Making the iPad Regular or, Replacements, Not Ramones
A Guest at the Center and a Different Walk

In which The Very Hungry Caterpillar is referred to at least once

Charlie was here

Wednesday had all the ingredients for 'interestingness' (i.e., behavioral storm trouble):

(1) Rain, rain, rain (actually, it's been raining since the weekend and it's not supposed to stop till Sunday and then start again o -- Monday!). 

(2) No bike ride, due the weather conditions noted above, though Jim and Charlie always seem to manage to get in a ride no matter how rainy a day is.

Jim himself is the essential element to bike-riding for Charlie (at least until we find/train someone else to ride with Charlie or clone Jim). And Jim had to be in New York on Wednesday for his job, and he wasn't going to get back till the evening, past bike-riding time. Indeed, Jim had to leave for work before Charlie was up.

Charlie himself took for-ever to get up. No doubt the fact that it was gray and dark, and raining, made him more than inclined to roll over (away from his insistent Mom) and keep snoozing. I had my last exam yesterday and was just about done with grading so there was no rush. But Charlie was scheduled to swim at his school at 9.30am,.

Following the end of the swimming lessons, we had been worried that he would miss a weekly swim and certainly last weekend, Charlie was very eager to go swimming in the ocean (indeed, I suspect some of his Post-Birthday Syndrome was due to our not being able to go to the beach as the lifeguards are not yet there). But Charlie has not minded or mentioned swimming on Wednesday as we did for a few weeks when he had the lessons; perhaps the four lessons had been enough.

Certainly on Wednesday, though he said 'yes' when I mentioned swimming, he didn't budge and just turned off the timer on his iPad. Finally I told him I'd put the iPad in the white car as he'd been turning the music on and off (and pulling the blanket). I thought he might be less than pleased with me for doing this but, after he got up ten minutes later just before 9am, he was cheery. Despite a savage downpour and a bit of traffic, we were both in high spirits for the whole ride and Charlie went into school, book bag over his shoulder, and straight to the pool.

This was a diversion from his usual routine of going to his class room first. He handled it fine. The Wednesday note from his teacher said simply:

Great day!

And despite more rain, and more rain, and a general feeling of intense dampness, the rest of the day was great. I did spend a good deal of it driving through a couple towns and counties in New Jersey and Charlie spent much of it eating. Post-birthday Syndrome was quite replaced with Teenage Boy Bottomless Pit of a Stomach Syndrome: Sushi (from the fridge), a burrito, some French fries (which Charlie ate sitting at Jim's desk and arranging the MetroCards seen above), some blueberries (yes, am having a little success re-introducing some things into Charlie's diet).

Charlie, you could say, was in something like 'the very hungry caterpillar' mode.

Like the bug in the book (Charlie used to like to poke his finger in the holes in its pages), he was ready for a nice bout of rest after all that food. Around 8.30pm, Jim texted me that he was headed home and when I mentioned this to Charlie, he got right up and opened the front door. The rain was still falling and the street was empty.

Charlie pushed his iPad towards me and said 'black.' 

I guess yesterday's eureka moment was only a partial one.

I tapped on different starry, doodly apps and got Charlie still saying 'black, I want.' I reisnstalled the one app I hadn't added from his old iPad, Tap Speak Button. Charlie sat down on the couch beside me and smiled as I did this, and then said 'black, Mom! I want black.'

Yes, of the myriad of black-colored things in this world, I guess I as Mom am supposed/expected to figure out which one Charlie means. 

I'm afraid I was not as successful as I had been on Tuesday night. I started tapping on different albums and things on the iPod app and at some point Charlie, who had been watching intently, seemed pleased and took his iPad back. Then we heard Jim drive up and Charlie got up to peer out the door.

We often have an evening walk but couldn't as it started pouring again. Charlie has not been requesting walks nearly as much as he did a year ago: Perhaps he doesn't need them as much as he did  then. Of course, he didn't have an iPad a year ago and just the music and photos keep him, for the most part, cheerily occupied. One thing I have learned from seeing Charlie transition from his old iPad to the new one is how important it is for us to keep changing the items on the iPad just a little, with new music, a few new photos, a little rearranging of the order of things, a few new apps. Maybe Charlie was getting frustrated about his old iPad -- to the point of banging it on his birthday -- because he was tired of the same old stuff on it, but loathe to give up what was familiar. And, not sure how to say any of this.

While it's frustrating not to know what black item Charie is referring to when asking me 'black' and holding out it his iPad, the great thing is that he is having to communicate something he has never had to. Plus, he is not getting upset when I can't produce just what he wants, and is sometimes even trying something new.

Nice little bits of metamorphosis, these are.



What a great day(despite the rain)! I was wondering after reading a previous post what Charlie would do if you didn't go out on a walk, technology sure can be helpful sometimes.

I've been putting more music on Dimitri's iPod as he is now taking more of an interest in it, which is good I think as it means less time with youtube. Dimitri pricked up his ears the other day on hearing The Red Hot Chili Peppers on the radio, may have to add this i guess:) (his favourite is still Shiny Happy People though)


Good catch on the too-sameyness possibility re: death of iPad the First! You're slick, my dear.

Kristina Chew

@feebee, I confess to having been too lazy/tired to change the iPad contents more! Too-sameyness doth plague us.

@emma, I keep wanting to get 'Shiny Happy People' for Charlie! Does Dimitri like the rest of that album?

Charlie seems to go in phases with YouTube. He watched a LOT of videos in the days prior to the expiring of iPad I--hasn't wanted to at all with iPad II. I actually think it's better when he listens to music; he likes to skip around and 'sample.'

Charlie has been doing more running around the house (stopping just short of crashing into something...)!


Hm, like would be a bit much, he doesn't object to it, but really just searches for shiny happy people. I try out different music but mostly he asks to change it very quickly (maybe my collection is to blame?). Still likes the Kodo Drummers though.

As Dimitri also holds the iPod either to his ear or directly over his eye, I'd rather he didn't watch too much Youtube (eyes go red very quickly). He did become quite obsessed and wanted it on all the time, but I turned it off this week and he didn't seem to mind too much this time (and he seems generally a bit calmer, the iPod hasn't been launched quite so frequently)...

It's a shame Charlie doesn't use the garden (you have one, no?).

Kristina Chew

Charlie was doing that on his iPad, always going to same songs and playing them ad infinitum---he did the same when he had various iPods. For the first time last week, I showed him some albums on iTunes and asked him to pick -- he chose a Barney one he used to have J but I'm thinking of showing him 'music choices' again (but will not include Barney or the Wiggles in the results --- another song Charlie gets stuck on involves Captain Feathersword drinking cups of rosey tea ad infinitum).

Does Dimitri use headphones? Charlie definitely does not like them.

He doesn't go at all into our backyard/garden (a huge irony; one reason we bought this house was because it has nice-sized yard and it's all fenced in). He does post himself on the grass in front of the house -- he considers that an extension of the house!


Dimitri does use headphones, but not as much these days. He used to press them to his ears, quite often when out (sensory overload from the street, although I wouldn't say he has particular problems with sound, but generally too much going on).

Funny about the garden, I often like to believe having a garden would so much better, but things don't always turn out the way you think/hope!

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