Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

The Best Presents

with 18 comments

We pulled into the driveway, and the kids immediately noticed that their car was parked outside, instead of in the garage.  For your Average Joe, this would pass without comment, but our kids are neither average, nor Joes (or Jos for that matter).

Our neighbours (and friends) have been away on R&R travel for the last few weeks.  In a clear case of out of sight, out of mind, this has passed without comment by either child.  I was a little surprised that Pudding, in particular, never questioned their whereabouts.  One of her favourite things is “feeding the bunnies”, which is actually a nefarious scheme by Pudding to explore their home and garden, with the most cursory of visits to the actual rabbits.  The lady of the house, Ms. M, very generously accommodates these inspections by Pudding, but we hadn’t seen her since the family returned from their trip.

Cubby: That’s Ms. M’s car, Mummy, she’s back!

Pudding: I want to go see her.  Want to go see Ms. M.

Me: Well, we can see her on Friday- she is having a party and we’re invited.

Pudding: She needs a cake, Mummy, Hello Kitty cake.

Cubby: And candles too!

Pudding: She needs a present, Mummy!

Me: It isn’t a birthday party, just a party.

Pudding: She needs a present, Mummy!  The best presents of all come from the heart.*

*Yep, this is echolalia- a line from a Little People DVD.  Fisher-Price includes one of these with their Little People toys- a horror of claymation and nonsensical storylines masquerading as entertainment, offering a smug moralistic message at the end of every irritating featurette.  The kids, of course, adore it.

Not for the first time, I’m amazed at how she makes the most of things.  She has this incredibly challenging way of learning language, but she manages to memorize a snippet, filter it, store it, and then reproduce it in an effort to communicate on our terms.  Playing it back from the heart.

The best presents of all come from the heart.  Damn…we’ve watched so much Little People that my post has turned into an episode, complete with smug moralistic message at the end.  Now all I need is to start singing the theme tune in an Aaron Neville voice.  Come to think of it, that would make the perfect present for Ms. M at her party…

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

18 Responses

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  1. Love it!! Echolalia is priceless – The other day my little guy was happily playing in the doctor’s office waiting room, when a much younger little girl started to play with “his” bus. His response- “Excuse me sir, kindly put down that bus”…… still trying to figure out which show that’s from!! At least he was polite about it!! Hey, whatever works!!!


    January 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm

  2. Isn’t that what we all do? I know it sounds like a devil’s advocate kind of sentiment, but I’ve been actually thinking about the power of echolalia lately, as my little one is an echolalic king of sorts. In my ponderings, I’ve come to a place that recognizes it as a branch of the most typical of behaviors (sort-of). You state it so eloquently. “She has this incredibly challenging way of learning language, but she manages to memorize a snippet, filter it, store it, and then reproduce it in an effort to communicate on our terms. Playing it back from the heart.” It’s true. We’re taught from ‘go’ to repeat, repeat, recognize, understand, memorize, play with, and then repeat a variation of all of the words that we possess. It is the way that we deliberately give our children language (indeed it is a language learning approach, not a natural approach). I see it on my children’s homeworks. I use(d) it in my very own class to teach those 50 cent words. And I totally prescribe to language learning in a natural way, but when our kiddos have such challenges with words, language, self-expression, they must acquire it in a non-traditionally, perfect for them way. I’m rambling now, but I hope you ‘get’ my sentiment. Basically: I soooo get what you are saying here and I totally agree. It IS amazing.

    Aimee Velazquez

    January 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  3. At 9, our Miss E is a few years older than Pudding, but, oh yes, echolalia is fun. Disney’s Cinderella gave us lots of “from the hearts,” but Miss E was a major Pochahontas fan. Whenever given a choice between items or activities, she’d come over all melodramatic & breathlessly declare, “THIS is the path I choose!”


    January 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm

  4. Sing it! SING IT!!!


    January 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    • Only because you don’t have to listen to it! My tone-deafness + Aaron Neville impersonation = bleeding ears.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      January 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm

  5. I love hearing stories like that. My son will also recall movies, or even commercials and he’ll use their tag lines when he talks to us.

    Jim Reeve

    January 10, 2012 at 3:26 am

  6. What about the awfully mishapen hands that don’t really match their bodies?!


    January 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

  7. I also believe pudding gets this trait from me. (It may be genetic.) I quote movies, tv shows and music all the time. Ask Spectrummy Mummy, she’ll tell you of her pain. (Example, some friends leave to go to the store and I say, “Good Luck storming the castle!”) But I agree with Aimee above, it is something that is quite normal.

    Spectrummy Daddy

    January 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

    • Please note, quite normal for Spectrummy Daddy is weird by anybody else’s standards. 😉

      Spectrummy Mummy

      January 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

  8. Little Miss is still working on the proper filtering technique for her collection of scripts — so I can really appreciate what Pudding is doing here. Amazing what our kids come up with, isn’t it?

    P.S. Even though Little Miss has PILES of Little People, I hate the little buggers…. those BEADY. LITTLE. EYES! *shivers*

    Karla (Mom2LittleMiss)

    January 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    • It is an arduous process, just so much auditory input all the time has to be overwhelming.

      I know, they’re pretty creepy. Pudding has mostly gone off playing with them though, at least for now.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      January 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm

  9. Oh no! Please don’t tell me we morph into those non-stop repeat episodes of things our kids watch. Because otherwise I’ll be holding a spatula making Krabby patties… 😉

    I adore the way you tell a story. How can you go wrong when the stars of your stories are such adorable little things? And what a perfect line to recite. Just when you want to find out how to melt Little People, she uses that lesson so “appropriately”!! Well played Pudding.


    January 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    • I sincerely hope not, because one of their DVDs has an old episode of Barney that she adores…I just.can’t.stand.it!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      January 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm

  10. My oldest son used to repeat tv commercials – made supermarket shopping a complicated and lengthy process!! He grew out of commercials but still repeats movie scripts – he’s 18!

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