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Friday, October 26, 2012

Hodge Podge Lodge

The title is a TV show that was on when I was very young, in which a woman who to me looked like a witch had kids over to her hut in the woods and showed them nature things, like cocoons.  But that doesn't really have to do with this post, although I always wonder if anyone but me remembers the show, or if I just dreamt it.  I meant the hodge podge part, a few little notes about this and that to do with Janey.

HP1----  Janey has gotten into Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  I've never really watched it before now, and it's a beautifully done movie.  It certainly has scary parts, like The Little Mermaid, but somehow they seem less terrifying, and I'm glad she made the change.  Today she brought it over to me, and wanted to watch it, but couldn't think of the name.  She spoke in that special tone she uses when she is having to think very hard about what she is saying, and said "I want Beauty and the Beast"  Which is very strange, as she's never seen that movie, only clips from it on singalongs.  But it's another Disney movie, and I wonder how the two got connected in her mind.

HP2 ----  This morning, when walking from our parking spot to school, Janey pulled me into a grassy lot near her school, because there were piles of fallen leaves there.  She wanted to kick them as we walked.  I loved that.  It's a universally fun thing to do, and one of those moments where the autism makes no difference.

HP3  ---  A few days ago, Janey was in silent mode.  That's an unusual mode for her, I mean a really silent mode.  She is usually noisy---either laughing, crying, echolalia talking, singing, pretty loud for a mostly non-verbal gal.  But those days she was just silent.  When she did talk to ask for something, she whispered it to me in a barely audible voice.  I really didn't like the silent days.  It threw me into a bit of a depression.  I'm not sure why.  Our family is fairly loud.  Not me on my own, but I've become loud in defense.  We shout from room to room, have animated "discussions" often, sing to ourselves---there are not a lot of quiet moments around here.  And I guess Janey usually fits right in with that.  Having her be so quiet scared me somehow.  She seemed very lost.

HP4  ----  I wonder how often Janey pretends not to know something to get out of doing things.  I used to not think this at all.  But today for some reason, I was showing her an app with aliens, where you had to match the color of the aliens to a space ship that showed up to take them away.  She wasn't a bit interested. She just kept asking for Angelina Ballerina.  But for some reason, I wanted her to try it.  So I said "First match the blue alien to the spaceship, and then I'll put it on" And she did it in a second, with a look on her face I am very familiar with from the boys---the look of "O---KAY!  I'll do it to shut you up"  She had no problem at all with it.  I was surprised, although I know she can do color matching, but the ease and the look were something else again.

HP5  ---  Not that I ever plan on getting a nanny, but reading about the horrible situation in NYC where a nanny killed two of the children she was charged with caring for, all I could think about was why it's so important to me to have Janey be in my care, my husband's care or her school's care, or that of very trusted family and friends.  Not that everyone doesn't feel that way.  But caring for Janey can be incredibly frustrating.  You have to love her to care for her well.  I couldn't hire someone to do that.  And at school, there are many hands to help.  Everyone who cares for Janey there loves her, but if they get overwhelmed, there is someone else there to take her for a bit.  It's another thing that makes autism parenting tough---I know Janey could try the patience of saints sometimes, and that I need to always make sure she is with someone I can completely, totally, wholeheartedly trust.

HP6  ---  I just did what I am always telling Tony not to do---let Janey have a little chocolate after noontime.  No sleep tonight!


Sabrina Steyling said...

Very interesting points. I think the silent thing would freak me out too. I hope for your sake that doesn't happen again!

Just for the fun of it, I Googled "Hodge Podge Lodge." It reminds me very much of a similar show I spent my early childhood watching called "The Magic Garden." Same type of educational show, except it had two female hosts and it was on WPIX, not PBS.

Sophie's Trains said...

I definitely think that Sophie knows exactly what we want her to do and how to do it and she WILL do it if pressed. She will even say words if she really, really wants something (usually Thomas). Like right now, I'm responding to you and ignoring her so she came up, eye contact and all, saying choo-choo because her show finished. I don't know how to feel- happy she can do it, or upset because she doesn't want to do it? Maybe we should raise our expectations? Sometimes we call Sophie spoiled- she seems to run the show here.

Suzanne said...

That sounds extremely like Janey! Much of her best talking is when I'm at the computer and not instantly responding to all she says. And even the situation is the same---I'd say at least a fourth of her talking is requesting another video when one has ended, or another reply of a song she likes when it's over. It's hard to know how to respond when I know she can say or do something and she doesn't. I don't want to turn everything into a struggle by always insisting she do the absolutely best she is capable of at every minute. That's not how I raised my other kids, and it doesn't come naturally to me. But then of course the guilt hits---am I not pushing her enough?

Sabrina, thanks for the idea about Googling Hodge Podge Lodge! You would think after all these years of having internet at my fingertips, things like that would occur to me! I looked it up, and everything mentioned how gentle and quiet the host was. I have no idea why she always scared me so. I remember being terrified of her!