So many of the things that bring Jacob pleasure require batteries. Through the years we have spent a small fortune on batteries. We use rechargeable ones as much as possible. I am not exaggerating when I say Jacob is a battery expert. Not as far as what type of battery performs the best or the longest. But he can detect WAAAAYYYYYY before we can when a battery is weakening. If he were able to keep data, he could have a job as a toy tester!
At least 15 years ago there was a V-Tech toy that he loved. It had this one button that when pushed, would say, ‘ya wanna be a V-tech star?’. It was his favorite and he played it all the time. It is the first toy I distinctly remember him wanting batteries replaced before we thought necessary. And in his determination, would not leave us alone until his mission was accomplished.
There are numerous toys and musical books that he’ll bring us, or a sitter, and pretty much demand that we replenish batteries. One thing he loves, that falls in the toys category, are musical books. You know those books with a strip on the side that has various pictures that can be pushed to play sounds that coordinate with the story? Yes, those. They are powered by tiny button cell batteries. Often the books will wear out (or pages get torn up) way before the musical strip. Jacob expects the strip to perform a certain way and when it doesn’t, he wants the batteries replaced. Like, NOW! I cannot count the number of times that we (or his sitters, at our suggestion), have had to hide the book and/or musical strip to distract him because it obviously still worked and replacing those button batteries isn’t a quick fix. And, when we have changed the batteries, it sounds exactly the same. To us.
Jacob has loved a keyboard for as long as I can remember and has had a nice size one, on a stand in his room, for many years. Obviously he cannot bring it to us when the batteries need replacing. At times, we have used an adapter to plug it up but found that rechargeable batteries worked better than an adapter that he can easily unplug or dislodge. So, when his discerning ear told him new batteries were needed, he’d come get us taking us back to his room pointing at the keyboard. Easy to understand and remedy.
Recently though, instead of taking us to his room, he would appear with a battery in his hands. One (of six) he would have removed from the charging station. His way of saying, ‘please, put fresh batteries in my keyboard’. Again, easy to understand and comply. The only time it’s frustrating is when you’ve just replaced batteries a few hours before. Seems battery performance is not always the problem!
Bringing us a battery means, ‘I need you to come fix this’. Sometimes, it clearly wasn’t the keyboard batteries but him having removed a button rendering him unable to play a certain tune or sound. Whether the removal was on purpose or not wasn’t clear but replacing it becomes urgent. Numerous times I have crawled around on the floor, looking under furniture and every other place searching for a really small silicon button. Surprisingly, I could pop the button in and he’d be satisfied.
By now you know that Jacob is gifted with an extra portion of tenacity. He gets something on his mind and his focus is sharp, steady, and unrelenting. That is a such a wonderful trait to have. But, can certainly be an unwelcome interruption when we have something else going on. He does a couple of funny things to get your attention. First, he will lean in and kiss you. Bless his sweet heart. Well, of course I’m going to stop what I’m doing. Who can say no to a, ‘I’ll be your best friend if you help me’ kind of kiss? Not me, and he knows it! Second, if I’m reclined in the recliner, he is going to reach down to release the lever to lower the foot rest. Of course, I cannot be of any use to him in a reclining position. Now it’s his turn to help me so he’ll do what it takes to get me up and moving faster!
Such was the case recently. Mike and I were watching TV in the den. We had both already been to his room, at his request, to fix something. More than once. Often we’ll take turns coming to his rescue. We heard Jacob heading back to the den, I looked around and Mike had thrown a blanket over his head. I died out laughing!! It was quite a good camouflage in his attempt to hide from Jacob. Now go ahead and admit it—you’ve probably hidden from your child for various reasons. Won’t mention names, but I’ve heard stories from J & A about them hiding in their laundry room to eat sweets they didn’t want their kiddos to know they had! So next time you need to hide, you might want to try this at home. Maybe throw a blanket over your head. It didn’t fool Jacob (or Gracie) but it’s worth a shot!!
This week, Jacob removed a button from his keyboard again. In the past, I have been able to locate and replace it. Not so lucky this time as it was no where to be found. And replacing batteries was not the answer. He got so frustrated, that I had to remove the keyboard from his room to redirect his attention. The next day while he was away, I fashioned a button out of putty. I knew it wasn’t going to make a connection but also was quite certain the other times I put the original button back in place, it wasn’t doing anything either.
Keep in mind, neither Mike or myself can operate the keyboard. Yes we can turn it on and off but that is the extent. Jacob can push buttons to find the built in songs he wants but we have yet to be able to repeat his actions. So, we’ve never been positive how a ‘missing button’ would affect his concerts. Either way, the button was a decent match and I couldn’t wait to see his reaction. When he came home, I complied with his new battery request. Didn’t point out the new button but he seemed pleased as I watched him turn on the keyboard. For a solid two hours he played it with great enjoyment. At this point I’m feeling pretty good about the fake button and thinking I’ll paint it later to be an even better match. That evening, Jacob’s sitter came over and we left for a date night. Arriving home, she told us he had removed the button and she wasn’t able to find it. Neither could I. Here we go again …
Seems I need to be prepared to hide under a blanket or dash to the laundry room. Which would you recommend?