Monday, December 10, 2007

What to get them for Christmas

Vicki Forman at Special Needs Mama has a column about some of the pain a special needs mother feels at Christmas time. As always, her writing evokes feelings in me which I wasn't aware of; the reason I'm having difficulty buying Christmas toys for Christina.
First of all, she can't voice her wants. My older daughters had no problem at her age, and neither did I; the Sears Wish catalogue arrived in September and was well worn by October.
My little brother even gave a running total and page numbers on his wish list to help Santa.

Second, I ran a day care from my home, leaving us with a great selection of toys for pre-schoolers. We have one of absolutely everything: toy kitchen, crib, stroller, table, soft balls, blocks, instruments, legos, puzzles, stringing beads, dress-up clothes, stuffed animals, tea sets, play farms, doll house, stacking blocks, etc. So, what's the problem, you say, think of the money you'll save. If she doesn't have a list, she can't be disappointed. I wish it were so simple, but it isn't.
The real problem is that Christy hasn't outgrown toys as quickly as her sisters, and that hurts. She seems to be stuck in perpetual toddlerhood, watching the same videos with Barney and Elmo, playing endlessly with her floppy dolls, reading her stacks of board books, and singing to herself in her private games, which I, as an adult may not join. She hasn't developed as quickly as her peers in many ways, and I think I'm used to it, but, somehow, Christmas shopping brings this sharply to light. And it evokes new pain at her delays.
I am stumped for new ideas. I searched a Montessori website, and asked her therapists for ideas, being careful not to duplicate the toys they use, as she might grow tired of them. They recommend an adaptive tricycle which I will buy for her birthday in March, and a puppet theatre for now, which my folks will be getting her. I'm stuck on what we should get her from us.
Do any of you have any ideas what to buy?
Dream Mom has a list here.

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