Having gotten used to the fact that the Monster’s use of language is very literal, it’s a bit surprising when he takes a flying leap off into something more imaginative. As I’ve discussed in earlier writings, he’s got this great tendency to either describe his surroundings or get caught up in what he wants, rather than letting his mind wander.
A good example is the ADOS – he knows the concept of a birthday party, and so he can do the birthday party game fairly well when presented with it, but given the dolls and things of a similar nature at home, he wouldn’t generally put them together into that format unless we prompt him to do it.
So this afternoon, I gave my wife a break and took the Monster out to enjoy the early summer weather – we went to the playground, stopped by my office very quickly, and ran a shopping errand before returning home. I was very proud of the fact that he was being good and communicative today – he expressed to me clearly that he was hungry/thirsty at various times, asked me for specific things to satisfy those wants, complied with staying in a seat while I retrieved our food, etc. (We did have a minor issue, but that’s for another post.)
So I returned home with him and took over watching the baby for a bit, while we were relaxing and watching the ballgame, letting the Monster roam and play. Since we installed a gate on my wife’s study, there’s really nothing that he can get into too much trouble with…
Or so I thought.
“You have to see this,” called my wife, after we heard the door shut to the new study (where my computer is). I was still juggling the baby, so I didn’t notice anything amiss when she brought him upstairs… until I saw his arms, covered in ink. Because I don’t consider them ‘dangerous’ like a Sharpie (ie, he knows not to draw on the computer/desk/etc with them), I’d left a ballpoint pen or two out on my desk. I hadn’t thought about how he likes to draw on himself.
“It’ll wash off,” I told her with a chuckle and a shake of my head.
“No, you missed the punchline,” she told me. “When I found him like that, he said, “I’m a tiger! GRRR!”.”
The Monster’s always had a sense of humor, or at least has had a concept of things being ‘funny’. I think this is one of the first times we’ve seen him do something imaginative/creative, though, and actually synthesizing that “doing A makes [him] B” (in this case, adding ‘stripes’ makes him a ‘tiger’).
At least until tomorrow when he has to have a shower to wash it all off….