Often before bed Emma asks if she can watch one of two movies – Mary Poppins or Winnie the Pooh. She has been watching these same two movies for the past five years and in the case of Winnie the Pooh, going on eight years. Typically we tell her she can watch whichever movie she’s chosen for twenty minutes or so before bedtime when I read to her. Last night she chose Winnie the Pooh. I sat next to her, but wasn’t really paying attention as I was reading an email, when I realized she was talking and looking over at me. This was unusual. Emma will often repeat much of the dialogue, particularly her favorite parts of the movie which, having watched literally thousands of times, she has memorized. But last night she wasn’t just repeating the dialogue. Last night she was talking – about the movie – to me!
It took me a couple of seconds to understand what she was saying, but it went something like this.
Emma laughing. “He’s stuck!” More laughter. “He can’t get out. Ooof! Pooh bear is stuck. Yeah. He cannot get out.” Emma points to the screen while looking at me.
I look at the television, inwardly feeling nothing short of elation that she is initiating contact, that she wants to share her amusement at Pooh’s predicament with me! “Oh no! You’re right. He’s stuck. He ate too much honey.”
Emma nods her head. “Don’t… feed… the …bear!” she shouts at the same time that Rabbit says this while pounding a sign with these words into the ground with his fist. “Rabbit’s angry!”
“Yes, he is! He doesn’t want Pooh stuck in his house.”
“Pooh can’t get out,” she says, laughing.
“Pooh was so hungry, he ate and ate and ate all of Rabbit’s honey.”
“Now he can’t get out.” Emma says, watching the television.
“He ate so much, his belly got so big, now he’s too big to get out.”
Emma shrieks with laughter. “Oh no! Oh no! I’m stuck!”
“You aren’t stuck, Em. Who’s stuck?”
This continued throughout the entire scene until Pooh gets thin enough that he can be pulled out. While Christopher Robbin and the rest of the animals pull Pooh bear, Rabbit pushes him from behind and he finally shoots out of the hole like a cannonball and lands inside of a tree, which just happens to be filled with honey.
“Pooh’s eating! He likes honey!” Emma says, pointing to the part when Christopher Robin says – Don’t worry Pooh. We’ll get you out! (of the tree) and Pooh says, through mouthfuls of honey – Don’t hurry! Yum! Yum!
Emma thought this hilarious. “Oh no! He’s stuck again!” Then she collapsed into a fit of giggles with her hand on my arm.
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: Emma’s Hope Book