched on some of the topics I've been the most curious about - like how to turn echolalia into actual language, and how to engage the hard-to-engage child. And realizing, I suppose, finally, what I already knew--that 'follow-the-child' means follow the child, and when they are off in their self-stimulation-mode, you simply use that to your own advantage. Example: Today, I toss a ball onto the trampoline, and it circles the rim, and A. is locked in visual awe. 'Circles,' I begin, and she mimics, and I stop the ball. 'Stop,' I say, and wait. 'More,' she says. And we continue. And it's fun. And we play with our multicolored bugs, and the woman comes to visit who comes to visit once a week, and we evaluate my child, and A. is fascinated with her beaded bracelet, and we let her play with it, and then I take it from her.
'Mine,' she says. Mine. And I hug her and squeal and surrender the bracelet and we do it a couple of times more.
Then, we have sweet potatoes for dinner, and A. has never had them before, at least not in a very long time ... but she tries a few of them, anyway. A new food, and she has a couple of bites.
Then, she goes to watch Clifford as I finish my dinner, and I hear a baby crying on the show. She runs back into the kitchen and looks at me.
'Sad,' she says.
'Yes,' I grin, and hug her. 'Yes! The baby is sad.'
And, outside of this we've just had... so much fun. Running around, throwing balls, jumping on the trampoline, mimicking each other, reading books. It has been a wondrous day. Sweet potato pie. I'm a happy girl.
* * *
Today has been a simple continuation of that beauty. When I picked A. up at daycare, the teachers were turning off the lights and putting on the soft music signaling naptime, and A. looks at me and grins and says, 'quiet.' She then listened and followed instructions when I asked her to put a watering can down. We went to the grocery store--she behaved *extremely* well, and then when we went back to the car, she helped me put the groceries in the trunk. We came home, and both of us sacked out for a couple of hours--it was very hot, and we were both very sleepy. Then, at dinner, she actually ate squash--and more than one helping! And we played, and played, and played... and it has just been an amazing couple of days, and so much fun.
a little closer, and closer, and closer, and closer all the time...