finding the pubbies


Bedtime, last night

“OK, baby,” I say. “It’s time for Mama to go. Let’s pick a number.”

She smiles at me, her mischievous grin glowing in the pale light from the fish tank.

“One million gajillion!” she says.

Her delivery is priceless. I laugh out loud.

“Could ya tap that many?” she asks.

“Hmm, I think we can do that,” I say, taking her hand in mine. We bounce our hands together on the comforter as I say, “One, two skip a few, three four skip some more, ninety-nine one hundred million gagillion!”

She dissolves into delicious laughter.

“OK, lovey, you want Heavy?”

“Yeah,” she answers, though I’m already pulling the weighted blanket up and over her, covering her in baby pink polka dots.

“And Soft?” I ask next, though we both know the answer. This is what we do.

“Yeah,” she says as I pull the hot pink fleece up over the weighted blanket and tuck it under her chin.

“But wait!” she says. “Could you go get the Pubbies and then come back?”

Oh God.

Not one of these nights.

Please no.

I’m so not up for putting out an APB on the damn Teletubbies – searching the house, tearing the place upside down trying to find the one thing that she has decided that she simply Can. Not. Sleep. Without.

I see images of Luau and I moving furniture – 1,2,3 Lift! as we pick up her fourΒ poster bed and move it just enough to reach what may or may not be wedged behind it. I see the whole family sweeping each room, calling out, “Nothing here, any luck by you?” I see Brooke in tears. I’ve seen this movie too many times before.Β 

I dread the answer, but I have to try.

I’ve always asked the question – every time. It’s what we do.Β 

“Brooke, honey, do you know where the Pubbies are?”

She peers out from under Heavy and Soft. And without hesitation she says, “They’re in the chair of the computer. Could you get them and then come back?”

I stammer, “Um, of course I can. I .. um .. I’ll be right back.”

I run down to the office, nearly breathless. And there they are, piled on the desk chair, waiting to be picked up. I scoop them up and run back upstairs to deposit them with my girl, who hugs each and every one of them, then tucks Laa-Laa under her arm as she says, “I love them.”

I have no words for this process – this forward motion. These baby steps – so small sometimes as to seem imperceptible – that one day turn into quantum leaps, depositing us in a place we barely recognize. A place in which my kid knows where she left her Teletubbies, can tell me and ask me to bring them to her. That place.

Years ago, I read a post on the Autism Speaks Website, In Their Own Words. In that post, the mother of a pre-verbal teenage son wrote the following:

“We must pray for miracles, work like crazy for miracles, expect and demand miracles, and for goodness sake, we must see them for what they are when they happen.”

I hugged my girl one last time before leaving her room. I whispered in her ear, “I am so proud of you, baby. You’re an incredible kid,” I kissed her cheek and I walked out – knowing that in this week of miracles, I’d just witnessed (yet another) one.

35 thoughts on “finding the pubbies

  1. This is, indeed, a week of miracles. Yes, Brooke is an incredible kid and all the teaching and loving you, Luau and Katie are giving to her is also paying off in boat loads. Thank you for starting Grammy’s day with this.
    I love you,

  2. That “small” stuff is huge here as well. When he knows where he left ” piggy and her family ” and the other 6 of us aren’t tearing the house apart to find them…nothing short of a miracle,but more importantly progress.

  3. What an incredible week of miracles you have had!! Wishing you more and more…… and MORE of the same!! She’s doing so great!!

  4. β€œWe must pray for miracles, work like crazy for miracles, expect and demand miracles, and for goodness sake, we must see them for what they are when they happen.”

    wow, wise words that stuck with you, and they will stick with me too.

    These little miracles add up to big jumps forward. I’m jumping with joy over here for you.

