O that pretty shiny Tannenbaum! Lovely branches full of things that draw the eye of young and old alike. When the boys were little it was a constant battle keeping toddlers away from the tree. I was so relieved when they finally started leaving it alone. Back then I was still under the influence of a person and philosophy I bitterly regret, so to me it looked like a disobedient kid and a battle I MUST win or they would forever be a horrible person. I know better now.
Perseveration is something that I had never heard of before joining the world of autism, and even now spell check is protesting against it’s use, but Google assures me I spelled it correctly. Wikipedia will give you a medical model definition (as opposed to the social model) but what it boils down to is the brain getting “stuck” on one particular thing and even if it’s not a good time or a good thing for you to do, your brain can’t transition to another activity. I do not know for certain if that is the reason behind my small children’s perennial fascination with the family tree. But whatever the reason, I have finally figured out that it’s just not worth fighting my kids to keep them away. That just stresses everyone involved out and makes what should be a happy time miserable.
When Lady Bug was a toddler, having learned my lesson from the boys before her, I tried making an intentionally interactive toddler friendly Christmas tree; with mixed results. I honestly don’t remember at all what we did last year. But this year the most I am doing is reminding Lady Bug “be gentle” when she gets close, and putting fallen ornaments back on the tree. The tree is no longer a source of stress, and usually some gentle touches are all she wants to do. She also has her own ornaments to play with in her learning area. And all is merry and bright.