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Fun and Games

Following the advice of our First Steps physical therapist, we are trying to get Simon to spend more time playing on his feet. To quote Amy, we’re moving Simon’s world up off of the floor. To this end, we’ve moved a train table into our living room and put many of Simon’s toys on it, installed a mini-basketball game next to it, and have set up a sand and water table by our front steps.

The results have been mixed.

The train table has been a smashing success. We put all his favorite toys on it, and Simon spends literally hours playing standing up. Yesterday was our first full day of all-standing play, and he capped it by sleeping for 13 hours straight last night. Good boy! Better still, he frequently drops objects, then bends over to pick them up again. Amy has suggested we do this for him to get him out of his single, Frankenstein-like standing pose. And best of all, Simon will periodically break out into a dance while standing. If his bouncing, fist pumping, head shaking moves cracked me up when he was sitting, the addition of some hip action has sent me into uncontrollable gales of laughter.

Basketball has been a modest success. He likes the game and can certainly get the ball in the hoop, but he’s not ready to post up Mr. Fundamental (that’s Tim Duncan, by the way) or drive to the goal just yet. The goal (no pun intended) of this game is to see if we can get Simon to stand unsupported without realizing it. To date, we’ve managed a barely there lean against an adjacent table while putting the ball in the hoop, but he hasn’t gone totally solo yet. Still, I’m buoyed by the progress.

As for the sand and water table, I’m beginning to wonder if the engineers were drunk when they designed this sucker. The pitch must have gone like this: “When kids play in water, they make a mess. When kids play in sand, they make and even bigger mess. Let’s combine the two so the kids can be covered in wet sand that will stick to their skin and clothes and get all over the house, too. It’ll offer all the mess of a trip to the beach without the scenery. Perfect.”

Perhaps this will get better when Simon has a better idea of what to do with the thing. For now, his play is mostly limited to throwing water out of the table, throwing sand out of the table, throwing sand into the water, and eating the sand. On the plus side, Simon enjoys it and it keeps him standing, so we’re not giving up on it just yet. On the minus side, at his present rate he’s going to go through fifty pounds of sand in about a week.

Pictured at top right, my beautiful boy shellacked with sandy concrete.

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