Wednesday, 2 December 2015

A Side of Autism: Underestimating V-Man

One thing the Hubster and I absolutely love is reading.
Of course with him being a researcher - he does it for a living and I do it more for pleasure and learning new things (usually craft techniques and reading multiple blogs and news sources!).
Hubster also reads for fun FYI...

Anyhow, one thing that the V-Man despises (despised?) was reading.
We buy books every year for a Christmas gift because we really want to encourage reading, imagination, bond with our kids and so on.
He hasn't had any interest whatsoever in books other than to rotate them, open and close the covers and recently?  Shove the corner of the book up his nose.  Everything is getting the deep-space nostril treatment lately!

Anyways, to my surprise - last night we had the music therapy and that didn't go all that great. Mostly because V-Man's time switched due to a prior group cancellation and there was another group singing loudly (and nicely!) in the room next door.  Toss in a screaming kid with the choir (not V-Man) - and he wasn't having it.

So V-Man dragged me to McDonald's for supper and then to the ice-cream parlour and I figured - let's make a date out of this!
Hubster was occupied with A-Man's Christmas party and M-Girl was with them - so it was just me and V-Man and that was cool.
I got a scoop of ice-cream for V-Man and he was ecstatic!  Oh wait, he was more ecstatic about the escalator going up and down and prancing on his toes and squeezing his fists repeatedly while eyeing every single stranger and probably giving them a heart attack.
Anyways, he ended up not having any ice-cream - not because it was too delicious for me to not share but because he apparently just wanted the wafer cookie on top.
Yep.  I didn't even want the ice-cream!  But I ate it anyway.

Anyways, we got home, zipped out with the dogs and began to prep for bed time.  We were already past the 7 pm ritual and had such a wildly different day than normal- so I was pretty casual about the whole thing.
Hubster messaged me in distress asking if we were home yet and advising me to get V-Man to bed asap.

Yeah - no.

What's the point of getting V-Man to sleep when:

A) He wasn't tired.
B) Milo would bark like a crazy dog when everyone else got back home.  Which means - he'd be up anyhow.
C) He was reading.

Yeah - I wrote that.
C) He was reading.

And no, he wasn't reading out loud or else you would've seen a horribly crooked and shaky film of me in full blast water works ("tears") and V-Man screaming in the background to pay attention to him.
Phone screen is still cracked and that's the camera I usually use to film...haven't approached the Hubster to use his to record yet - I don't think he'd mind but ah well!

Let me explain how this came about and why this is a HUGE deal.

First of all, he was ticked as all get out because for the first time in probably 4 years - his blanket cover and his pillow case matched.
That was a no-go apparently so I figured it out after 10 minutes ("But why won't you crawl into your bed at least?! What's wrong?! They're clean sheets!") and he was pleased as punch when I tossed his blanket into my room and gave him my mis-matched blanket to his pillow case.  Alrighty then.

Then I grabbed a book, "The Mixed Up Chameleon" by Eric Carle (affiliate link) and started reading out loud.  It's a fairly new book in our home, as it was buried under a pile of other books - and I had completely forgotten that I bought this ages ago!  Or maybe it was a gift? It probably was! Whoops!

Here's the shocker:  he didn't "ask" (i.e. push the book away, push me away, cover my mouth or scream/cry/leave the room) me to stop reading.

So why is this a HUGE deal?  
  1. V-Man typically doesn't care for books other than to:
    1. Rotate them and flip them back and forth (and not actually OPEN it).
    2. Rip and crumple pages. *shudder*  - I absolutely hate folded and crinkled pages in a book!
    3. Pick them up, drop them, throw them...bend them cover to cover (backwards) so the binding breaks.
  2. He doesn't like when we read to him - or at least when the Hubster tries.
    And because the Hubster is the one that puts him to sleep 98% of the time - it doesn't really open up an oppourtunity for me to read to him.  And apparently, I'm a crappy mom for not even thinking to try!
    1. I suppose I've had so many "#MomFails" with regards to reading out loud with him - and getting in trouble for reading with the younger two (if the kids got too excited or spoke too loudly about the story after - V-Man had a fit!)
  3. I asked him to put it away and if he wanted - he could get another one.  I held my breath.  After I repeated it again - he did it.  I nearly wet myself.
It should be noted that most books that I want the kids to cherish forever (typically classics or by Canadian authors or my favourite authors or have real paper pages and not stiff cardboard pages) - are way up high on a shelf.  By "way up high" - I mean nearly touching the ceiling.

So now, our goal is to try to introduce these board books (as they're the most interesting and sturdy) back into the V-Man's daily routine and hope for the best.

I have apparently underestimated my child's interest for reading and disregarded it as "not his thing" because of multiple fails before.
May this serve as a kind reminder to just try it again every now and again. :)


  1. Sometimes its just a matter of when they are ready for it!

    I made English Muffins today. I will let you know how they are once they cool and we actually slice one open.
    Fred's Mom

    1. Yes indeed!
      Oh yum! I can't get those in Finland and haven't even tried making them myself! Hubster would love to have those bacon/egger sandwiches and whatnot if I made those English muffins! :D
      Good luck Fred's Mom!