This is Akila playing with her Barbie's in the living room. It is a mess, and we are not allowed to touch it or move anything. And yet we get in big trouble if someone accidentally steps on a piece and breaks it.
What is amazing is the length of time she can play with these, and I mean by herself. She played with them the majority of the day yesterday. She woke up and has been playing with them for 30 minutes already, and hasn't even taken her morning meds. At some point today, Imani will be gracious and play with her for awhile. It is never long enough in Akila's mind, but I am always very thankful and proud of Imani for doing it, as she does not like dolls very much.
I am thankful that Akila has the ability to entertain herself for periods of time. It would be really smooth if she were not bothered by the rest of us breathing, let alone walking through the room to go to a different room, or jumping on the floor above her. I think I may have mentioned before that we have big problems over her trying to find a certain barbie accessory, like a shoe. If she can't find it immediately, the entire family is accused of stealing it in an attempt to "terrorize" her. Everything has to be halted and we need to search for the missing item. When I am not willing to stop everything and help her find an item, look out. We are sure to end up in a physical altercation. She is usually happy with just an attempt, if unsuccessful in the search, she will be mad and have some more choice words, but she usually won't get physical.
She of course remembers every detail of how a certain barbie came in the package, and wants to find the original shoe or earring they were wearing when they were new. She will end up spending forever trying to get all the pieces she wants to play with, and then when it is bedtime or time to go, she freaks out because she hasn't gotten to play yet. This really confused me for awhile, as she had been playing with them for hours, literally (while she takes frequent breaks to yell and scream at us for living). I then realized that she was upset as she had spent the majority of the time gathering the items she wanted, and didn't end up playing with them as much as she wanted.
But, this Christmas season, I am truly thankful that Akila is home. I am thankful that she has not gotten as violent as she was before she went to the crisis home in early September. I am thankful that she is playing well even though there are plenty of hiccups, her ability to play is a true blessing for which I am thankful.