weekend in pictures – part one and a half

Fire house pictures are next; I promise. But I really, really wanted to share this next group of shots first. They may not look like much to the casual observer, but I know full well there ain’t a casual observer among us in this crowd, so I trust you’ll understand my enthusiasm.

While the various apple pastries were baking and I was cleaning up the detritus of the process, Brooke came into the kitchen and made an announcement.

“It’s time for Happy Mother’s Day!” she declared.

I told her that sounded great and turned back to the sink. She went to work preparing.

I was half-aware as she reached up onto the counter and took a cupcake from the tin. I was only sort of paying attention as she rooted around in the drawer where we keep the birthday candles. But she certainly had me rapt when she handed me the lighter and said, “You will light them so we can sing.”

Apparently, we were not messing around.

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And so, of course we lit them.

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And Brooke and I sang a rousing rendition of “Happy Mother’s Day to you (me)!”

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But since we really wanted to go visit these guys instead of having them visit us ..

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We not only blew out the candles immediately, but doused the smoldering remains of the inferno with water just to be sure.

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So why does this all matter so much? Well, any chance you remember me telling you about that first evaluation with the Doctor Who Apparently Got A Crystal Ball with her Harvard Degree ? If not, I’d ask you to click onto the words in blue and read the post, then come on back. Take your time. I’m happy to wait. It’s worth it, because it will make this next part a whole lot sweeter.

You see, a big part of the premise for the Doctor Who Apparently Got A Crystal Ball Along With Her Harvard Degree’s assessment was the fact that Brooke had failed pretty spectacularly in the pretend play and joint attention portions of the evaluation. When presented with a birthday party play scheme, if I recall correctly she banged the plastic cake against the plastic plate. She didn’t respond at all to the doctor’s prompts to ‘light the candles’ or to ‘sing Happy Birthday’. She didn’t blow out the pretend flame nor did she seem to have the slightest interest in nor understanding of why anyone would want to pretend to eat the pretend cake.

So there were quotes. There were words like these:

“Child presents with a marked lack of joint attention. There is no attempt to share enjoyment or engage with others. “

and these:

“Child has no discernible play skills.”

And now?

Well, now there’s a kid who comes into the kitchen to engage her Mama in the shared enjoyment of a play scheme born entirely of her own imagination.

And there’s a mom who once again sends up a silent prayer that somewhere there’s a doctor with a defunct crystal ball who can hear her saying, “Oh yeah, whatdaythink now, doc?”

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27 thoughts on “weekend in pictures – part one and a half

  1. Ah I love those moments when you think to yourself “oh really doc? Well take that and shove it where the sun don’t shine! ” lol. Our girls are amazing little creatures and with the love and nurturing they receive they are becoming beautiful butterflies!

  2. so incredible beautiful and sweet. I love her love for you.

    and you know how I feel about that birthday party part of that test…I won’t go anywhere there right now except to say you should send that picture to the doctor. I’ll be doing the same to mine someday.

  3. No one knows our babies better than us, but next in line is that wonderful IEP team: co-ordinators, teachers, assistants, therapists and many more who tell you from day one ”we can do this”.

  4. That doctor can have her plastic cake with her pretend flame and take her discernible play elsewhere, you got the real thing! Our children are literal thinkers, why would they show any excitement over eating a fake cup cake at a pretend birthday party with no other party goers aside from this woman who is clearly insane! Brooke will be the most amazing woman! All the things that make our children sweet and kind, loyal and honest.. these are the things that will contribute to them being wonderful adults. Not not weather they can transition with only 2 promps 70% of the time or stay on topic with appropriate responces 65% of the time. I’m 38 years old and dont know a single person that can do that! Enjoy your girls for who they are and the love they show you in their own ways!

  5. Crystal Ball Lady is so wrong – Brooke is ALL about pretend play. Has been as long as I’ve known her.

    She lives, as Miss M likes to say, in “magical realism”. Miss M moves in that world, too.

    And that, I think, is the utter joy of childhood.

    And Brooke soaks it up more than any child I know.

  6. LOVE this!!! That’s one thing that continues to amaze me about Brooke, about my son, and all the other children like them….when we here the diagnosis, the Dr’s are so negative….they suck the hope right out of you like taking the wind out of your sails…but our kids….with each ,what to some may seem small, milestone…a word, a cupcake, a smile, a hug…they restore our hope…they prove the Dr’s wrong, and they teach us to remember that its the simple things that matter most…

    This is AWESOME!!! Go Brooke!!! and, Jess….Happy Mother’s day! :-)

  7. My son didn’t do well on the birthday cake part of the test either which I thought was just ridiculous. He had just turned two. How is he to have any reference to birthdays and cakes. Thanks for telling stories that always make me smile and give me hope for my son.

  8. YES!! I am celebrating with you. It’s so awesome when our kids prove the “experts” wrong. Last year my son’s teachers tried to tell me “he’s probably one of those kids who just won’t be ‘into’ play.” He is THREE and they are ready to proclaim he’ll only be into video games??? First off, ALL kids play…some kids with ASD might just have a different version of what they consider fun play (i.e. not the plastic birthday cake game with a total stranger). Second, how dare they?? I felt that same indignation. I wanted to whip out the camera and film him this summer for them when he started initiating pretend play…I know just what you are feeling…

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