Thursday, February 9, 2012
Why would I laugh at two cats mating? Well because it's not a cat or two cats - the sounds are coming from Elizabeth. She sounds that realistic. She loves to pretend to be a cat and when I asked her to show me what she is doing in her room I get a full demonstration of what she knows cats do and she does an amazing imitation of them.
This is not the only sound that comes from her room at times. Sometimes she is pretending to be a super hero or a princess. She's worked herself up to tears and almost to the point of being inconsolable before. It is one of the things we deal with when it comes to Elizabeth.
While most parents may not think much of it if it is their small child, Elizabeth is 10 years old and soon to turn 11 years old in August. One of our challenges for Elizabeth when we discovered she had an Autism Spectrum Disorder was to try to get her out of her own little world and to join us in this world. It took a lot of work in the beginning and even now we have to talk about our imaginary friends and that they stay at home and don't come with us when we go to the store, the doctor, etc . . . It is a real struggle for her. And she comes by it honestly. I too struggle to remain in reality and stay out of the imaginary world I love to visit in my head. Although, not to the same degree as Elizabeth.
As she grows and her reading skills improve she's found new food for her imagination, but still her favorite thing to do is pretend what she sees on TV (hence our hyper vigilance about what we allow her to watch) or become friends with her favorite characters. This was fine at home, but it's presented more than a few problems when she joined the world outside our home.
When Elizabeth was young she LOVED Disney's Tarzan. She would strip down to her panties (sometimes, sometimes she was totally naked) and would do the Tarzan yell - and do it well I might add. This was cute and I didn't think a lot of it at the time, until that fateful day after she'd started public school. One day I walked into the school office and one of the parent volunteers said hi and started chuckling.
"Your daughter cracks me up."
Instantly my mom senses started tingling and my head started racing. Oh geez, what on Earth has she done now? After all, Lizzie had to receive the "We don't climb on the bathroom stall door" speech from Mrs. Silveous (yes, I laughed when she wasn't looking). She kicked a parent volunteer's shoe, she had run around making noises and pretending there were dinosaurs. So I had good reason to go on high alert.
"Oh? What did she do?"
"Today in the library she stood on the table and started doing a Tarzan yell."
"But she kept her clothes on right?" You've never seen two more perplexed women in your life, because the school secretary was there as well. So I explained.
"She never does the Tarzan yell without taking off her clothes. Did she take them off?!!!!!"
Both women laughed and assured me that she had remained fully clothed. I was so relieved at the time. I guessed I was relieved too quickly because the next day she stripped down in class.
Oh well, we finally broke her of that. She still does the Tarzan yell, but I am happy to say it no longer requires her to strip in her mind. Now to convince her that she's not a cat.
Have a good week.