Ellis is becoming less passive in regards to the things she want. A few months ago I noted that she’s become more picky with her food and attire. And, now, she’s proactive in enumerating where she wants to go, what she wants to eat and what she wants to do. Although, perhaps more than half the time, we don’t do what she wants or give her what she wants. But, she is still OK with it. I am not sure whether she doesn’t know she didn’t get what she asked for or whether she really believed the alternatives we offer her is just as good.
But, whatever the case, she is exercising her ability and want to ascertain her choices, to choose and to control her behavior appropriate to the situation at hand. Case in point, she wanted to go swimming, but it’s rainy and cold. So, we told her we will take her to the mall instead. Instantly, she said OK but she wants a carousel ride and a balloon. I told her yes on the carousel ride but no on the balloon. She says OK. She expressed and negotiated what she wanted and looked at only what she gained even when I rejected her request for a balloon (because she gets bored of them really quickly).
Her cognitive improvement is slightly less important than her more basic requirement for rest and nutrition. And, she’s doing much better on these two fronts as well. Last month, I’d guestimate that she was sleeping only about 9-10 hours and eating two or three handful of very select variety of food.a day. That’s about 9 hours of sleep at night and an hour nap during the afternoon. This month, her average hours of sleep is up to 11-12 hours and eating four to five handful of much wider variety of food a day. That’s about 8 hours of sleep a night plus two one and a half hour naps and eating two a small breakfast and two full meals afterwards. This past weekend for lunch she had peas, carrots, corn, chicken, pasta, and soup all in one sitting. That’s the most I’ve seen her eat both volume and variety wise.
Lately, we found that Ellis really responds to music. Play anything with a beat, and Ellis will start dancing none stop. So, as an experiment, we played some soothing melodies before bed time to see how Ellis responds. I found a lullaby on youtube and put it on repeat. It works wonders. Ellis’ constitution instantly slows down a beat or two when I put this on play. She becomes more suggestive to us putting her to bed, listening to us reading her stories, and not asking to play with toys or watch TV after we put her in bed. If you recall, a few months ago, she had difficulties falling and staying asleep and even had a couple of nightmare episodes. However, since the music regimen is instituted, she’s been sleeping much easier and sounder.
Better sleep definitely has positive effects for her. She’s less tired when walking around now. She’s less grumpy in the mornings and when she doesn’t get her way with things. Her food choice is less picky and she is definitely eating more. Last weekend, she even asked me to play her more music for the first time. She’s gradually become less passive.