Owen LOVES to cut these days — cut plastic. We’ve had to hide the scissors. And the wire cutters. And the shears. How to contain his enthusiasm? to guide his passion and focus him on certain agreed upon subjects for cutting?
With Owen, it’s all or nothing. When he gives his heart to something he operates under a concentration wondrous to behold (particularly considering how distracted and diffuse his attention span at other times). When my scissors weren’t up to the task, he located the wire cutters and the shears on his own from the tool bag behind the bureau, something I have never seen him notice before. I found him chopping away, crouching beside the burea, making his tale-tale happy “heh-heh-heh” — a sure sign that he believes himself to be doing something naughty. For an innocent soul, Owen gets pretty much delight out of doing something that will aggravate those who love him.
I recently set Owen up to cut at the table, in an effort to create allowable parameters for an activity that brings him so much pleasure and is such good exercise for his fingers. I watched him cut up a plastic shovel and then move on to a construction helmet dad brought home as a sample once from work. He gave up on the helmet, but not before he had had some success.
The really unsatisfying part of this session was that I was allowing him to have it. Seems to take at least 1/2 the fun away…
Before this Owen went through a phase of focus on cards. It started with worn out plastic grocery gift cards, but soon moved on to new unused grocery gift cards, library cards, IDs, credit cards!!! Owen liked to fold up all four corners to the center like an oragami. Then if no one objected to the project, he would take it to the next level, ripples, waves, and finally shreds. Credit cards will still function after the initial encounter.
Owen began hunting cards like an addict – I would find my purse, something he had never shown any interest in except for during church for treats, ransacked, wallet spilling open cards all removed. His sister set her ID down on a counter for just a few minutes and returned to find it dogeared. I began to hide my purse. Owen slipped in his brother Oskar’s room, found his wallet and the brand new driver’s permit! Aaahhhhhh! Help!
So it had to be NO CARDS. Of any kind. And that was the end of it. My purse sits on the chair by the phone, untouched.
I have begun to hide the scissors. And the shears. And the bigger shears. It’s time-out for cutting now, which makes me sad, since I would be perfectly happy for Owen to chop plastic within some kind of boundaries.
My kitchen scissors, I notice, don’t work so well these days.