The new school year begins on August/29. I received my renewed subbing certificate this week and made the rounds of school district offices. I’m now on the “reactivated” lists for the 2006/07 school year. I don’t anticipate the first subbing assignment until the following week.
Being “off” for the summer has enabled me to spend a lot of time with the granddaughters. The oldest is just shy of her 2nd B-day and the other is six months younger.
While the moms appreciate the babysitting time, I’m having a blast with child’s play. This is a great age when they are just starting to talk and starting to develop a sense of fun, play and imagination.
Because language is still limited to single words and baby language that only one of us can understand, there are no rules except to have fun, be surprised and laugh often.
The games we play now are strictly for giggles and fun:
- Stealing grandpa’s chair.
- Pull/push grandpa over.
- Walking in grandpa’s shoes.
- “Reading” picture books.
- “Almost” singing and dancing with "The Wiggles"
As they get older (5-10), I’ll introduce them to games their parents loved to play:
Astronauts and Indians:
This tickle game involves a storyline invented on the fly when my kids were little.
While they were face down and shirtless, I’d tell them that they are surface of the moon. Astronauts are slowly approaching the landing area in the lunar module which looks, coincidentally, like Daddy’s hand with all fingers pointed down toward the moon’s surface.
After a long decent (including sound effects) the lunar module lands usually in a tickle sensitive location on the lunar surface. (The moon usually exhibits a moonquake on landing.)
The astronauts get out of the space craft and walk all over the moon exploring for rocks. These walks seem to include more the ticklish centers of the moon.
Suddenly, they spot the lunar Indians!
The Indians try to scare the astronauts away by shooting arrows up into the sky. Because of the moon’s gravity, it takes a long time for the arrows to come back down one-at-a-time. They all seem to miss the astronauts and, instead, poke the surface of the moon (in more ticklish areas).
The astronauts run, ticklishly, back across the moon surface and escape in their lunar lander.
They rise higher and higher when “Oh NO!”….They start to run out gas and are headed back to the lunar surface where repeated encounters with lunar Indians ensue.
Game ends when “the moon” has had enough for a while or Dad gets cramped fingers whichever comes first.
Every kid in our family knows that I can remove a kid brain by simply placing my hand on top of his/her head and with a scritch of fingers and a sucking sound extract the brain whole and intact.
I can then reverse the process to install said captured brain into a different kid who now would have two brains. Sometimes, I’d just hold the brain in hand while the brain owner would try and pry my fingers open to retrieve the stolen property.
If brainless kid attempted to retrieve original brain from a two brained kid, I would claim that the brain he reinstalled was actually the wrong one and watch the fun while they acted out how to correct the situation.
Each kid also knows that he/she can protect against the brain sucker by covering the head with hat, hands or even a single piece of paper. But beware, the brain sucker is always watching for any uncovered brains to snatch.
It’s not unusual to see kids marching in a line around the room with hands on heads when in reach of the brain sucker only to taunt while singing that ever popular song: “Na, Na, Na, Na, Na…Can’t get my Brraaain!”
At bed time, I would announce that I was getting hungry and walk down the hall with kid in trail. I would then tell my young one that I wanted to make a bed sandwich to eat.
While pulling back the covers and removing the pillow, I would have him/her help make my sandwich.
The mattress was the bottom piece of bread. Kid would pretend spreading the butter and mayonnaise and add the pillow as a marshmallow.
“What kind of meat should I put in my sandwich?.... I KNOW, I want a kid meat sandwich!.... Now where would I find some kid meat?”
I would snatch the kid meat off the floor plop them in my sandwich. We apply ticklish layers of sheet mustard followed by a blanket of ketchup, and a final bed cover of bread.
All that’s left is to munch and enjoy with kisses my “Kid Sandwich”
I would sometimes have to make two or three sandwiches before the “kid meat” would be ready for sleep.
While I didn’t think of it at the time, I now realize that “kid play” is instrumental in teaching our kids a part of how to be future parents.
I first realized this when my then teenage daughter reported in after a babysitting session that “Kid Sandwich” worked perfectly getting her charges to sleep without the usual tantrum.
Hurray for Childs Play!!