Chapter 1 Continued
THURSDAY - The Fourth Day
The morning session with Robertito
signaled another movement. The Sotos accented physical
contact, but not as a designed strategy. It evolved
naturally during the first minutes they spent together.
Roby imitated and tickled his son. Francisca hummed
and stroked him while he stood stiffly like a figure
cast in bronze. Then, quite casually, as if he had
done it a thousand times, Robertito suddenly plopped
into his mother's lap. Her mouth opened wide in delight.
When she embraced him instinctively, he pulled away
and jumped to his feet. Five minutes later, he dropped
into her lap again. This time he remained seated for
several minutes. Francisca handed her son insertion
cups. He flapped the colorful plastic toys by the
side of his head, then dropped them on the floor.
They repeated this exchange many times. We noticed
Robertito's increased agility with his hands, though
he still moved them with considerable awkwardness.
Roby presented lunch to his son in
the same fashion as the previous dinner. He fed half
to him eye-to-eye and placed the remaining food around
the room. Little Robertito did not follow his father.
Instead, he grabbed the juice container off the floor
and held it. He put it to his mouth, but the cover
cheated him of a drink. Roby moved to seize the can,
but stopped himself and waited. His son walked up
to him, dropping the container right in front of his
feet. Roby gave him a drink quickly. Unwilling to
assume Robertito knew what he did, he duplicated the
situation with the water container. The little boy
picked up the can and this time, literally dropped
it on his father's shoes.
After lunch, we coerced Jaime into
taking a position in the bathtub. He declined at first,
but the outcry from all of us persuaded him. The maestro
leaned against the tile wall, watching the child he
had grown to love.
Continual talking to Robertito about
what we did and naming every item we touched formed
an important aspect of the program. We suggested that
Roby and Francisca shorten words and language forms.
Jugo would become ju. La musica would become moo.
In other areas, such as expressions of love or excitement,
they maintained the full richness of speech.
During early afternoon, we had a
change of guard at our home. Sasha returned to the
city and Elise, a dear and loving friend, joined to
help. Her bubbling, new-age, astrology-oriented vision
added another specialness to the texture of moods
and energy at the house. Until our crew returned from
school, she positioned herself outside the bathroom
door. Later, she shared with us her endeavor to envision
the room filled with white light so that Robertito
might see an even clearer path.
We spent our last full evening together
with the Sotos trying to lay to rest any remaining
beliefs which caused them to be uncomfortable or disturbed
about their son or themselves. Francisca discussed
a problematic relationship she had with a dear friend.
In the midst of a dialogue, she apologized for dealing
with material she thought irrelevant to her son and
our common purpose.
"Everything in your life is
relevant, pertinent," I suggested. "How
often have people expressed anger toward someone they
loved as an outlet for the anger they actually felt
in another frustrating situation. And so, the frustrating
situation or other problematic relationships affect
other aspects of our lives. We're not compartmentalized,
split into neat little sections. So, as we don't have
set mechanisms for helping Robertito, neither do we
have set subjects for helping ourselves."
1 Continued »»