Friday, July 11, 2008

Time to Play

Anyone who spends time on a regular basis with grand children knows that you're going to be doing things that you haven't done in a long time-or ever. For example when I spend a day with my 4 yr old grand daughter we play games. Her favorites are school and doctor-especially doctor. With few exceptions, her dolls (she has several at our house) are the patients. Sometimes I'm the patient but we haven't done that in a while. The ususal procedure is that I'm either the doctor and my grand daughter is the doll's mother or she's the doctor and I'm the nurse. We play out the whole thing to the extent that the room where we spend most of our time together becomes the waiting room. All the dolls are seated on the couch and I ask an imaginary nurse to call them in one at a time. Their complaints cover a wide range of ailments which is all carefully explained to me by my grand daughter. Some just need routine check-ups along with shots. We use smiley stickers as band aids to cover the point of injection. Sometimes they have fevers and illnesses or sometimes they'll need tubes inserted in their ears. The latter is a much lengthier procedure. My grand daughter has tubes in her ears herself & it's amazing how much of the procedure she remembers. For example if I don't administer the anesthesia correctly, I'm sternly reprimanded! Another interesting thing about all of this is that when it comes time to give the shots, she says I have to ask the nurse how many. I mention that since I'm the doctor, wouldn't I be the one to make that decision and she says well if I don't like what the nurse says, I can ignore her. I usually end up giving about 4 shots with a toy plastic hypodermic needle in her medical kit. This goes on until she tires of the whole thing and abruptly switches games. That's the other thing. You have to be ready for fast transitions. One minute we'll be playing doctor and the next I'm a child sitting on a cloth circle at school having a story read to me be my grand daughter who has instantly become the teacher. Her name is always Miss Amy and I'm always Keila. Sometimes I get in trouble and I have to go in the closet for time out. I asked her if that happens at her school and she said no and I know it's not a term her parents use so where she got that is anyone's guess. This goes on for quite a while until it's time to have lunch or we go outside. Even when we go outside to the swings and slides, the games will frequently persist. Often the dolls are loaded into strollers or toy shopping carts and hauled to the play area. Sometimes I'm the teacher watching them play or other times I'm one of the students. Then, we'll suddenly switch and play hide and seek. This goes on for pretty much the whole day.
Another dimension to all of this is when the younger grand daughter is with us. She isn't quite two, but she already likes to play doctor. She says doctor and goes to the medical cart and puts on the stethoscope. She puts it against my back but if I don't put my shirt up, she gets very annoyed. Then she takes deep breaths as though she were the one being examined. Then I get the inevitable shot. I'm sure as they get older, I'll be treated to new experiences that I barely remember from when my children were little. It's great fun. Check back for more stories.

No comments: