Thursday, April 29, 2010

Haley's Purse

Time is a difficult concept for Haley. She doesn’t know how to tell time. She doesn’t really get the concept, I guess. For example she knows in general that if it is dark it is night, but I can’t tell her that something will happen in an hour or that we will do something at 2:00 PM. She is learning the calendar in school. She can recite the days of the week. Sometimes she can even point at the right day on the calendar, but time is tough.

Haley doesn’t really have any patience. If she wants something she wants it now - not in a minute - not later, now. When she asks for some Kool-aid she seems to really expect it to just appear in her hand. When I say “just a moment” that doesn’t cut it. When I say “I am still putting in your video” or “I will get your Kool-aid for you after I get you the snack you just asked for.”, that is also not acceptable.

It is for that reason that we have learned not to give her too much information about upcoming plans. I emphasize we have learned because that is what a lot of lessons boil down to in our house. Haley learns of course, but generally our lives have been conformed to Haley. We react. We adapt. We learn.

Sometimes it is just easier that way.

Don’t assume that we are kowtowing to our daughter’s every whim that is not what I mean. This is difficult to explain. Haley has limits. When one of Haley’s limits is reached something has to give. She has what we have come to call a MELTDOWN. It begins as a sound that I find difficult to type; it is kind of a grunt/moan/wail. Then she states her request again. She will repeat her request at an ever increasing volume. She will scream at decibels and octaves that will do damage. She will not stop. Well, it is difficult to get her to stop. That may be a topic for another day. I try to avoid the MELTDOWN.

So if we have plans to go somewhere we wait until we are nearly ready ourselves before we tell her that we are going. If we don’t, well, she wants to go right now. Her desire to go is not a bad thing however; sometimes it can be really fun. It has become somewhat of a game in our house. Let’s see how long it takes Haley to realize we are going somewhere. Let’s see if Haley can guess where we are going. And my personal favorite is when Big Sister says “Can I tell Haley we are going now?” The reaction is usually quite entertaining.

Big Sis likes to tell Haley when we are going to the Zoo or G & G’s house because Haley “lights up” and says “Yeah!” and starts packing her purse.

Haley’s purse was born out of necessity. We learned early on that when we left our house with Haley we needed to have something with us that would keep her entertained. We learned that lesson at a restaurant; it was not a pretty scene. We started out carrying toys with us, usually in my purse. We would pull them out to distract her when the waiting got bad. Haley liked to pull things out of my purse. She liked my purse. So I gave it to her.

She has many purses now. Some were given to her as gifts. She does rotate them time and again, but she still likes that purse I gave her. It is mesh so she can see what she has. She packs it herself now with matchbox cars, small plastic animals, and little dolls and their clothes, shoes and accessories and of course her tiny train engines. That purse can get very heavy and sometimes we have to help her pare down a bit.

THE Purse I gave her
I used to pack her purse. Then one day my husband told her we were going somewhere and suggested that she find her purse and put some toys in it. Then later when we told her we were going somewhere she would head up to her room and start packing a purse on her own.

Not too long ago I was heading to the laundry room and there was her purse packed and waiting by the door to the garage. It took some investigating on my part, but what I realized was that she had seen her father’s preparations for a trip he was going on and had made the assumption that she too would be going, so she had packed and put the purse by the door so she would be ready when the time came.

I can see now that each of those steps I just mentioned is a milestone. Haley learns. It does very little good to tell her that we are going somewhere at 2:00 PM, but she has learned that if those silly parents of hers are running around the house packing clothing into suitcases and food into boxes it must be time to pack her purse.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty soon she'll be packing her purse and telling you guys it's time to go somewhere :)



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