"What does an owl say, Lily?" we prompt.
"Hoo hoo," she replies.
When we play in her room she grabs it from her dresser and holds it like a blanket, shoving it into my arms when I'm not paying attention, surprising me into grabbing hold of it. Once it's in my hands she says, "I want to put purple dress on."
Purple gets washed and dried during the day so that she can wear it every night.
|They see me rollin', they hatin'. Chillin' in "purple dress".|
Okay, so what does it matter that Lily is obsessed with purple? A couple things. . .
1) She's taking an interest in the clothes she wears. The other day we put a pretty blue striped hooded long sleeve t-shirt on her before realizing that it was "heart awareness" day and changing her into a little red "Sweetheart" shirt with white long sleeve shirt underneath. After changing her, she kept telling us she wanted "blue stripe shirt on". I like that. I like that she thinks some things she wears are prettier or cooler or whatever than some of her other clothes.
Last night Leslie tied a long ornate pink silk scarf around her neck and she just stared at it and observed how it draped from her neck, picking up the knot and examining it before letting it fall back against her, twirling around the room and watching it flow. When it would loosen and fall from around her neck, she'd ask for pink "back on" until one of us would redo the knot once more.
2) Very little is motivating to Lily. We really latch onto those things that we find Lily likes or is passionate about. The iPad, for example, can be used to motivate her. Certain TV programs. . . and now 'purple'. When it's time for bed we say, "Let's go put on purple dress, Lily" in place of "time for bed, Lily."
Her reaction to the prospect of putting on her favorite jammy shirt is to lead us happily to the stairs, bouncing as she walks, saying "OK!" Her reaction to the prospect of bedtime is invariably either, "I don't want to go to bed" or "I not tired." And she gets that when purple gets put on it's time for bed. . . but putting on purple is somehow awesome even if it means she's going to bed, whereas telling her she's going to bed without making mention of purple elicits a protest.
The obsessions can sometimes be a bit of a pain in the ass, for sure. Having to continually make sure purple is always washed and ready isn't always particularly convenient for us, but her obsessions are very motivating for her, and she can be enticed to behave almost angelically when her obsession du jour is the carrot dangling from the motivational stick.