Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Initiative and Planning.

Going to the park with Joy is a mixed bag these days. On the one hand, she's mighty stimmy on the gravel or woodchips or whatever. Handfuls go flying into the air at random times (one of those less-than-a-good-example kinds of things when other kids are around), or into the mouth. Bleah.

On the other hand, she is doing great things on the play structures. The other day I had her at the school playground, on equipment that had three different kinds of ladders (petal-grid, spiral, ordinary). It was such a treat to watch her think and plan as she made her way up the petal-grid and the spiral! The wheels were turning and she was making the most of it.

Then she saw the big-kid swings, way down the hill and across the grass.

WHOOSH. She was on her way.

Headed down to the big kid swings
When I caught up with her, she was trying to get into a swing. These are higher up than our usual park, though, and she couldn't quite make it. So she came over to me, grabbed my hands, put them under her arms. Pick me up, Mama. Put me in the swing. I was so happy to help!

Riding in the swing
Joy has done so well lately staying in the swing and holding on for high pushes, and not trying to get off until the swing is nearly stopped. So I gave her the big-kid treatment, with the great big running-underneath pushes (do you call those underducks? or underdogs?) Anyway. She grinned so big I thought her face was gonna split in two.

Meanwhile, Rose was clamoring for the big pushes too. I think they picked swings at the opposite end of the set on purpose to give Mama a workout...

Joy's use of the hand-pulling request has blossomed lately. To the buckles on her booster chair (unbuckle me, Mama, I want to get down!) To the TV/video-player (Baby Einstein, please, Mama!) To the door handle (play outside? Now?) To her own underarms (I'm tired of walking, pick me up!)

The flip side here is that when I have to refuse (sorry sweetie, we can't start a video, the therapist is coming in five minutes!) she is declaring her unhappiness in no uncertain terms. The fuss can persist long after the initial offense. I should be celebrating this, I guess, right? As in, it's not normal for a kid to give up so quickly and nonchalantly as she's generally done in the past. Oh bliss, oh Joy, she's discovered her inner two year old! Hurray, and a big deep sigh.

One final vignette for this post.

Yesterday afternoon Joy was hanging out in the living room, watching a video (yes, Baby Einstein, what else?) and I was lounging on the couch with a book. Suddenly she went over to the quilt that stays in the room, that her baristas use for blanket-pulls and swinging and such. Her 6-ft-7 barista-dude has been trying to teach her to help spread the quilt out a little bit -- he's the only one that can give her the full swinging treatment all by himself! Well, she took the quilt and made spreading motions and got it laid out a little bit on the floor. Then she came over, took my hand, pulled me from the couch. And then she sat down on that blanket.

Look Mama, I've done the planning & prep work. Swing me now!!

I called JoyDad over, and together we swung her high, to the accompaniment of that dazzling grin.


Anonymous said...


*grinning so big here*

Niksmom said...

I have to chuckle over so much of this. I'm not sure if Joy's channeling Nik or vice versa! Right down to the mouthful of mulch! LOL

And yes, "discovering her inner two year old..." perfectly said! :-)

mama edge said...

She's working it! I too remember rejoicing at Rocky's first signs of defiance. It's good to remember that we WANT our kids to achieve the not-so-fun developmental gains, not just the delightful ones.

Yay for defiance. I think?

Anonymous said...

Communication is communication, that's what I say. I just love that she's making her needs & wants known VERY clearly.

Not sure if you know this, but Charlotte had a major Baby Einstein thing when she was younger. The DVDs, the books, the puppets, the giant Alphabet poster on the wall in the playroom.

I like what Mama Edge said, Yay for defiance, right?

Anonymous said...

Again, this sounds so much like Rhema. Rhema LOVES the blanket swing, and Baby Einstein videos are the only ones that hold her attention now.

Brandon and I will often make a joke about the hand-pulling and hand-thrusting. He'll walk up to me without a word, grab my hand and thrust it hard at the refrigerator. That's his way of saying, "When's dinner?"

datri said...

So great to hear Joy is beginning to enjoy playground equipment (as opposed to stimming on/stuffing in mouth the stuff on the ground). Maybe there's still hope for Kayla!

Kayla's been really into the whole autistic hand leading thing. It's driving me crazy because she's pretty much abandoned the picture cards on the fridge. Sigh.

I got a note from Kayla's teacher today that said "she is utilizing whining/crying when a demand is placed, kind of testing to see what the staff will do." How appropriate!

Mona Jean said...

I love the many ways that you so joyfully love Joy!