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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Broken Chopsticks

This was Megan's third day. All is still calm and nearly idyllic, but Bow has drawn an invisible line in the sand -- or rather the concrete. He won't spell. He won't ask for things that he obviously wants. And he's been breaking chopsticks.

The first chopstick he broke today was on my watch. I took over for lunch, and as I was out in the kitchen getting lunch, the chopstick having been inadvertently left in the pen alone with Bow, he broke it. This got him in trouble, and he did not get as big a lunch as he might otherwise have had. But I saw this as an opportunity, so I told Megan about the chopstick incident, gave her a brand new chopstick for Bow to use with his touchscreen, and suggested that I would bring a snack for Bow to select around 3:30pm. 

Bow hasn't been using his touchscreen computer much, and in a way, it's hard to blame him. It's not easy work spelling out words on that screen. We need help programming a more user friendly text-to-speech program for him, and with that end in mind, I posted an ad for a programmer today.

Anyway, at 3:30 on the dot I brought out three possible snacks: grapes on plate, a red apple and a small glass of pomegranate juice. I put them outside the glass door and spoke out their names for Bow and Megan to see and hear. Then Bow was to select one. Only he refused to spell anything, on the glass or on the computer. I left the snacks out throughout the day, but he never did ask for one. When I came to relieve Megan at 5:00 pm, the three snacks were still there, untouched.

It still didn't seem so bad, as Bow was gracious and gentle with Megan all day, cuddling with her and using the potty properly. No accidents. But just when I thought he had been perfect, I saw the broken chopstick --cleanly broken in two, no shards -- on the side of the glass away from Bow.

"Did he break another chopstick?" Sword asked at dinner.

"Yes, but I don't know how it happened. Did you break it when Megan didn't see?" I asked Bow.

"No," he spelled. "She just didn't tell you."

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