A Christmas tree beautifully decorated with colorful ornaments and lovely tiny white lights. Delightfully wrapped gifts spread around its base in a dazzling array, just beckoning children (and teenagers!) to come close. The tantalizing sense of anticipation. The pleasure on the faces of the adults, observing the children (and teenagers!) take joy in the gifts they lovingly selected for each recipient. The sweet chorus of "thank you" mingling in the air with Christmas carols playing softly in the background.
Does this sound like Christmas at your house?
While my big girls do a great job of getting in the Christmas spirit, opening up gifts with the appropriate and truly sincere "oohs" and "aahs", and giving genuine hugs of thanks to the gift-givers, Lily doesn't quite catch the spirit of the season in the same way.
The post from yesterday gave you the low-down on how our actual Christmas Day went so I won't go over that again.
One of Lily's biggest issues with Christmas is that she really could care less about the gifts. She just doesn't get all the hype and the drama. For a child who will rip any remotely paper product to shreds and bits (especially those items not intended for tearing), she will not touch a wrapped gift.
So we wrap only a couple things, just to let her try and see if this is the year she "gets it".
And we try handing her a new toy, excitedly pushing buttons to show her how it lights up, plays music and generally does every thing she likes in life, except maybe throw dark chocolates directly into her open mouth.
She won't even look at it. Or she'll glance at it, press one single solitary button, and then look at us like, "There. Are you happy? This toy is dead to me."
Wow. That little girl is a tough crowd, let me tell you.
I've finally sold her grandparents on the best method of giving a present to Lily.
Set the unwrapped toy in her general area with a vague announcement. "Here you go, Lily!"
Here's the clincher, though: Walk away.
That's the hard part.
But if you try to "push" a present on the Bird, she will not respond in the way you want her to.
Whether or not this is autism or sheer stubbornness on her part, I'm not 100% sure yet. I just know that letting her discover the toy in her own good time is the secret to getting the thing played with.
It can take as long as two weeks for her to actually "adopt" a new toy into the fold. Then I let the grandparents know that it finally "took".
This year though, both sets of grandparents hit the jackpot. They each gave Lily a gift that she took to almost immediately. Even I was surprised at how quickly she responded.
Wondering which gifts the Bird thinks are the bee's knees?
The first one is the Cuddle Me Sensory Tunnel. Lily's OT highly recommended one of these for us to have at home since she loves the one at the clinic.
I'll have you know we whipped that thing out of the gift bag and the Bird knew exactly what to do. I held one end open and she ducked her sweet head and crawled right in there, all snuggled up with the iPad. She emerged a few minutes later, grinning from ear to ear.
And the next gift....
a portable DVD player. I know what you're thinking... in this iPad/Netflix day and age, she goes and gets a DVD player??!? But the Bird loves it. She's even traded me the iPad for it a time or two, and that's saying something.
Now, I've got a plan for this DVD player that I'll share with you later. Something like, an "electronics intervention plan", so to speak.
The gifts Ryan and I gave her? Well, we're still waiting for ours to "take". Sigh...
But, at least this year, we had two sets of happy grandparents and one happy little Bird.