So Laurie loves to watch TV shows and movies. Often she has the TV playing a kids' show while she has the iPad running a YouTube video of Teletubbies or some other nauseating show...both at full volume, and often when she has her other techie toys going (like the Leapster or LeapPad). Don't even think about turning the channel to something you want to watch. Not even for a second. Laurie will march right over to you with the remote control, place your fingers in approximately the correct areas on the remote, and then bark an order at you. Try to ignore her if you can. It's endearing (read: scary), really. If you give in and change the channel, she'll then rip the remote out of your hand and run across the room with it so you can't change it back. Sometimes I hide the remote (shhhh....).
Laurie goes in phases where she wants to watch the same thing over and over. And over. Currently we are in a "Cabbage Patch Kids" show phase - particularly the "Vernon's Christmas" episode. It's cute and has catchy music. I find myself singing the songs at odd times...hopefully no one else has heard me! I do sing them with Laurie around, sometimes, and if she's in the right mood, she'll join in, which just makes my whole day. Most of the time she just looks at me as if I fell off my rocker.
Other times when she's in perseveration mode, she'll try out various inflections with you. During a strong Strawberry Shortcake phase (called "Shortcake" by Laurie), she would come up to one of us, grab us by the hand, and drag us into the den where'd she look up at us and say:
"Shortcake?" (cute, right?)
"ShortCAKE?" (because maybe the cute wasn't ramped up enough)
"SHORTcake." (obviously you aren't getting it)
"Short. Cake." (as if you really are the most clueless person she's ever met)
Eventually you give in because you just want a little peace and quiet (that's cleverly disguised as white noise).
Along with her strong desire to watch as much musical TV as humanly possible on as many devices as she can get her hands on, Laurie has been trying to figure out how the remote works on her own. It's the only way she's going to learn, because you know that I'm certainly NOT going to teach her! One day she somehow initiated a subscription to the Mandarin Channel. I didn't know it until we got our bill. Thankfully, Time-Warner Cable removed that from our invoice. I guess with an Irish last name, they figured that the likelihood of us watching that channel was pretty slim. They then told me that you can set the cable box so that nothing can be ordered without calling them first. Thanks, TWC. Information I could have used earlier! Of course, now if we try to order a movie, their system is always "temporarily down." That's ok, though. I'm certain I would fall asleep during the movie anyway...
Recently Laurie was playing around on the iPad, and was watching a clip of a Barbie movie on YouTube. Earlier, the hubs had signed in to my Gmail account which somehow linked to YouTube. Well, Laurie "liked" that Barbie movie clip, and now the whole Facebook world apparently knows that I "like" it too. Yay, Facebook!! (It seems like it's a little bit "Big Brother," if you ask me).
She's also figured out how to maneuver the Wii. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because I'm not plagued with orders to start up a new song on "Just Dance Kids," or to replay the same one over, and over (or heaven forbid...have Laurie freak out on me because I just can't figure out WHICH song it is that she wants!). It is bad because she can pretty much do it herself, and thus spends an inordinate amount of time just making each song pause and restart. It makes me CRAZY.
You know, when I was a young kid, we had a cabinet-style TV that sat on the floor. We didn't have video games, a computer, or even more than 4 channels on the TV (cable TV wasn't even available in my parents' neighborhood until I was in college). I have a hard time imagining what my life with Laurie would have been like if this were the 1970s & 1980s (never mind any earlier decades). I know that I take for granted that Laurie has these things to entertain her and to help her communicate. But I'll never be ungrateful for them.