Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Mission: Find Peter Sam


A while back dh put a box of Thomas trains up on the attic in an effort to clear out some space in the boys' rooms and also encourage Little Bitty to play with some other toys. We kept a handful of trains out for him to play with.

A couple of weeks ago, Little Bitty came to me looking for "dree." I didn't understand what he wanted at first, but he took me to the little pile of trains he'd been playing with and said, "dree, En-ee." That would be Henry, the #3 engine, missing from his pile. I went up to the attic, dug around in the box of trains, and found #3 Henry.

Haha, mistake. I should have known better than to go up there when he could see me, but he was quite persistent, dancing around saying "dree! En-ee, dree!" and tugging at my hand. By tugging, I mean trying to pull my arm from its socket. Well, not really but he's strong so it kind of feels that way. :) There was no distracting him, and no way to satisfy his repeated requests without heading up to the attic, so I finally did.

Once he realized that panel in the ceiling held a ladder that led to a hidden stash of trains, he started coming to me with requests almost every day.

"Jay" (James)
"nie" (nine - Donald's tender)
"Sir Handoo" (Sir Handel)
"Duck"
"kwah" ("square," I eventually figured out he wanted Emily's coal tender, which has squares on it)

With each request, he pulled me upstairs and then danced around while motioning up toward the attic. There was one request I got wrong, but luckily Cuddlebug was there to help.

"bwack"

Bitty showed me a coal tender and I thought Diesel went with it but when I came back with Diesel, he responded, "dah naw wie!" (that's not right). I was confused, but Cuddlebug walked by, took one look at the coal tender, and said "that's not Diesel's, that's Neville's." He knows his trains :). I went back up and returned with Neville, and all was right with the world again.

And then came a request for a train I couldn't find.

"Peeh-San." (Peter Sam)

I looked everywhere in the box but came up empty. No Peter Sam.

"Fie Peeh-San!"
"I can't find Peter Sam, sorry honey."
A sad face like you wouldn't believe.
"Peeh-San aww gaw?"
"Yeah, I think Peter Sam's all gone."
Tears.
"Soo sad!! Peeh-San aww gaw!"

He eventually moved on, but the next evening came back to me with a hopeful expression asking, "Fie Peeh-San!" and pulling me upstairs again. I couldn't remember if we'd ever actually bought Peter Sam, so I had no idea if he was missing or if we just didn't have him in the first place. Cuddlebug to the rescue again - he said we never had Peter Sam. If anyone would know, it would be Cuddlebug.

So I told Bitty we'd have to go to the store to find Peter Sam. He didn't really understand (or just wasn't happy with that answer?), and kept trying to pull me along to find the train. There was no distracting him, and we went through the same cycle of insistence followed by tears several times. Finally I promised him that the next day we'd go to the store and find Peter Sam. He doesn't really understand time concepts like "tomorrow" so I made a list for him hoping to make clear what would need to happen before we could go get Peter Sam. I used my fingers to count:

1 - sleep tonight
2 - school tomorrow
3 - find Peter Sam

I repeated it over and over. First, sleep. Second, school. Third, Peter Sam.

He started to calm down and count on his fingers with me. "Fweep, skoo, Peeh-San." The next morning, the first thing he said was, "Fweep, skoo, Peeh-San." Dh planned to go buy Peter Sam that day before he picked Bitty up from school.

Just one problem - he couldn't find Peter Sam at the store. Oops.

He called me at work, and I checked with the stores closer to where I work. No luck there either. Uh-oh.

Bitty seemed not to notice when he first came home, but that evening, the requests for Peter Sam resumed. He's never asked for a toy like that, so we really wanted to be able to find it for him. We looked online and found him, so we had a backup plan, but yesterday we made one more attempt to find him locally...





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1 comments:

Amazing_Grace on February 28, 2009 at 9:42 AM said...

Don't worry, the obsession with Thomas the Train will diminish after a few years. :)

 

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.

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