My kid is hilarious. I don’t care if it is mostly unintentional; it is part of her undeniable charm. She keeps things interesting. And in spite of all the stories we get hit over the head with around here on ways to cope with our autism parenting lifestyle- we also get entertained by the bizarre on a daily basis. It’s okay to laugh at it. It’s even therapeutic. God help the parents who lack a sense of humor about all this.
Sometimes Teghan is subtle in her quirks. The way she licks the window, taps on the TV, or gallops back and forth unless forcibly diverted. Sometimes she is full on crazy- running into things while screaming nonsense and giggling. Sometimes even her tantrums are funny.
When we are not in public, of course.
But at home….there are times when we have to go in the other room so she won’t see us laughing. It’s like an interpretive dance of anger playing out on our living room floor. And she doesn’t talk, so sometimes she defiantly yells things at us that are really just random letters. I know she’s angry, but it’s just too cute. We’re only human.
And yes, language is a serious problem in our house. But I am not going to pretend as if the road to getting across what we need is not, at times, filled with laughter. Asking Teghan to get something and then waiting to see what she brings back can be an enjoyable game. She also has a one track mind. Once she believes she knows what you want from her, good luck rerouting that.
For example, yesterday I asked her to get the chocolate out of the refrigerator. This one should have been easy. Except, we have never allowed her to just grab something as amazing as chocolate out of the refrigerator before. She knows what chocolate is. She knows how to get things from the refrigerator. But for some reason, she thought we were offering her some hot chocolate. So, she ran and got her cup, then tried to reach the hot chocolate (she was very excited). I said, “No, Teghan. In the refrigerator. There is chocolate in the refrigerator!” She looked at the refrigerator for a moment, and then brought me her cup. I then told her to OPEN the refrigerator and get the chocolate. She seemed confused, but went back out to the fridge- and brought me the cream, which she likes in her hot chocolate.
Hands down, this kid prefers a chocolate bar to hot chocolate. And, when I showed her the actual chocolate bar in the refrigerator, she did lose her mind with joy. She forgot all about her cup. But there is seldom an easy path to communication. Did I laugh when she brought me that cream? Absolutely. It took like ten full minutes to accomplish the task of retrieving a chocolate bar from a refrigerator that was ten feet away.
I love that kid.
The things that make her different are not always obstacles. Sometimes being able to relax while your child sits nearby content with ripping paper is a good thing. Watching her method for playing games on the Kindle is also fascinating. There is no rhyme or reason to her actions (to me), but she is fully engaged. The presence of certain games will make her very angry, though, and she will take random moments to stomp and bite the couch cushion.
I like the Zoodles App. They won’t let her buy books, but they email me every time she taps on one (which is a lot). They send a nice little message letting me know that “Teghan wants to read….” As if. But the best part of the app is how they send me weekly updates on her activity. What types of activities, broken down into graphs. They also show you any pictures your child may have drawn in the art portion of the app that week. This one makes me laugh out loud. Seeing a serious display of artwork created from whenever Teghan accidentally hit the wrong tab is good stuff. Especially when I know for a fact that the art screen is one that leads to stomping and biting.
I look forward to her weekly Zoodles update more than I should.
I love that she is like no one else. I love that she feels passionately about filling up a cup of water and dumping it on the floor every time she goes to the bathroom. I love that once I say goodbye to her in the morning, she gets angry if I don’t leave immediately. I love that she thinks Barbie is a chew toy. I love that she takes bites out of my tea bag. I love that she views chip and dip as a method of painting on the windows.
Because I love everything about that kid…. and because I love the way she makes me laugh.