Every Tuesday morning, we attend our youth group's prayer breakfast at Hardee's. This morning, Pamela did something completely new! Usually, she just has a meaty breakfast and, if she wants carbs or fruit, she will eat them at home. Today, she heated some pancakes we made last Saturday and packed a Styrofoam plate, fork, pancakes, maple syrup, and gf/cf margarine in a plastic shopping bag. My brain can barely make it to the car before seven in the morning!
Pamela does not usually interact much in a large group. When it was time to go, Pamela turned away from the table, getting ready to leave, too. The pastor leaned over and said, "Bye, Pamela!" Pamela turned to her, waved to her, and said, "Good-bye!" This was a striking enough difference that the paster looked at me and said, "Wow!"
My parent goal for myself is to try to be more clear in my signals that we are finished so that Pamela does not bolt. The other one is to foster more declarative comments, especially ones focused on emotion, but keep them short with plenty of pauses for Pamela to add her comment.
I have been thinking our puzzle-building has gotten a little static, and today we had a great time. My role is to hold the box and lift it up so that she picks a random piece (simply because it affords more opportunity for productive uncertainty and for her to read my face for information). The puzzle-making was more lively because we were making declarative comments while building the puzzle. At one point, she tried peeking in the box, so I began to shake it, saying "Earthquake!" She laughed and thought it was hilarious (unknown to me, we have been working on flexible thinking for years and she likes unexpected things most of the time). Then I had a tidal wave, bumper cars, and bunny hop with the puzzle box. I tried to only spill out a couple of pieces at a time. She laughed and thought it was funny. I did not do this all the time because it would get stale. But, I did it enough that there was some anticipation of fun every time she had to pick a piece.
My father is really helpful, too, because he is so random (which he passed onto David). My dad is working on our front porch and heads to the back yard from time to time for wood or some other supplies. He knows that Pamela loves watching people with broken VCRs and DVD players on You-Tube. She stims on one in particular in which a teen-aged boy breaks a video tape by slamming into his head. Juvenile, but Pamela thinks it is funny. She is too smart to do it herself, except for the time she drew a picture of a videotape, cut it out, and imitated the clip.
My dad has picked up on that, so today he walks to the sidewalk, picks up a flower pot, and says, "Hey, Pamela, I'm going to break this flower pot on my head." She yells out, "No! Don't do that! You're joking!" She was smiling, so I could tell that she knew Opa was playing a joke on her.