14 hours ago
Friday, January 22, 2010
The purple thing was starting to worry me
Thanks to those of you who seemed impressed yesterday that I found such a ginormous bottle of purple sugar online. I have been complimented on many things in my life, but never before on my purple-sugar tracking skills. It takes a certain kind of talent, I know.
So, about the purple thing. It started in October, some of you may recall, and I've fueled it—with making him the Bed, Bath & Beyond purple shopping bag costume, buying him lots of purple stuff and decorating cabinets and walls with purple-paper crafts. His babysitter, therapists and a teen reader of this blog named Belle have joined Max's Purple Club, too.
Max talks incessantly about the color. Like we'll be hanging out in the family room and he'll see something purple on TV and he'll say "Ur-ul! Ur-ul!" and then he'll look at Sabrina and say "Lue!" (blue), her favorite color, to make sure that we all know purple is HIS color.
We have an entire purple routine, soon to be made into a Broadway musical:
Me: "Does Max like red?"
Me: "Does Max like blue?"
Max: "Erina!" [Sabrina likes blue]
Me: "Does Max like yellow?"
Me: "Does Max like green?"
Me: "Does Max like orange?"
Me: "Does Max like PURPLE?"
Me: "Who loves PURPLE?"
In the past few months, Max has indicated that he would like a purple nose, purple hair, purple limbs, purple fingers and purple toes. We assume he would like a purple penis, too, but have decided not to ask. He would also like us to buy a purple car and paint the entire house purple. Sometimes, we'll do a Google Images search of the word "purple" and look through all the pictures together. He walks around the house clutching a printout of purple Converse sneakers.
I had Max's parent-teacher conference tonight (more on that next week, it was all basically good), and one of the fascinating bits of information to emerge is that EVERY single person in the ENTIRE school knows that Max's favorite color is purple. When he walks around the halls, he will go up to teachers and students alike, scan their outfits, then point out the purple on them. The speech therapist had on gray boots that were lined in purple fabric, and she said Max had even noticed the lining.
I spoke up about something that has been on my mind: I have been concerned that this purple fixation is related to his special needs. Back in the fall, the neurologist had said that Max loved to talk about purple because he was proud of his ability to communicate about his favorite color. But the obsession's gotten so pervasive that I've been wondering if it's an effect of the brain damage—like a CD with a scratch that forces your stereo to keep playing the same phrase again and again.
The teachers had a heartening take on it: "Purple is Max's trademark," one said. I thought of Sabrina, who is so proud of her ability to do magic tricks; someone brought her a trick cardboard box that makes objects disappear and every single time friends come to visit she delights in putting stuff in there and saying "Abra-da-cabra!"
Max is similarly proud of having picked a favorite color and, boy, does he own it.
It is Max's color, and his alone.
Can you guess what I ordered when I got home from his school?
Have a purple-tastic weekend, everyone.
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 12:11 AM