Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Which Connor Does Not Like Bells

Connor was a real music maker today.

Since he generally only chooses to play with his toys that have plenty of lights and sound, the kind of toys that will drive a parent absolutely nuts if they have to listen to them for more than seven or eight minutes straight, I've been trying to introduce him to some other fun things to do. I'm especially trying to get him away from his current favorite toy: the Leapfrog Fridge DJ, which is known in our household as the "Annie Ooo." This is the title of the most annoying song on the thing. Can you guess which song is Connor's favorite?

So today I decided that he could try a few other toys, toys that are normally of no interest to him because they don't contain batteries. First up was a maraca.

Now, Connor thinks maracas are funny, provided someone else is shaking them. As long as I was the one doing the holding, he was fine with the thing, but the second I tried to put it in his hand was the second that the maraca was no longer fun. Now it was the Evil Maraca of Doom, and shaking it would bring on the Apocalypse. He would do his very best to jerk his hand away from the maraca as quickly as possible, and on the few short occasions I got him to hold the thing he only wrapped his fingers around it long enough to get a good wind-up so that he could throw it as far away as possible, perhaps in the hopes that I wouldn't be able to find it again.

So much for the maraca. I moved on to the bells.

Connor's jingle bells have a distinct advantage over the maracas, not because they sound any better or anything, but because they can be strapped on. While Connor could get them off his right wrist fairly quickly, he's not coordinated enough to shake them off his weaker left arm. So here's the sequence of events that followed.

Connor would attempt to shake the bells off his wrist. The noise would make him laugh, but it would quickly become overwhelming. He would then attempt to do one of his "self-stim" movements to calm himself down. The one he invariably tried to do was the one where he flaps his arms around wildly. The arm flapping would cause the bells to jingle even louder, which would excite Connor even more and cause him to flap harder, escalating the volume of the bells again.

This created a vicious cycle so that after about five minutes Connor was flapping his arms up and down so hard it looked like he was fixing to take off, and was on the verge of tears. At that point I took pity on him, took the bells off, cuddled him for a little bit, and then gave him the Annie Ooo back. He pounced on it, and for the rest of the time before our respite care worker arrived to let Jeremy and I leave for sign class the melodious strains of "Annie Annie Ooo, ooo ooo ooo ooo" could be heard wafting through the house.

Oh well.

~Jess

6 comments:

therextras said...

A worthy use of a few minutes anyway. Connor gets some arm work-out and you get more information on how he responds. Might be worth trying again....

Barbara

PS
In which you forgot to title the post?

Julia O'C said...

We have the same toy and that song makes me cringe!! Our Fridge DJ is magic though - it can disappear for days at a time, only to be found somewhere Emmett can't reach...

Hope you all are doing well! It's freezing cold here.

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

We are very familiar with the obnoxious toys. Those are the only ones Emily likes. The more loud and annoying the better! So I feel your pain.

Good attempt to try some new things. Maybe in time Connor will come to like the maraca or the bells. One can only hope...

Katy said...

Lord can I relate. I've put a lot of focus into working on coloring and also Listening to stories. These activities are treated like certain death, but I do try to press on.

Charlie had this horrible toy from V-tech that we actually called "seizure toy" because it had that many flashing lights. Thankfully, it's died and V-tech has changed the model. I'm thankful--Charlie is probably a bit sad.

Colleen said...

Great idea with the jingle bells, I guess until he got a little overstim. Some of those toys are so annoying, but at least entertaining.

Team Carter Jay said...

Now I know to avoid the Fridge DJ toy at all costs. lol!

 
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