Trials of an SN Mom: The Inanimate object
My advocacy led to serving as a candidate for office. My hope was to have access to a larger platform; to move the needle on some of the issues involving our more vulnerable populations, but, alas, it was not meant to be. After some time recollecting and spending much needed time with my family, I have resurfaced with the energy and drive to walk past the doors that have been closed and to walk through the new ones that have opened. It seems that resetting happens not only in my capacity as a special needs mom but in my capacity as an individual too (see: https://www.speced.net/post/trials-of-an-sn-mom-resetting ). My experience with our son has told me that's ok and healthy. However, it is the holiday season, which means this resetting is occurring with a lot of unsettling...and, past experience has taught me that patience, with a good dose of caffeinated drinks throughout the day, will get me through. The 2019 season seems to be shaping up like the 2018 season...
In addition to the anxiety-driven behaviors spurred by the holiday season, our son wanted a sweater vest last year. Yes, a sweater vest. However, this particular sweater vest HAD to be the one that Charles Wallace wore in the movie A Wrinkle in Time (for the curious, this would be a grey vest with blue stripes). Our son was fascinated with the movie and how Charles transformed from good to bad to good again. There is a whole psychology to it and it is not the first time a movie has "spoken" to our son. I get it. Movies can provide guidance (both good and bad), demonstrate lessons or evoke emotions. For a person who has a difficult time articulating or who processes emotions differently, movies can serve as a guide, providing comfort and understanding in a world that can very confusing. For a period of time, Charles served that role. My husband was actually able to find the vest - at a Crazy 8 store in Texas. Our dad of the century called countless stores throughout the country and explained the situation...I am fairly sure it was the first for many on the receiving end of that call...but after many interesting conversations and some persistence, we had the vest and our son wore it for months - over clothing, over pajamas, over coats. I had to discretely wash it overnight so that it was available the next day in order to avoid a meltdown. That vest was very important to our son. It provided a level of stability for him that we did not quite understand but valued, so we kept the routine up for some time. Eventually, the persistent need to wear this vest subsided. Now we are in holiday season 2019 and we have moved on...to the Talk Boy.
This year it is Home Alone 2 and the inanimate object that has gripped our son's attention is the device that Kevin uses to trick people so that he can survive all of the bad elements in New York City. You can actually find this toy on eBay and for a device that has horrible reviews for durability and performance, it is quite expensive. And, yes, in the age of smartphones, our son wants a toy that requires a cassette tape - along with my Fila clothing and scrunchies, I regret purging all of my cassettes as I would be saving a ton of money these days (sigh). We actually got into a bidding war with someone for this Talk Boy. A bidding war! But we won and it arrived last night. It is as unimpressive as I thought it would be, but I am looking forward to our boy's reaction. He talks about the Talk Boy ALL. THE. TIME. He convinces his teacher daily to print pictures of it from her computer as a reward for good behavior and he asks me to pull it up on our screen when he gets home. Our guy just sits there and stares at the picture. This toy, this device, provides something for our son. It makes him very happy and settled. For all these reasons, we are indulging him.
As a parent, you are always looking to keep your children healthy and happy. We continue to provide outside supports so that our son learns coping skills, which will perhaps alleviate the need for these inaminate objects. In the meantime, we don't see the harm in providing comfort to our guy, even if it does not always make sense to us.
Heck, even the neurotypical do things that defy logic - like running for office in 2019. So, who am I do judge? :)