Playing with the boys

One of the joys of motherhood is playing with your kids. I remember playing Peek A Boo with S and have him laughing away! We would play all kinds of board games, video games, etc. Always a variety and always TONS of interaction and imagination! When your child has special needs, the playtime can be completely different.
K was always a very happy baby. But he didn’t really want any interaction with us to play. He was quite happy sitting in his bouncy chair with his musical toy and have it play over and over. We had 8 hours of Barney the Dinosaur because that is all he would watch. When we went to the park the only thing he wanted to do was go in the swing. And he didn’t want to be pushed back and forth, he wanted to be spun around! That was his favourite thing to do. It still is! He will put his toy up to his ear and dance around in a circle, or sit in his spinny chair and spin it so fast he’s a blur! I try not to laugh but it is funny when he gets dizzy. He always spins near a couch so he always has a soft place to land!
One day I got a note from his school saying that he had gone to grab a toy bowling set. He had set up the pins in a straight line and was using the ball to knock them down! We had never taken him bowling so I wondered where he figured it out. His teacher said he had been watching the other kids do it and had laughed when the pins fell down! Needless to say, Santa brought him his own set at Christmas! He plays with it everyday, setting them up, always in a perfectly straight line (very characteristic of Autistic children), and then he will knock them down! So we are averaging a new toy interest once every 5 years or so! I wonder what he will be interested in next?
Playing with B had its own set of challenges. His ADHD made it hard to play anything that took awhile to play. But he would play video games for hours on end, when I let him. Sometimes it was the only way to calm him down. As he got a little older he wanted to play the same board games over and over until I had to hide them so he would play something else! It wouldn’t have been so bad but he would get so upset when he lost! And to be honest I just got tired of playing them! Trying to teach him about fair play was tough. If he couldn’t win he didn’t want to play. He was never into painting, colouring or crafts. He didn’t have the patience. So the only way I could keep him occupied and happy was to let him play his video games. He still gets upset when he loses, but hopefully he will get over that soon.
Now that all my boys are older, K is getting better at letting me play with him. He hands me the pins to set up and he will knock them down. I found a couple of video games that I enjoy playing with B. We just beat one together last week! It doesn’t matter what we play as long as we have fun! It just took a long time to find out how.

P.

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