Oh my gosh.
So Rhema’s been using pictures on her iPad to tell us she wants cheese for a little while now.
It was exciting the first time she did it with assistance and even more thrilling when she did it independently.
And then of course it turned into a stim. I think.
I’d wonder, Is she stimming? Is she requesting? Is she really understanding any of this? (Sometimes when she wants cheese she taps out something quite different like “I am nine years old. I am nine years old. I am nine years old.”)
And then of course there’s that dilemma. You want to encourage her efforts, show her the power of language by granting her request. But you also have to show her she can’t always have everything she wants.
Last night we had a full house with Brandon’s parents in town and some old friends from Michigan over for dinner.
Rhema had already had enough cheese for the day. (We’ve actually been giving her a non-dairy cheese called Daiya.) She reached for my hand several times throughout dinner and I knew she wanted to lead me to the refrigerator. I resisted her; No more cheese.
She went to her iPad and the app’s automated voice informed us all:
“I want cheese. I want cheese. I want cheese. I want cheese. I want cheese.”
Exasperated, I reached over and pressed my response:
“No. No. No. No.”
And you know what happened next, right?
This child did not miss a beat. She tapped:
“Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.”
I mean. How do you begin to describe the moment you realize that it’s all true? That your girl who seems so far away, humming and spinning, and seemingly unaffected by the things around her, is really right there with you. Taking it all in, learning, understanding, communicating, showing you more and more of her beautiful, intelligent, sassy self.
I wanted to faint, laugh, cry, cheer, and send her to room (just kidding) all at the same time!
Laughter is what came out. Deep, joyful, heart-healing laughter. I laughed all night.
Oh, and I fell over myself getting her that cheese. 🙂