Sunday, January 18, 2015

Things in Places: the Good and Not So Good

While James has not exhibited typical behaviour of lining up objects as a way of playing with them, he has always liked Things in Their Places. This means that he can recite who lives or works at a city or off an exit as we drive down the freeway. He knows which of his doctors/therapists (and there are a lot of them) live/work in which city. It sometimes frustrates him that he does not know where his teacher and aide live. He has a much better idea of North, South, and how to find a place in our town than, say, his older sister. He dislikes it even more than I when Trader Joe's changes up the layout of their stores.

He LOVES Hide-and-Go-Seek. Likewise Blue's Clues. I think the reason he did not embrace Joe is because he displaced Steve from the house. His favourite bedtime stories have been a combination of hide-and-go-seek and his favourite people/tv characters. We have a lot of fun with that one. He has 3 favourite settings: Caillou's house, his grandparents' near us, and the beach house. Most of the characters have to hide in a certain spot and he won't let the story go until EVERYONE has been found.

We've tried to interest James in non-iPad play things, such as stuffed animals, toy cars, books, and building objects. Hand puppets, costumes, and drawing materials have had a pretty strong success with truly active play. The most he's done with stacking or lining up activities are sporadically holding onto recorded media. Over the past few months, however, he has started to obsess in particular over the Baby Einstein videos and DVDs that we've amassed over the years and never given away, because he still like sthem. Now they are "his" and we are immediately corrected if we call a VHS a DVD. We are expected to know which are marked "FHS" and the difference between the originals and the re-released. We have discussed at length Julie Clark: he hair (and it's length), and whether or not we can call the Baby Einstein logo Julie Clark because she drew it.

Frankly, I am up to here with Julie Clark and the Baby Einstein collection. They are better than The Teletubbies or the Wiggles, I give you that. And yes, they have turned him on to classical music, which he prefers even as his sister heads into Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, and Tween rap, for which my ears and my sanity are thankful. But I have to talk him out of taking them EVERYWHERE with him, including school and trips to the specialist in SF. The horror of losing one, or the DVD, or having one break is not to be imagined.

I'll end on a positive note: His penchant for Things in Their Places sure comes in handy when it's time to clean up his room or around the house. I can hardly wait to try him at coding.

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