    And again, it’s what separates us from so many other parents, we SEE these changes, we celebrate these hard won victories.

    love this post, love this week. πŸ™‚


  5. I had something so similar last night. My 15 yr old boy. He needed his job chart printed out for the week, that we go through every night. We also (I write it even though he can , he just wants someone else too) write a feelings notebook to help him sort out why he is angry (if he is) during the day. We write happy thugs too. It has worked wonderfully. Anyway without the job chart I said “you write your thoughts in here while I get the chart( as I always do) and when I came back he had!! He usually doesn’t and it was amazing! Congrats on your miracle!

  6. We all go through this journey of ups and downs surviving on the hope that miricles exist. And yet when they do happen, in your case, they remind us that they are possible. In my own case…it’s when a boy shows such extreme focus never seen before using a toy I used to play with myself. Lego. Such a simple thing to me or you. Yet a miricles it still becomes. But I think the true value of these miracles. Yours, mine and so many others out there from familys around the globe, are possible because of you. The moms and dads who don’t give up. Wont give up. Who tirelessly fight the fight each day. In the autism trenches day in and day out because our kids need us to be there. This is your miracle too.

  7. awesome! Isn’t funny how good we get at “seeing” the miracles, no matter how big or small, when they happen? I had a miracle this week, too. My 3 1/2 year old Nicky said he didn’t want a particular episode of Dinosaur because he was scared. My husband asked him, almost absentmindedly, asked him “why”? (because he didn’t really expect an answer other than “because”) and Nicky replied, “because he opens up his mouth really big and has a lot of teeth and that really scares me”….to which my husband and I replied, “holy F***ING SH**! DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE JUST SAID????? an entire, clearly spoken, relevant, sentence in response to a question….yep…a quantum leap…..just like that…keep those miracles coming!! xoxoxo

  8. That is HUGE! And made me tear up! Soooo amazing. What a wonderful thing to read first thing in the morning. I also, am so proud of Cymbie. We started potty training yesterday, and we’ve had lots of accidents, but success NINE TIMES in 24 hours!!!!!!! And this morning she stayed dry and went on the potty!! It’s only day 2!! I’m so proud of her that I can see in her eyes she’s already getting it and understanding. Yesterday was a beast, but I KNOW she can do this!

  9. Wow, that is amazing!! Times like that, I hold my breath, waiting to see…..will they be there? Did she really just tell me that? Giving you the info. you need to find what she needs……it’s just huge. I am so happy for you both πŸ™‚

  10. Thankfully daughter has now narrowed her bedtime companions to ones that are relatively large and easy to find but we went through an awful 6-month Polly Pocket phase and the question “Where’s Polly’s pink shoe?” was enough to strike terror into me and my husband.
    I forgot to ask in yesterday’s post if you’d seen the “Absolutely Lucy” series of books. Maybe that’s who Lucy is named after? If not, she looks a little like the title character who is a beagle.

  11. I love this…..what a week full of miracles for your family! I am waiting patiently too for this exact miracle …we call it ” the cup game” as in K where is your cup ? Where did you drop it this time? we spend hours a week at this game… Or her bunny she needs to sleep … Etc! The day she can actually tell me will be a miracle along the lines of when she said mommy, daddy, I love you… All treasured moments that made us see what amazing this our girl can accomplish and that these seemingly tiny moments can truly take your breath away! Not all parents can appreciate them!

  12. it is a miracle, no doubt. that sweet little one of yours is just growing and developing and expanding. the world has no idea what’s coming…she is going to tackle it, make it a much, much better place. she’s a gift, that one.

  13. love this! it’s validating. especially when i’m excited about something that I feel may be less than a miracle.

    and the routine. we’re still on the cusp of stepping out of what you wrote of. there is still the requested number of blankets. we don’t have a weighted one so i just have to use lots of regular ones. he requests them every night, even as i’m already doing it. and the nightly needed item that is to rest on his headboard changes. and when it changes at 8:59, i dread it. is it going to be something i can find? we’re slowly moving out of that though.

    glad to hear you and your girl are as well.

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