For the past week, Charlie has been asking me to 'type B ocean.' It's one of those vestigial phrases -- like his 'tickle' -- that once actually meant what it sounds like and has evolved into meaning 'spell out Teletubbies and some other noun so I can type them into the iPad's YouTube search box.'
Sometimes I throw in a combination of words like 'ocean Hawaii' for variety, instead of 'Teletubbies cloud' or 'Teletubbies Kinderreime' (as in 'nursery rhymes' -- Teletubbies are readily understandable in many languages). I can tell by the insistent tone in Charlie's request to 'type B ocean' if he is up to a little variety or needs the comfort of the images he's seen for so long.
Yes, he still watches Teletubbies and other kiddie stuff -- all the videos he first saw when he was a toddler. We've made so many efforts to 'move him on' but, around when Charlie was 11, we eased off of being so insistent about him seeing 'age-appropriate' things. I think we started to feel Charlie sometimes just needs to see the things that comfort him and that every moment didn't have to be about learning and being 'appropriate'. And some things that are 'age-appropriate' for teenage boys might not be the best thing for him, or, for that appeal to him at all.
Last week, Charlie wanted me to sit by him for almost an hour a copy of times each day and type as many different combinations of words as I could think of. He'd scan the videos and then want to type again.
Saturday, after a rainy, cold (back to 40-something degrees Fahrenheit), gray 14-miler with Jim and lunch, Charlie turned on a certain video about a little girl, her dad and a sailboat on wheels that goes 'sailing' all over a sandy beach. Charlie was transfixed with it a few months ago and watched it over and over (we had never seen it on any of the Teletubby shows). I suspected that he was asking for this video (which I had saved to his Favorites on YouTube) in saying 'type B ocean,' but whenever I suggested he watch it last week, he said a flat-out 'no.'
After he watched it today with the iPad on the floor, he started crying. Then he grabbed the device and ran up the stairs. We each went up to check on Charlie and he was smiling after a few minutes.
For the rest of Saturday, we could hear him turning on various Barney videos and a variety of music including Desmond Dekker and REM's 'Everybody Hurts.' Only once did he call me to 'type B ocean'; I dictated 'Teletubbies pool' which comes up with a very favorite video of triplets in a paddling pool. Charlie saw it and immediately said 'Mom stairs' (meaning I'm to go downstairs).
He stayed up past midnight, watching things on his own and draining the battery so it only had 17% left when I went upstairs to turn off Charlie's light.
I plugged in the iPad, too.