Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mike learns to play Corn Hole!

On many evenings, Mike will walk over to you and grab your hand saying “Walk!  Walk mommy!  Walk!”.  He will lead you to the front door and proclaim that he wants to go outside.  Once he gets outside – he’ll announce that he is going to Todd and Maureen’s house.

This weekend, Todd and Maureen were having a gathering at their house (a small party for Angie) and they invited us over.  Mike grab our hands and said “Walk!” and we said “ok…”.  We went to the front door and Mike said “outside” and we said “ok…”.  Mike said “Go to Todd and Maureen’s” and we said “ok…”.

He was obviously only Todd and Maureen to be there.  At most, he was expecting Angie and her dog Max.  He certainly wasn’t expecting a house full of folks!  We actually got to see a small “shy” streak!  But it only lasted for a minute before he was socializing…

We made our way out to the deck and sat down.  Mike started watching on ongoing Corn Hole game.  Just in case you’ve never heard of it – it also goes by other names like Bean Bag Toss or Hillbilly Horseshoes.  The goal is to toss a “corn bag” (same as a bean bag) on to a board.  If it lands on the board you get 1 point.  If it goes in the hole on the board you get 3 points. 

Mike watched and watched and watched.  Teams changed.  New games started.  And Mike kept watching and studying.  He would occasionally point as if he was going to make a grand proclamation about what he was watching.  But then he would put his arm down and study some more.

He was obviously studying the game.  Learning the rules.  I’m sure he was doing “toddler level” calculations on inclined planes and projectile motion (Sid the Science Kid IS one of his favorite shows – and they have “toddler level” episodes on things such as this!).

After some time, the Corn Hole players took a break.  Mike grabbed my hand and said “Walk daddy” and he led me to the Corn Hole boards.  He stood next to one board for a few seconds – taking it all in.  Then he reached down and picked up one of the bags and studied it.  Then he looked down at the other board.  I said, “Go ahead buddy.  Give it a try!”

He looked up at me – then looked at the board some 30 feet away – then looked at the board right next to him – and looked back at me with a very expressive look that said “why throw it all the way down there when I can throw it in the hole right here”…

…which is exactly what he did!  And then turned and looked at me with his big grinning face as if to say “see daddy – that was MUCH easier”!

Mike plays corn hole

“This game is a lot easier using MY rules!”

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The first step towards potty training…

We’ve never been ones to rush Mike’s development.  Well – except for the walking.  But I’m guessing that everyone who might be parents to a child with clubbed feet would be at least a little anxious about that…

But as for everything else, we’ve completely taken the attitude of “it’ll happen when it happens” and we simply enjoy the current moment rather than trying to usher in the next.

And the same goes for potty training.  Sure - it seems like it would be nice to not have to mess with diapers anymore.  But that is the last little tidbit of “babyhood” that we are hanging on to.

However, Mike has certainly started to take an interest.  And while we don’t want to rush him in to anything – we also certainly don’t want to hold him back either.  So we have some “potties” (thanks Jim and Allison!) and we are take the first little step.

It’s not exactly “training” – at least not yet.  It’s more of an “introduction”.  Potty – meet Mike.  Mike – potty.  And there are already some funny stories to tell.

One of the clues we had that Mike was interested in the potty was that he started showing a keen interest when “The Mom” or “The Dad” went to potty.  It’s dangerous when he goes to watch “The Dad” potty.  He has seen shooting streams of water at the water park.  They sure were fun to play in!  Hey look!  Daddy can shoot a stream of water!  That sure looks like it would be fun to play in!!!

It’s less dangerous when he goes with “The Mom”.  But he is learning by observation.  So – here’s how it goes.  You sit on the potty.  And sit a little longer.  Then a second longer.  Then you grab some paper and throw it between your legs and in to the potty.  Cool – got it!

All of our “more experienced” parental friends have told us that you also need some sort of “reward” for using the potty.  Some sort of “incentive” so that they’ll keep wanting to come back.  Something like a sticker – or a small piece of candy.  Candy?  Mike?  Giving something sweet to Mike would be more of a punishment. 

But we do have a small “reward” for Mike when he uses the potty.  Something that makes him extremely excited.  So happy that he can’t wait to get his hands on it. 

What is it?

A single square of toilet paper for him to throw between his legs and in to the potty…

Hey - I'm busy here!

“Umm – can I have a little privacy please?”