Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I was thinking about my post today while playing with Janey tonight. We were playing with her Ni-Hao Kailin doll---silly games like having the doll sneak up on her, the doll dance on her, etc. She was very, very happy. Then I had an inspiration---have the doll "talk" to her and ask her questions. I had the doll ask "How old are you?"---something she will occasionally answer. But not tonight. So I tried being persistent, pretending the doll didn't want to play unless she said how old she was. And I saw something I've seen so many other times---the light go out of Janey's eyes. We had been connecting, having fun, and in trying to teach, I put pressure on her. She stopped playing at all, got her faraway "autistic" look, and then asked for a video. Whey do I do that? I guess it's because I still in some way hope that she will not be retarded. I hear about how important the early years are, and I feel like I'm missing some vital chances. I need to listen to my own words---if we are having fun, connecting, that's the kind of learning she needs from me. I need to keep her out of the closed-down zone as much as I can. That is more important than reviewing facts with her. But I can talk a good talk, but not always walk a good walk.