Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Forays into the unknown

Every once in a while- usually when Joey is not feeling tiptop- we have a meltdown for which Joey knows the reason, and is trying to tell us, and we just cannot make out what the hell is going on. He is looking for a specific object, but the words he is using to label the object make no sense. The game of 20 questions trying to discover what the object might be is rarely useful, because he does not answer questions accurately. Let's take this evening for an example.

"Can I have my keem?"

I have no idea what a "keem" is. Twenty Questions begins. What is it? A keem. You may have it; go get it. I want my keem. Where is it? It's there (accompanied by pointing in random directions). OK, show me. I want my keem!

So now we get off our butt and start looking for what this object might be. He was playing with some matchbox cars and Cars is playing on the tv. Maybe the object is a car. Is it "The King?"

I find The King, but this is not the object, and is rejected.

What color is it? It's green. He shakes his hand to sign green. OK, I am looking for a green object. I find a green car he was playing with earlier. This is not the object. It is immediately rejected.

Does it have wheels? No. Ok, not a car. What else could "keem" be?

Joey is now spiraling into tears because I'm an idiot who doesn't know what a "keem" is.

How about "game"? He's been perseverating on a little electronic thing that does math. Does he want his game? No. Green car.

So it's a car. Without wheels. That does not compute.

And unfortunately, though the game is "Twenty Questions", we've actually maxxed out on the number of questions he'll attempt to answer on the subject without complete meltdown. Any more inquiries are either ignored or meet the same response: a wail and gnashing of child, screaming "My KEEEEEEEEEEEEM!"

I give up and send him up to his bath. I may never find out what a keem is. I hope he will sleep without it, but one can never tell. This may re-blow-up after bathtime, or it could be transitioned and done. Only time will tell.


Niksmom said...

Hmmm, afraid I'm no help here! Keem? DId you ever figure it out? Hope the post-bath time was uneventful and peaceful. :-)

Jennifer said...

Wow, you've so eloquently described so many moments in our household. The elder is enunciating better now but the syntax is off so I still don't know what he's trying to say. And he likes to say here and there and left and right and use his fingers to follow along on a tiny invisible map in front of his face, like I can see it and immediately go to the object. "You go left and then here and go around and under this and it's right there...you see it, mommy?" I'll say "No honey, that picture's in your head, you'll have to take me to it." Sometimes that works and some times its a meltdown and sometimes its a "silent" meltdown where he just collapses and becomes dead weight. Anyhoo we are currently going through this 20 questions game with the younger who is NT but he is also 2yo, which may explain much (and there is nothing "silent" about him).

mcewen said...

How funny that you should post that today. I cannot count the hours and days that we have had that 'game' going on, nearly always with accompanying [negatively reinforcing] meltdowns when I just couldn't figure it out. I send you energy packs.
Best wishes

bigwhitehat said...

You have to post again when you find out.

Patrick said...

I know this may not help at all, but can he draw a picture of it for you?

Joeymom said...

ve not yet discovered what this item is. Joey writes, but doesn't draw. However, he is not yet reading and writing words, so I can't even ask him to write it down- yet. :P

kristi said...

Yes, we have days like this. Or days when I KNOW what TC wants but can't find it anywhere. Then weeks later, it turns up. And he no longer wants it!