Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Phil 4:6
Hope has shown me how much a little kid can want. As we drive here and there, she keeps me informed of her needs from her carseat:
“Mommy, I’m hot.”
“Mommy, I’m cold.”
“Mommy, can I watch Dora?”
“Mommy, I gotta go potty.”
“Mommy, can I have pretzels?”
“Mommy, can we go to Wal-Mart?”
Rhema remains silent in the other seat, and I’m left to wonder about the things she may want.
When she was younger she used to tantrum all the time it seemed. The books and professionals explained that the meltdowns were largely due to her frustration over being unable to communicate her needs and desires.
As she has gotten older, the tantrums have decreased, thankfully. Usually, she is calmer, more patient. Recently, I have actually been concerned about the lack of tantrums. Has she gotten used to the frustration? Has she resigned herself to the fact that she will not receive the things she wants? Is she slowly giving up on trying to articulate her requests?
That would be so sad…
One evening last week we were driving home from an ABA therapy session. I had a small bag of marshmallows in the car. The marshmallows are only used as reinforcers during therapy visits, but it had been a long day and Rhema had worked so hard. So at a red light, I reached back and handed her a few marshmallows.
I drove along, lost in my own thoughts.
Her soft, sweet whisper snapped me out of my daydream.
“More. More, more.”
Her head was down and she was looking at her hands. She kept whispering ‘more’, almost as if she were talking to herself.
I cannot tell how many times I have knelt before her, held a desired object just out of her reach, and modeled the word “More.” I have signed it, I have said it, I have shown her the PECS symbol for it. And then hoped so hard it left me dizzy that even just the “m” sound would escape her lips.
But there it was. A spontaneous request for more. Meaningful and appropriate. Unprompted; I did not say it first.
I pulled over as soon as I could. Happy? More than I can say.
“You said more, Rhema! More marshmallows!”
(She is doing so well lately.)
I almost dumped the whole bag of marshmallows on her head.
More, Rhema. More.