Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘sesamestreet

Sudden Interest

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Abby Cadabby

Image by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

Now, perhaps I should have realized on Saturday.  I was buying toothbrushes, yet again, because my kids like to chew on them.  I picked up the Elmo one for Cubby, and the Ernie one for Pudding, but she stopped me, and told me she wanted the Abby Cadabby one instead.  Hmm.  I bought the one she wanted, but kept thinking that I should have taken an Ernie one just in case she changed her mind.  After all, Ernie is numero uno in this casa.  She requested the Abby toothbrush every morning and night, but I still didn’t think of what that signified.  I just thought she preferred it because it was pink.  Because the whole deal with special interests is that the kid has them for a significant amount of time.  Not a few lousy months.  Not a new one all of a sudden.  Who can keep up with that?

On Wednesday, her bus home from school was late.  And when I mean late, I’m saying that she got on at 12.15, and at 1.30 there was still no sign.  I called her teacher to check it had left on time.  It had, and she contacted transport to find out what was going on.  They were stuck in traffic, having gone back to a previous stop for something they’d forgotten.  Finally at 2.00 the bus arrived.  It was too late for us to make her occupational therapy session, which is only takes place once every two weeks anyway.  Not great.

Pudding’s 4 year-old bladder simply couldn’t take such a long ride.  I felt awful for her, because I knew she would have been desperately trying to hold on.  Normally the ride is 45 minutes long, which is pretty tough on young kids, but adding an extra hour to that when you can’t understand what is happening must be awful.  She seemed pretty nonchalant though, and got changed after some extra long hugs.  Yes, I needed to get my clothes changed then too.

With fresh clothes and no plans for the afternoon, it wasn’t long before Pudding was itching to go out.  Spectrummy Daddy emailed with the suggestion of the book store, and I leaped at the idea.  It has a train table for Cubby, princess and Sesame Street books for Pudding, and a coffee shop for me.  It isn’t very often we get win-win-win for the three of us!

Pudding became enamoured with a girl eating a cake-pop.  Okay, the cake-pop was pink, I’m pretty sure the girl herself wasn’t that interesting.  It still hurt to see Pudding’s awkward advances rebuffed.  And it annoyed me that, due to her allergies, I couldn’t treat my girl to a delicious cake-pop when she’d had such a bad day.  I took Pudding over to the Sesame Street section to distract her.

Then she saw it.  An Abby Cadabby doll.  Some other kid had already got to it and pulled off the tags, so I had no qualms about letting her play with it while we there.  Cubby was content with the train table and randomly pulling books of the shelves for me to pick up.  I was content with a bench and a vanilla latte.  And Pudding was content doing a galloping lap of honour with Abby Cadabby.  Every once in while she’d canter over and tell me something about Abby, and I lapped up the moment of happiness in what could have been a very bad day.

Only then it occurred to me just how thrilled she was with Abby.  How Ernie hadn’t been mentioned at all.  How I didn’t have the thirty dollars or so to buy another toy, and even if I did, I couldn’t just get everything she wanted.  She loved that Abby, and I was going to have to part them.  Curses!

When it was time to leave, I carefully explained to Pudding that we were leaving, and Abby had to stay in the store.  She began to cry and jump up and down, so I quickly took the toy and put it on the highest shelf, then grabbed both kids and got out of there quickly.  In the car, for the next 20 minutes or so until we picked up Daddy from work, all I heard was:

“I want Abby Cadabby.  Want Mummy to get it.  Got to the book store Mummy for Abby Cadabby!”

I tried to console her with the fact that Ernie was at home, but that just fueled the fire.  Ernie’s reign is over.  Abby Cadabby rules now.  We heard the demands right through bedtime.  Finally I came right out and asked her:

Me: Pudding, do you have a new special interest? (Before you say it, I know!  I should not try to be smart with someone who is probably much more intelligent.)

Pudding: Yes.

Me: Well, what is it?

Pudding: Abby Cadabby.  I want her.

So there you have it.  She threw Ernie out of bed, but then reluctantly took both him and Upsy-Daisy.  Reminding us all the while that, in fact, Abby was the one she wanted, and I should go to the book store for her.  And, you know, repeat for last night.

I know we’ll end up getting her the Abby doll, because we’re suckers for special interests, and for putting smiles on that kid’s face.  But I’m determined to make her work for it in some way.  I want her to learn that belongings have value, and you need to earn them.  We’ve never had much luck in the past with reward charts, but I wonder if this would be enough of a motivator to work.  Any tips?

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 25, 2011 at 7:09 am

Give and Take

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Pudding got Christmas this year.  That in itself is pretty huge.  She got that Santa brought presents in the night; some were for her, some for her brother.  She got that, she just didn’t always accept it.  She liked that Santa bought her various pink and princessy items.  She was cool with Father Christmas bringing Cubby trains and boy things.  But Santa had made a mistake with one present, and she has done her best to rectify that ever since.

A couple of months ago, we’d seen a Sesame Street book with a toddler’s “CD” player and discs.  It was perfect for Cubby, who likes Elmo, and music, and touching (scratching) any grown-up CDs and DVDs he can get his hands on.  We did not anticipate that within the few weeks between then and Christmas, Pudding would develop a new special interest with Ernie.

Special Interests are, well…special in our house. Even before the diagnosis, we’ve always enabled and cultivated these passions.   Of all the aspects of spectrummy life, special interests are the easiest for us to understand.  This is because both Spectrummy Daddy and I both have special interests now, and we did as kids too.  In fact, not having special interests would be unusual for our progeny.  You try telling Spectrummy Daddy that Batman is not the greatest super hero of all time, and see where that gets you.  Just like if you even suggest to me that there might be a greater novel than Jane Eyre.  As a young child I was crazy about horses.  I’d even got a small collection of tack, but…erm, no pony.  Then anyone who knew me as a teenager remembers my obsession for Take That far exceeding the typical teenage infatuation.  I even went to the same concert five times in a row.  My parents were enablers too!

So, at the time of purchase, there was no Sesame Street or Ernie for Pudding, she was enthralled with Upsy-Daisy again.  My parents bought another doll to replace the one she carried everywhere with her, and she was ecstatic with new and old Upsy-Daisy.  But she made more requests for Ernie, we found and bought a stuffed Ernie for her birthday, and that was it:  Ernie, Ernie, Ernie.  I must admit to feeling a little sad for Upsy-Daisy, at being so quickly usurped, but like Sleeping Beauty and other special interests, they still remain close to her heart.  Their importance to her just waxes and wanes.

So all this left us with a dilemma over the CD player.  In the end I decided to give it to Cubby.  It is Elmo, rather than Ernie, after all.  But the instant Cubby opened it, Pudding snatched it away.  One of the songs it plays is The Rubber Ducky Song, after all.  For the most part, he doesn’t mind.  He has plenty of other toys to occupy him.  When he decides he does want to play with it, a possessive Pudding isn’t willing to share.  It is usually around this time that Ernie decides he wants to ride on the back of Pudding’s bicycle, and Pudding graciously runs to assist him in this endeavour.

That is the other good thing about special interests, they make for great motivators.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 30, 2010 at 7:17 am