Today after work, in the hour or so of playtime we have before dinner, bath, and bedtime for the baby, my son and I engaged in the longest “game” we’ve ever played. In recent weeks he has found it increasingly hilarious when I pretend like I can’t pull his socks off and I have to try reaaallllly hard, or when I pretend to not be able to catch him when we play chase because he’s just so fast, or when he “feeds” me fake food from his kitchen playset. Tonight, he walked up and pressed on my legs while I stood, and as I staggered back and he pushed with all of his might he laughed and giggled like he was the most clever thing in the world.
After a few minutes of this, I collapsed on the floor and he gleefully climbed on me. I pretended to fall asleep on the floor, with exaggerated snoring and everything, and barely suppressing his laughter he crawled over so his face was in mine and tapped my cheek. I sprang “awake” and grabbed him, causing more laughter. He then gently pushed my head back down, indicating that he wanted me to go back to “sleep.” We repeated this for a few minutes, and the novelty didn’t wear off until my husband tried to grab the video camera (of course).
It is exciting to me as a parent to have increasing reciprocity in my interactions with my son, and to see evidence of the connections being made in his head. I can also see more of the pieces of his personality emerging. As someone who studies child development, it’s thrilling to see him start to engage in this really important stage of development. I want to be conscious of encouraging as many of these opportunities as possible, whether I’m in my fancy work clothes or it’s going to make dinnertime a few minutes late.
So, Fabulous Thing #62: Playtime, taken to the next level.