Wednesday, April 25, 2012


"Pix," our son often says to me regarding a member of his beloved video collection as he hands me a pile of crumpled film.

He has more videos than I can count. In this digital age, our son is stuck in the land of VHS. They are easy to manipulate. They are easy to stop, forward, stop and rewind. In short, they are a stimmer's dream.

He was six years old when he first decided that he wanted to actually SIT DOWN for any length of time and watch TV. It was during a "vacation" from school, and I was so fried that I was sure this act was a gift straight from God.

He actually sat. And, he actually watched.

What I learned was that he preferred videos that had clips of real kids--kids laughing, talking, playing. And, he would play those parts over and over and over and over again. He laughed with them. Yes, I knew that the behavior wasn't all that typical or perhaps wasn't all that "good", but it showed progress. I let it happen.

That, my friends, is what you would call a slippery slope. Five years later, those VHS tapes have made their way into our son's bedroom.

They are there, mocking the young parent in me that said she would never let her child have a television in his room. They sit there, collecting dust, getting stepped upon and broken.

Resting upon the ledge of his bed.

Waiting on the table beside his bed.

Spilling over onto the floor beside his bed.

He loves them so much that he loves them to death. He'll kiss the various logos imprinted on their cases. He'll gently play with the film, moving it between his fingers. Over time, they start to protest. They wear. The cases crack, and the film breaks.

"Pix," I hear all the time.

Born in a moment of desperation, my husband gave me a crash course on dismembering one of those tapes, splicing the film and reconnecting it. I know the mechanics pretty darned well, and now, I'm a slave to VHS.

After school. Before the morning bus. At 3am.

"Pix," I hear in the dead of night.

Ever-awake, he'll watch his videos to pass the time. It's just that those darned things always break in the middle of the night. Or they get lost. Or they get stuck in his bazillion-year-old machine.

"Pix! Mamamommy," I hear all day long.

I've actually stockpiled his favorite videos. After all, they don't cost much these days. However, when he falls in love with a particular (cracked) casing or a specific (outdated) film, well, then it gets tricky.

Darling husband/SuperGeek is working on a better system--in all of his spare time. I know something is brewing in that head of his, but bringing that plan to fruition isn't high on the list of priorities.

Until the time a better solution arrives, here I sit, half buried under a pile of videos, cutting, splicing, gluing and willing them to work for just a little while longer.

This entry was written in response to the letter prompt "V" in the Blogging A to Z Challenge 2012.


  1. Oh, wow. Obviously, substituting DVD wouldn't work, if he is attached to the actual casing of his favorite videos. Not envying you the repair task - my biggest skill there would be rewinding a reel by hand.

  2. I think I would always have a spare video player in the closet - especially for those 3 am times. And I don't see these at a crutch at all. If it were a book, no one would bat an eye. The thing to focus on is the interest he has in them. That's what matters.

  3. That's a mess. A can of what appeared to be an innocent worms has become rattlers. Good luck with super=geek coming to the rescue. I have no answers for this one. It's a good thing gone over the edge, oh wait, that is autism, right? ♥

  4. I think it's great that his interest is aroused and engaged, although I don't think I could cope with the request at 3am!

  5. It is in those small things that they get tumbled into and want to remain in that can both be a saving grace and a frustration all at once.

    My grandniece was/is hooked on Rudolph. She wanted to build a home for him... writes stories about him... sings his song... etc... And IF she finds another (she loves robots, and puppies too) cartoon, or song that she likes, she wants to watch it/sing it over and over again until she has memorized every single line and can say it with the original. It almost reminds me of the song that never ends... yep, you know the one.

    I thought it was clever of me when I introduced her to Tchaikovsky, wordless, moving Tchaikovsky... I figured if she wanted to remember something... well, music would be a good place to land that mimicry and MAYBE, she would want to play it out :-)