Monday, August 27, 2012


Some highlights of this past week with our children.  If you're friends with me on Facebook you've probably already seen this. . . or some of it.
My daughter, Lily, isn't consistently verbal. Mostly she scripts. MOSTLY she does not answer direct questions. She makes her needs known by communicating them. . . but you can't ASK her what she needs. . . she won't tell you. You can't really ask her yes/no questions and have yes mean the yes you think it is or no mean the no. It's complicated and confusing.

Anyway, Grammy and Pappy (Leslie's parents) were watching her yesterday so Leslie could start her first week back at work since surgery, and Pappy was trying to get her to sit on the potty.

Pappy: Okay, Lily, it's time for you to sit on the potty

Lily: I have one thing to say about that.
Pappy: Oh? What's that?
Lily: It's never going to happen.

Really?  "It's never going to happen."  I love it.  I GUESS she's scripting it. . . I don't know where she heard it.  But it doesn't really matter.  She declared she had something to say, and when questioned about the content of that statement, she provided detail.

It's nice when communication is clear to everyone.

Yesterday, Emma, my oldest was eating Leslie's spaghetti.  I can't remember where Leslie was.  She might actually have been at the table, or up giving Lily a bath.  

Sidebar:  It's important to know that there is a daily ailment troubling Emma.  That daily ailment is never the same, and almost always occurs to her to relate to us when she is expected to be "doing something."  Yesterday, for example, she told me the following over the course of the day:  "My head hurts."  "My finger hurts."  "My thumb hurts."  "My knee hurts."  These were all throughout the course of the day.  All presaged by some moan of pain or other.  All just after being told to either:  1)  eat, 2)  brush teeth, 3)  put something away, 4)  go to bed. . . not necessarily respectively.  This is EVERY DAY.  Once, long ago, I used to respect each of these individual ailments, now I just tell her she's growing, and if she continues to complain, offer her tylenol (she HATES taking tylenol).  

Yesterday, as I indicated, Emma was eating spaghetti.  

"What's wrong, baby?"
"A spice got on my tongue!"
"A spice?"
"Yeah. . . it burns!"

This I likened to a vampire and holy water (to the good people of Facebook).  What I didn't mention was her follow-up to my eye roll at her dramatics.

"Well. . . have YOU ever had a spice on your tongue??"  She asked this indignantly, a foreshadowing perhaps of the teenager she'll become, posturing petulantly and declaring that "you've never been in love before!" or some equally ridiculous notion that every kid goes through when he/she cannot imagine that anyone has ever felt anything like the pain he/she is going through ever before or will ever again.  It made me laugh thinking of some of the stupid "1st World Problems" status posts I've done on Facebook poking fun at the drama generation. . . like telling my wife as she comes out of surgery that I have a hangnail and that "you can't know what this pain is like!"

Anyway. . . "Have YOU ever had a spice on your tongue?" she demanded.
"Yes, Emma.  ALL.  THE.  TIME.  There are spices in just about everything we eat."
"Even pizza?" she asked.
I looked at her evenly.  "The same exact spices that are in this spaghetti sauce are in pizza sauce."
"I don't like spices."
"I know, Emma.  Or anything made out of food."

Even Oreos. . . tonight after dinner I offered Oreos to Lily, cause Emma has no interest.  Actually, I brought out Oreos and wafer cookies, you know the kind with the yellow, pink and brown ones all in one big box?  They're shaped like rectangle sandwich thingies?  Anyway, pure sugar.  

I broke an Oreo in half and put it on the table.  I broke a wafer cookie in half and put it on the table.  From her vantage, Leslie offered the following, "I think your father secretly hopes you don't want those cookies, Lily."

Lily didn't want the cookies.  I ate them.  The bag of Oreos were still sitting at the table and I offered them to Emma.

"You want one of these Oreos?"
"I don't think you should eat those Oreos," she answered.
"What? Why?"
"Because they're a hundred years old!"

sooooo old.

Meanwhile, Lily hasn't been eating anything. . . spices or no spices.  Except bacon.  But who can blame her.
Lily, eating bacon.  See???


  1. Katie will do scripts like that too. Where you know she heard it somewhere, but at least it's pretty much being used appropriately...ha. And I think Emma and I could hang. I don't like anything made out of food, either.

    1. I really don't know what the big deal is with scripts when they're appropriate. "They're JUST scripts". . . I guess. . . but how else do kids learn how to talk but to mimic what they hear.

  2. I think I might adopt Lily's script as my go to when I bring the boys to the grocery store and they whine for crap we don't need. Love it!

    Emma and my oldest share the same pallet. Bland foods only for him. ugh!

