Choosing Favorites (#403)

“Yallow school bus.”

Charlie came into our room a bit before 4am, said that, and lay down on the couch. We reminded him that today was Saturday and that Monday was two days off. After a few seconds of silence came a loud, high-pitched scream.
“You can come into our bed, pal,” said Jim.

“No,” said Charlie.

“You sure?” I asked.

“Yee sure,” said Charlie.

I have been saying, jokingly, too bad Charlie does not have school everyday—he has been liking it so much. But I have started to think, even though Charlie asks so often for things he likes a lot, perhaps a steady diet of moderation can help him—-perhaps not having those “favorite things” regularly can help him.

And I am not even sure that “favorite” is the right word to describe the “b’ue ocean,” “sushi,” “spring rolls,” even that “yallow school bus” that Charlie calls for so much. I have my favorite singer, this is my favorite writer, and this is where I get my absolute favorite coffee. But I can handle not listening to the music, reading the book, or drinking the coffee everyday; indeed, by rotating my listening, reading, and coffee-drinking choices, I remember why certain ones are my favorites.

It is that rotation that Charlie struggles with. When he finds something he likes, he seems to want to have it over and over and he also talks about it over and over and, as Charlie’s language is so delayed, we put a great store behind anything he says. And, he is most likely to talk about the things he likes the best and to ask for them—-even after he is tired of eating them and the food goes flying.
So I had Charlie eat green apples along with some breakfast carbohydrates. Jim encouraged Charlie to pedal and pedal on a hot and hilly bikeride, especially when Charlie’s anticipatory anxiety got the better of him and he started to talk about “b’ue ocean.” At the ocean, there was a strong undertow and huge waves and Jim and I did our best to explain to Charlie why he could not swim out as far he as he is used to: Today, he would have to swim in moderation (not that Charlie did not get in his share of body-surfing and ducking under some big, rushing waves). We got him his favorite guacamole for dinner and “something new,” a beef taco that he devoured in 90 seconds.

Ne quid nimis, said Terence, a writer of comedies in the Roman Republic: Nothing too much. Or, moderation in all things.

Indeed: After telling us adamantly at 4am that he would prefer to lie on the couch, Charlie crawled over to our bed and fell back, soundly asleep.

4 Responses to “Choosing Favorites (#403)”
  1. Anonymous says:

    I get to keep up with what’s going on with you and Charlie. It’s nice, and it sounds like all is well. I wish you only success.
    I am home in Israel. You may have heard we’re having our little problems. But, not near where we live. We have hundreds of people staying in our area in small Israeli apartments with someone they know or don’t know or in the many of the local schools that have been opened up for them to stay. It seems so mundane to be job hunting in the middle of all this. But, life goes on through it all.
    Gedalya Persky

  2. Gedalya,
    It’s wonderful to hear from you—we’ve been following the “little problems” you’ve been having and hope you and your family and friends are all right. And that you have much success in your job hunt…….. Charlie has indeed been well. He seems to feel that he has landed safely in his new school and in Grandpa’s house. I’ve yet to drive him by his (your) old school but he always perks up when we drive on the roads that used to take him there.
    Stay in touch!

  3. Mamaroo says:

    Many times I think Roo will ask for “milk” when he really wants something to eat, but lacks the language to tell me what he wants. He probably also lacks the exposure to many choices. The limited language makes their choices less too. We tend to give him what he asks for, I guess. I am also working on expanding Roo’s food choices. Being that I am giving him foods with gluten now, it helps to have more choices. When we were at my nieces party today, Roo stuck his fingers in the icing of the cake more than once. He’s quick! My dad’s annoying comment was, “that’s because you never let him have any”.

    I have to say, Roo and Charlie definitely share one of their favorite places being the beach and the ocean. We were there on Saturday too.

  4. gretchen says:

    Kristina- I want to hear more as your thoughts on this subject develop. I think Henry does the same- asks for the same things for every meal (lately it’s sausage and a waffle. Not just for breakfast anymore.) It’s easy to do as he asks- like the rest of you I’m just happy he is using words to ask me for something.

    If I suggest something different- cereal with milk? He objects loudly. If I persevere and give him a bowl full of cereal anyway, he’ll eat it. And another. And another!

    When do we listen to their words and when do we ignore them?!

    Another example: driving home from vacation he wanted to listen to the Tarzan story tape. We listened to it for several HOURS straight. Finally, Bill turned it off and put on his (Bill’s) iPod. Almost immediately Henry started chattering and singing- INTERACTING. It was like the story tape was holding him back- entrancing him. He thought that’s what he wanted, but…

    Sorry to go on and on- this touches a hot spot for me.

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