Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Living on Borrowed Time
Of course I am talking about Maya.
Tonight, she walked into my room, like she's done ten thousand times before with a book in her hand and I am ready for her to ask me to read to her.
She stood in front of my bed, saying nothing.
OK, you look like my daughter but you are not chattering a mile a minute, telling me of how hard it is to get the Hedgehogs to go to sleep or talking about how Thomas and the Engines are being naughty.
She's still standing there silent. And I immediately think of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Finally I say to her, "whatcha got there, Maya?"
"Do you want me to read you a story?" I say.
"No, it's a Dutch book."
Ok, flag on the play. Maya being autistic and loving structure hates it when I speak Dutch. I have always spoken English to her and her father has always spoken Dutch to her, and for her, that's the way it is. It can't be any other way. When she was younger, she would cry if I would speak Dutch to her teachers or to the telemarketer who was trying to sell me a food dehydrator. Now that she is older she has gotten the concept that I must sometimes speak in Dutch to other people, but if I say even one word to her in Dutch. I get ENGLISH and often a few complimentary foot stomps.
On her birthday it's so bad that we cannot sing her a birthday song, because she hates hearing Leo sing Happy Birthday and hates me singing the Dutch equivalent Lang zal ze leven.
Anyhoo, me reading a Dutch book is completely out of the question.
So Maya's standing there, book open to a certain page looking at it. I ask her what story it is.
She says it is not a story but a song book. So I said what song, and she shoots off the Dutch title.
"Lemme see," I say. She brings me the book and sure enough that was the song, but the funny thing is, there were no pictures on the page, only the title written and the words to the songs, there were some butterflies on the page but the song had nothing to do with butterflies.
No other possibility except that she read the title to know what the song was.
I stayed calm, because when I get all excited about milestones, I lose her, so keeping my voice calm and even (a first for me), I asked her if she read the title of the song off the page.
"NOOOOOOOO, I told youuuuuuuuu, I don't know how to reeeeeeeeeaaaaadddddd!
OK, I ask her to see the book again. I flip the pages to about 10 pages later and find another song, Zie de maan schijnt door de bomen (See the sun shine through the trees). I ask her, "Maya, what song is this?"
"I don't know, stop asking meeeeeeee!"
Never mind I say. And Maya and her book walk out of the room.
Ten minutes later she comes back, without the book and says, zie de maan schijnt door de bomen.
Without looking up, I ask again, Maya did you read that? She stomps.
OK, little girl, the jig is up.