Ganga and Bornali: Sisters Become Friends

Ganga and Bornali

Yesterday afternoon only Ganga and Bornali were home.  Nine others had gone to an event and Rani was in the park for her afternoon walk.    I was home still recovering from my cold; teachers were gone… so it was time for some fun.  Ganga and Bornali had just been given misti doi (sweet yogurt) for afternoon snack, and per my instructions, I wanted to let them work at feeding themselves. Bornali takes her food very seriously and when the spoon became too difficult she did the only natural thing she could think of, which was to do away with the spoon and go directly to the source.

Bornali gets practical

Notice that not only has she gotten to the source, but she used her knees to tilt the tray upwards to bring the dish closer to her mouth.   A few years ago she did this with a puzzle piece.

Getting the Job Done

2008: Getting the Job Done


Bornali’s teacher was not happy with this. In the teacher’s mind, the assigned task was for Bornali to use her hands to pick up the puzzle pieces. But in Bornali’s mind, since her hands weren’t getting the job done, she used what worked for her. In her mind, the task was to pick up the piece of the puzzle. In yesterday’s task, Bornali’s understanding was that she was to eat without assistance and since she couldn’t get the spoon and her hand working right, she did what made sense to her. It seems to be what made sense to both of them.

Later in the evening Gangaand Bornali delighted in our showing the pictures.

Ganga working with her hand in 2008

The pictures from 2008 also show Ganga struggling with using her hands. I realized that she is no more able to use her hands now than in 2008. Her preferred means is her foot. Apparently she has figured out how to turn off the tv with her foot if she doesn’t like what is playing. For computer she prefers her foot.  Here she is learning from Dipak Ghosh, her role model

Learning from Dipak Ghosh, her role model

though we have just starting using a head pointer.

Hunt and Peck Ganga style

July 2011
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