This past winter, Reine spent the month of November and most of the month of December, telling me “Not Enough. I not enough.” She would break down in fits of sobbing and repeat this over and over and over again throughout the day. She would cry herself to sleep almost every night. I could not figure out for the life of me what she was referring to. Then, the lightbulb went off and I had an “aha moment”. She was worried about HoHo (Santa) not coming to our home. She had heard from other people that she “had to be good” so that Santa would come and visit her on Xmas Eve night.
Reine associated her meltdowns with not being “good”. Every meltdown and every ODD moment meant that HoHo was slipping farther away no matter how hard she was trying to “be good”. Please know that I do not allow anyone to tell Reine to be “good” or that she is being “bad” for exactly this reason. I will seriously open up a can of whip ass if you tell her to be “good” or that she is being “bad”.
I needed to find a way to soothe my little mermaid’s soul and quickly. I found an online company that does videos and or phone calls from Santa and uses your child’s name and personal information that you provide to them to create one of the cutest videos I have ever seen. We opted to go for the video only. It is engaging and there are pauses so perfectly timed in the conversations that it allowed Reine to respond to the characters in what she thought was “real time” as if she was having a conversation with them. We told her that I recorded the video so that she could watch as many times as she wanted to. I hope to be able to do the video with her every year for the foreseeable future.
The video proved to be not enough for Reine. I was still putting her to bed sobbing every night. She still thought she was “not enough”. No matter what we said to her or how often we told her that HoHo was coming, it was not enough to soothe her mind. She was hyper focused on it and there seemed to be no way to move her past it. The endless tears made it that much worse.
My Christmas Miracle
We had thought about taking Reine to our mall to meet their “Santa”. The reality of it being too overstimulating stopped us from doing it. We knew that Santa would not be sympathetic to her needs as you wait in line for what seems forever and he takes a pic with the child and talks to them for a few seconds and that’s it. He moves on to the next child. That works for neurotypical children. But we needed a Santa that would be able to understand what this meeting was really about. I follow one of our favorite local toy stores Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts on Facebook and they posted about Santa coming to their store for a meet and greet type thing. I held my breath and took a chance.
I decided to send them a personal message on Facebook to see if they had anything planned for those on the spectrum. I explained our situation and also a little about why we could not bring Reine in to meet Santa. I honestly expected them to respond with a “Sorry we are unable to do anything like that at this moment in time.” I would have sent them my customary response of “OK, I understand and thank you for your time.” as tears slid down my cheeks. Their response to my message did in fact, bring me to tears….just for a very different reason.
What transpired next was beyond words for my family. We showed up early and they had a quiet room all set up with a chair and SANTA! How Reine lit up! Magic does not describe what transpired for my mermaid. She saw her Santa and ran to him. We thought she was going to knock him down. His response to her hug made it that much more magical. He spoke with her and promised her that he was coming to our home. We did not take any pics of the meeting as we opted to take a video. All it took was one sentence from Santa. One set of simple words. These were that same exact words that we had said over and over again to her. But they had to come from him not us….“I guarantee that I will come to your house…I promise!” That simple sentence meant more to her than just what was on the surface. It meant that through all her meltdowns and all her ODD outbursts she was exactly as we had told her. SHE WAS ENOUGH. There was not a dry eye in the room when we left. To say that is was magical and our Xmas wish come true is an understatement. There are not enough ways for me to say thank you to Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts for this magical moment. I hope that they will be able to do something like this again for Reine this coming Xmas.
The last thing we did to help Reine see that Santa did in fact, keep his promise was to catch him in the act….It took us all night but we did it. Thanks in part to Google Play and Catch Santa In My House app.