house corner is always exciting

During centers today I wanted to listen in on the interactions of the maybe-on-the-spectrum child in the house corner, so I sat at the adjacent art center and listened in.  Then I pulled closer and asked some questions.

Mrs. X:  Who are you?  What are you doing with the food in the corner?

Child A:  I’m the cat.  I’m storing food.

Mrs. X:  How about you?

Raspberry:  I’m the mom.

Mrs. X:  And who are you?

Child B:  I’m the random homeless guy.


(Child B later explained, “there was a flood, so I had to run away from it, so I ran into their house, and I made them watch tv, so they could see the flood, and they’d understand.”)

Later, I found Raspberry and Cherry under the table, with a baby doll.  “Hi guys, ” I said.  “Whatcha doing?”  “We’re hiding from the flood,” they said.

Over in the corner, Child A and Child B were behind a barrier of cradles and chairs and lots of food.  “What are you guys doing over here?” I asked.  “We’re hiding from the flood,” they answered.  “See, we built a wall so the water can’t get in.”


A few minutes later, I returned to the house corner.  Cherry had a pillow under her shirt.  “Cherry’s having a baby!” they all exclaimed.  We had a pregnant teacher visiting the room that day, so I can see where that idea came from.


One thought on “house corner is always exciting

  1. I’m not sure if Child B (the self-described “random homeless guy”) is the one you think might be on the autism spectrum. But it is striking how, though he himself actually “saw” the flood, in order to impress its existence and urgency on the others, he had to run into their house and make them watch tv, “so they could see the flood, and they’d understand.” I have no idea what this shift from real to virtual experience means, least of all in the context of autism (or Asperger’s). But quite apart from the possibly clinical aspect, the incident says something about tv as a validating or authoritative source in this child’s eyes. I’m also tempted to note that if he had not been “randomly homeless” he might have been with the others in the comfort of their tv-equipped home–unable to “see” the flood with his own eyes and thus unable to run from it to save the others.

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