Frances has been playing with light since she was 9 months old. She would often grab my booklight and look at it with a big smile on her face!
Over the years, she has developed many different ways of interacting with light and light-emitting toys.
One thing that she still loves to do is to turn switches on and off very rapidly over and over again.
Like many behaviours, this one has disappeared and reappeared several times.
We discourage it (for safety reasons) with explanations and distractions–other means of light play available to her are harmless.
But as long as she can play with light, she is happy!
Our house is now overrun with dolls of every kind.
There are baby dolls and friend dolls with furniture, clothes, and accessories; antique and vintage porcelain dolls; fashion dolls, houses, clothes and accessories; Monster High dolls, Groovy Girls; Strawberry Shortcake, Calico Critters, Polly Pockets, Olivia the Pig, and Teacup Pigs with clothing, play sets and accessories; Playmobile figures; stuffed animals, animal figurines including horses and ponies with play sets and accessories, ride-on horses and ponies; Furreals; Zhu Zhu Pets and accessories; My Little Pony ponies, play sets and accessories; Littlest Pet Shop pets, play sets and accessories…
There are also doll catalogues, baby-oriented magazines and catalogues, as well as books pertaining to childcare & safety.
What used to be the playroom has become the doll room.
Frances’s interest began at about 13 months: I noticed that she was having a tantrum because her older sister was holding a doll. Frances just had to have it: she didn’t play with it; she simply wanted to hold it. (It has always been about dolls, and about books and household items as well.)
Honestly, when it comes to Frances and dolls, the word “interest” just doesn’t seem strong enough. 🙂
One thing I found unusual was that she did not want to be held by anyone (at times, even by me). She arched her back as if to get away, and immediately cried or shrieked until she was comfortable again. This continued throughout toddlerhood and the preschool days.
At this point, she does not like to be touched unexpectedly; when asked for a hug, she usually just leans into the person if she responds at all. (Hugging others spontaneously when she wants to, however, is another subject for another time.)
I do sometimes, in a low mood, think back to the times when one of our relatives told me that it was my fault that Frances wouldn’t let anyone hold her.
In those days, at any rate, we were several years away from a diagnosis.