  3. I love everything about this. Well, ALMOST everything. How's Leslie doing? If she's back at work I'm guessing things are well?

    "It's never going to happen" is AWESOME. Not only proper use of the phrase but TOTALLY SASSY! Awesome, Lily!

    Also, Emma is SO an actress-in-training with the melodrama! I'm fairly sure Emma and I would get along JUST FINE. Also, "a spice" made me giggle. Just one! Just ONE spice! And "Have YOU ever had a spice on your tongue?" made me giggle all over again. Well, Jim? Have you? Have you ever had JUST ONE SPICE on your tongue? That is the WORST, Jim. THE UTTER WORST.

    Your kids are just the best.

  4. Wonder... ps... my big toe hurts

  5. Can I play devil's advocate for a second (because it's much more fun than playing devil's tax attorney)... How do you know Emma doesn't have sensory issues? Because all of those things (everything hurting, the extreme reaction to spices) sound exactly like hypersensitivity. I'm just sayin...

    1. how is that playing devil's advocate? I don't disagree there's something going on with Emma. Feeding issues ALWAYS. We've considered getting her evaluated, but it's really scary, and mostly she gets by with what she eats.

    2. I meant devil's advocate because if she is hypersensitive then she's not being a drama queen...?

    3. Of course. But there's a difference to being melodramatic because you want attention (or trying to get out of something), and being dramatic because your body is firing all kinds of alarms at you. If you tried to eat a porcupine, you'd probably freak out too. And maybe that's what eating the spices felt like to her.

      When she's saying stuff hurts, it could be because (a) it really does or (b) it just feels weird and intense, and 'hurts' is the only thing she can equate that feeling too. If stuff like eating or brushing her teeth sets her senses off, then it's understandable that stuff might start 'hurting' just before she has to do it.

      By the way, I love the phrase "isn't consistently verbal". Should lobby to get that included in the DSM-5.

    4. Yeah. Honestly, Emma is pretty drama-free. Some of what I write is intended for comedic "value". She's very very reluctant and anxious about food. And possibly she's got some sensory issue or other going on although I sort of tend to doubt it. The only time her body fires alarms at her seems to be when expectations are placed on her. She very rarely complains about those sorts of things unless expectations are placed on her.

      Foodwise, in general she likes her food bland. Noodles with butter and cheese. Pizza and/or spaghetti with very little sauce. On the flip side, she loves pickes and hamburgers and extremely sour candy.

      Ailment wise, last night she said her legs felt 'numb' but she only told us this morning because she couldn't think of the right word to explain it. When she's having fun, she's ache/pain free. When she's supposed to be eating, or getting ready, or cleaning something up. . . that's when we hear about them. *Shrugs* I'm really not sure, but I tend to doubt that she has SPD.

  6. I agree with you about the scripting. ALL kids learn to talk from scripting to some extent. And sometimes kids with autism do use scripts to communicate. The words may not mean what they typically mean to you and mean, but there is communicative intent there. I had a student who yelled, "Cake!" whenever she wanted to express happiness or pleasure, because she associated cake with good times. (Don't we all?) Not the same as scripting, but she did some of that, too.

    Emma's complaints sound quite familiar. My older son and now my younger nephew always have physical ailments when it comes to doing something they'd prefer not to do. And my younger son, now 22, still eats only five different things, and he's never been sick a day in his life. We're all a little "weird," aren't we?

  7. Ha! 100-year-old Oreos! That's rich!

  8. Lily is full of the awesome. And bacon. Which is also awesome, so I guess my first statement stands.

  9. Stop feeding Emma old food really. At least your not quoteing "what about all the starving children in teh world" for a reply. As for Lily one, kids say the darnest things.

    1. no, she'd likely answer the same way I did. . . "Send it to THEM"

  10. She is sooo funny. Awesome scripting so appropriate and with a great sense of humor.
    I wish my guy did some more of that..he does not exactly trip over his tongue.

    1. she doesn't do it much, but I always love when she does.

  11. If you really want to ratchet up your own sarcastic responses, the next time she complains of getting a spice on her tongue, you could freak out, scoop Emma up, rush her to the hospital and scream for someone to help her. Everyone will have a good laugh.

    1. she's. . . fragile in some respects. She'd be traumatized.

  12. I like Lily. She makes me laugh.

    And what is wrong with Emma? I die for those wafer cookies, and I LOVE Oreos, and all food in general. Emma needs to come hang with me. I'll show her what's good.

    1. have you ever had a spice on your tongue though?

  13. Bacon never gets old like those Oreos. ;)
    Lily is adorable and I fear the teen years. Thinking of Leslie.

    1. Emma and Lily both like bacon. It's like the universal food. Like nuggets.