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Games Babies Play

Our Simon is quite the kidder, a development that delights and surprises me in equal measures.Simon Kitten

His first game is scraping his nail across the pink, scratchy tongue of the kitten in the book Touch and Feel Kitten. This little DK book features pictures of kittens with tactile inserts for babies to explore. You can feel the kittens shiny metal tag, his hard plastic bowl, his woven straw basket, his soft fur, and—on page 2—his pink scratchy tongue. The material they used for the tongue insert is much like what you’d find on an Emory board, and it makes a nails-on-a-chalkboard noise when you scratch it.

Simon was drawn to this page from the get-go, and each time he’d scratch the tongue, Matt would yell and wince in an exaggerated fashion. That made the game even better. Now, any time we give him the book , he flips directly to page two, puts his nail on the kitten tongue, and then looks up at us with an impish smile to see our reaction before he gives it a good scrape.

His second game features the TV and digital cable controls. He’s been drawn to them for a while now and is amazingly successful at turning the audio or video off. Given the relative lack of TV going on in our house, his facility is amazing. Anyway, just as he lunges for the controls, I grab him and pull him back a few feet from the armoire.Simon_TV

Today is the day I realized that the dragging away is just as fun for Simon as the button pushing, because as soon as he got within striking distance of the controls, he put his finger on a dial and looked over at me with the same mischievous grin he sports when he’s getting ready to scratch the pink kitten tongue. And as soon as I leaned in to grab him, he threw back his head and started giggling like mad in anticipation.

We play games with Simon all the time: tub games, hand games, horsy games, and the like, but I never thought he’d reciprocate at such a tender age. It is totally unexpected, and all the more delicious for it.

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