Well, this week has certainly been different in our house! We have all been struck down with a nasty cough/cold virus, resulting in the kids taking it in turns to have days off school; just when I thought one seemed better and I’d send them back in, the next day they were worse again! I have felt progressively worse each day for over a week now, but I’m hoping it’s peaked.
Tink has been off Nursery for several days, only making it in on Wednesday. She got to take part in the Chinese workshop for the new year celebrations – twice, so I assume she enjoyed it! She’s coped so well with being poorly – much better than me! She’s still coughing a lot and is pretty snotty, but it doesn’t seem to get her down too much and she bounces around as normal.
We have had a change in behaviour over the last couple of weeks, however. If you follow my Facebook page, you’ll have probably seen it unfolding!
It began almost two weeks ago, when Tink woke up and the first words out of her mouth were “Po’s scooter.” I didn’t think too much of it. About half an hour before we left for school, she started asking where Po’s scooter was. We don’t have one. We told her this. She got very upset. She seemed absolutely convinced that she has one. We can only assume that she dreamed about it and, not understanding about dreams, thought it was real.
She became more and more distraught, but we managed to get her to school, “Po’s scooter”-ing all the way. She didn’t stop when she got there either. I explained to her teacher what we thought the problem was and wished her luck!
When we collected her that afternoon, she came out holding a picture of Po’s scooter. It had been the only way they could calm her down, and she seemed happy enough. But, when we got home, she started up again, over and over – she couldn’t understand why it wasn’t there.
We ummed and ahhed for a while and eventually decided the only way to placate her was to go and buy the flipping scooter. This wasn’t an easy decision. It’s money we don’t really have and she doesn’t need another scooter. However, she lacks the understanding when we try to explain. She wasn’t being a demanding brat (we didn’t think!) – she genuinely thought she had Po’s scooter and it was clearly causing a lot of distress that she couldn’t find it.
So, we thought that was it, problem solved! Only, the next day she started again… “Go to toy shop?” Over and over and over… We decided as we had some time to kill before collecting H from school, we’d take her. She enjoyed looking around and we managed to escape without buying anything, although we did take her to the discount store next door to see what they had in there – we bought some balloons and some ducks for her bath, for pennies rather than pounds! She was happy with that.
A few days later she came home from nursery with a laminated picture of Tinky Winky’s bag. Apparently she had been asking for it over and over – just like the scooter. Hmmm. There was a pattern emerging here. But it still didn’t feel as though she was just trying her luck. Fortunately, I had an old hand bag I don’t use anymore that resembled Tinky Winky’s bag. I gave it to Tink and she seemed happy with it.
By now, I knew what was coming next: it looked like she’d be asking for LaaLaa’s ball and Dipsy’s hat. I started making plans. We’d decided to see if we could arrange these in the hope that once she had the full set, she’d stop perseverating over it. As predicted, she asked repeatedly for the ball (we used a large, orange balloon!) and then the hat (I had ordered a plain white one from Amazon – praise be to Prime! – and used a sharpie to decorate it).
We were in the clear. She seemed placated with her accessories and stopped asking over and over. Until…
She started asking for “some presents,” and, since yesterday, “go to Wegowand” (Legoland – she saw an ad for it on TV!). So far we’ve managed to put her off by saying “soon” – she gets very upset if you tell her there aren’t any presents, or that Legoland is closed.
Did we do the right thing in acquiescing to her demands in the first place? I’m sure there are plenty out there who think not. However, unless you’ve walked in my shoes, you can’t really judge! If Tink had the ability to understand, there’s no way I’d give in. There would be a battle of wills for a while, but I’d just have to stick it out. However, for a child like Tink, there’s no explaining. And there’s no let up. She will go on and on, long past the point I can stand it any longer! Of course there are limits; although we have passes for Legoland and it’s not too far to drive, it’s closed until March, so there’s absolutely no point! So we will just have to hope her interest wains soon. We’ll have to show her videos instead and hope that’s enough! However, if it’s something fairly trivial and inexpensive, I’m happier to give in and give it to her if I can. I’d much rather have a happy Tink than a Tink who becomes more and more anxious and worked up. Spoilt? Maybe. But all my ‘perfect parenting’ intentions went out of the window a long time ago when autism entered our lives!