Thursday, March 4, 2010
One of the things that Andrew's therapists are recommending that we work on is pretend play. Pretend play is sooo good for kids. Great for language development, great for processing what they are thinking about, great tool to have when learning to play with other kids. I was definitely on board. Except there was one problem. I hate pretend play.
I can build and create with the best of them. I can crawl through couch cushion obstacle courses and host wrestling matches on my bed. But think up story lines and act them out? I'd rather go to successive and increasingly difficult dental appointments.
But, I decided to try it out. The first day was bad. We got out some action figures and I pretended on behalf of the Riddler and gave Andrew Batman. When I had the Riddler talk to Batman, Andrew told me frankly, "Mom, Batman can't talk." oh boy.
But little by little we worked at it. We got better scenarios going and incorporated the things we were already good at. And yesterday we found ourselves on lego telephones having a three way conference call with Little Einsteins about the new rocket that Andrew just made for them out of blocks. Andrew first declared his love for June ("Hi June! I love you!") and then outlined the features of the new rocket ("it goes super fast and really high!") and then explained what to do with their current rocket ("drop it off at Kirsten's house"). He ended the phone call with a "gotta go! goodbye!" and that was that. Mission Completion.
And the pretend play payed off. When my mom called later that afternoon, Andrew asked to speak to her. And instead of getting nervous and only spouting silly jargon, he had a real live give-and-take conversation with her. A phone first for them.
Turns out, practice makes perfect. Me practicing pretend play made me a better pretender. Andrew pretending to talk on the phone made him a better communicator. Why is it I never saw that coming?