Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Finding a New Comfort Zone

Things can change when we least expect it.  Changes to a routine can be difficult for a child like Ronan, but he's the one who initiated a recent change. 

Ronan has made a change in his usual movie line up.  He's requesting to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  It's the movie version that I watched when I was a child.  I love this movie.  Ronan appears to love it as well.  He's asked to see the movie a few times in the last few weeks.  

I welcome the break from Ronan's usual movie requests.  Those turn into Baby Einstein, So Smart and See and Learn video-a-thons.  Those movies tend to make Ronan stim.  Yes, they bring him great comfort, but when those movies are on, it is difficult for Ronan to do anything else.  

Ronan would rather listen to the opening sequence of Baby Einstein over and over and over again than engage with us.  Ronan would rather watch-rewind-watch-rewind-watch-rewind a See and Learn scene than finish eating his breakfast.  Ronan would rather find the one scene in So Smart that makes him laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh than practice his vision therapy homework.  Why is the request for the Willy Wonka movie different, and why do I say of course he can watch it when he asks?  

Because Ronan actually watches the movie.  

Because he laughs appropriately at the silly parts.  

Because he points things out in the movie and tries to tell me what he sees.

Because Ronan will sometimes reach for my hand and bring me to the den to sit and watch the movie with him.
Ronan signs Cat in the Hat a lot during this movie.  Ronan LOVES the Cat in the Hat and must think that Gene Wilder is the Cat! 

When the Oompla Loompas sing, Ronan gets up and bounces up and down to the beat of the song.  He looks forward to us singing songs from the movie to him.    

Part of me can't can't help but wonder why Ronan's shied away from his 'must have' videos to a movie that's more age-appropriate.  Is he finally getting bored with the other movies?  Is he closer to reaching a new milestone?  Has he quietly hit a new developmental skill that will open the door for other skills and other opportunities?  

While part of me can't help but wonder why Ronan likes this movie better, I know I shouldn't put too much thought into asking why.  I should focus instead on the fact that this movie is enjoyable.  That it's bringing smiles to Ronan's face.  That it's putting a smile on my face.  And that the experience of watching this particular movie with Ronan is as fantastic as the story line is.  

Ronan's found a new comfort zone.  And he's invited me in it.  I don't need to over-think that.  
So instead, join us and "...come with me, and you'll be in a world of pure imagination..." 

xo, Cat

Photo credit:  Images are screenshots taken from the above-linked video of Pure Imagination.

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