mud puddles and original thoughts

I was dreading lab time* today, but it turned out to be so delightful that I just had to document it.

I took in a 'megasketcher' toy which we have enjoyed before. I started out by looking at him and drawing circles on the writing surface with my finger. He got the hint, picked up the 'pen' and drew circles around and around just like I did. We did that a few times very happily.

Next I said, "My turn" and he gave me the pen. This time I drew a simple shape, and gave him back the pen saying "your turn". He looked up at me and then traced, in a very wobbly way, around my shape. We both looked quite happy, so I drew more shapes and he traced them. Then he asked for a few different shapes, so I drew them and he traced them.

We went on trace around each other's hands, plus he traced over the letters of his name. This is the best pen work that Bright Eyes has ever done!

After 15 minutes, I took the pen and drew a round circle. "It's Campbell's face" I said and waited. He said, "eyes" so I drew in the eyes. Then "nose", and then "sad face".

At that I made sad sort of noises and pretended to cry. His face crinkled up too in imitation. I took the pen and drew little tears down the cheeks of the face. "He's crying" I said and waited. "Wet", he said. "That's tears" I explained. "Tears" he said.

We pretend cried for a few minutes, and then Bright Eyes said, "I fell over. I hurt my head." I made appropriate ouch noises. Then he added, "fell in the mud.... eeergh". I joined in with disgust sort of faces and noises. "Yucky! You're muddy!" I said.

After a few more minutes of enjoying the ideas of falling over, feeling sad and being dirty, I grabbed one of the little shapes that come with the megasketcher. I pressed it on to the face, made a smudge and said, "Look - it's all muddy!" He took it and made more smudges. We took turns doing "muddy on eyes, muddy on ears" and covered the whole face! Then we did it again, this time on a new picture of Bright Eyes and his sister together. It was great fun.

By the time we had completely obliterated the pictures of the two faces by covering them in smudges, Bright Eyes said, "They're hiding" and then "they're in a cave."

These are original thoughts, people! This is all good!

At this point I switched games and went with the cave theme. I got him to hide under our little table while I crept around the room singing the 'bear hunt' song.

"I'm going on a bear hunt, I'm going on a bear hunt... oooh! there's the cave. OOOOOOhhhh, there's a bear, ruuuuun!" At which point he emerged from the cave smiling his head off and kind of chased around a little bit.

We took turns to be a bear, and then we switched animals. He was a lion, a tiger, a crocodile, and then (his choice) a sheep, cow, duck, pig, dog and cat. Not sure we have the whole wild animal thing down pat, but I don't mind.

After ten minutes of playing we stopped lab time and went back out to the lounge room. He ran up to Daddy and said, "We animals Dad. Play some games!"

It was a hit! In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he tried to get me to go in again to play 'animals'. And at bedtime, when we talked about what we did today, he said, "animals" and proceeded to list the species we had played.

Later in the afternoon in the kitchen, we rolled out some cookie dough I had made last night and cut out bone shapes (cute cookie cutters!) and ginger bread men. He really enjoyed it, and helped me put them in the oven. He also tried the cookie dough (first time) and said, "I like it. Yum." He was waiting for the cookies for the next hour and talking about them. And at bedtime, he said, "made chocolate bones".

A very very positive day.

*Lab time is our half hour per day in a closed door room with no distractions, doing things together and focusing on developing relationship skills.