Yesterday Emma, wearing one of her eight bathing suits, (Emma goes through bathing suits the way runners go through running shoes) requested that we play a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose.”
“Mommy! I want to play duck, duck, goose, please!” Without waiting for an answer she ran to find her brother. ”Nicky, I want to play duck, duck, goose with Nicky please!” Again she shot out of the room to find her dad. I could hear her muttering under her breath, “Haveta, gotta find Daddy. Gotta ask Daddy!” There was a moment of silence as I imagined she located her father and stood in front of him. I heard her say, “Daddy! I want to play duck, duck, goose please!”
For most parents this sort of request from their child is commonplace, however, with Emma it is far from the norm. In the past year she has increasingly asked us to engage with her, usually in the form of a chase game, hide and go seek or other activity involving lots of running and ending with tickling and loud utterances of “You better run! I’m going to get you!” followed by maniacal laughter – Woooohahahahahaha – done in a creepy, deep sounding voice. These sorts of activities necessitate a lot of lung power and is how I justify not having a gym membership in an area of the city that is purported to have more gyms than any other. I know it’s a stretch, but allow me to cling to my lame reasoning.
Within minutes Emma had managed to pry her brother away from his favorite TV show, Chopped, me from my emails, Richard from his book and gathered us together on the floor where we sat in a circle as Emma stood over us and began. ”Umbrella. Umbrella. Umbrella,” she said as she pushed down on each of our heads. She even pretended there were more of us than there actually were and mimed patting at least three more heads of imaginary people seated in our circle with us. ”Raincoat!” she shouted after a third orbit around us and pushing on my head.
The whole, shouting out “Goose!” while patting the chosen person on the head then running as they manage to upright themselves from a cross-legged position and chase her, is the one part of the game Emma hasn’t quite gotten down. However, it must be said, she is at an advantage as both Richard and I are in our golden years aka members of AARP and careening rapidly into senior citizen status and so bounding from sitting position to standing takes us a tad bit longer than it once did. Still, Emma is easily caught, but other than this small adjustment to the game, she gets it and loves it.
I’d like to point out her creative amendment to the game in using variations on the duck, duck, goose theme. I loved “Umbrella, umbrella, raincoat,” which is a variation on her other favorite, “Carousel, carousel, horsey!”
What an awesome kid!
To read my latest piece, Emma’s New Shoes, in the Huffington Post, click ‘here‘
And if you haven’t already done so, do vote for Emma’s Hope Book by clicking this ‘link‘ and clicking on the “like” button opposite Emma’s Hope Book.