“Umbrella, Umbrella, Raincoat!”

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

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7 responses to ““Umbrella, Umbrella, Raincoat!”

  1. What an awesome kid indeed! It’s lovely to hear she is choosing to seek you all out and play more often these days!

  2. Thanks so much! It really IS so exciting.

  3. I love how she changes it from duck, duck, goose to whatever she likes! And they fit so perfectly! Love it! :O) We all got a chuckle the other day….we were watching the baseball game on tv and my husband stood up during their “God Bless America” song during the 7th inning stretch and put his hand over his heart. My daughter and I joined in singing etc…Brett came up and we all starting saying, “Brett do this, Brett do this….while patting our hands over our hearts……Erin was laying over my lap, stomach up so she started patting on her chest/stomach area saying again…Brett do this…Brett do this…so he promptly walked over and started beating his hands on her tummy!!!! We all just laughed and laughed! I said, “Well, when you think about it, that IS what we were asking him to do!!! ” Silly Brett!!! So literal!! I love that kid too! 🙂

    • Becky, that is such a wonderful story. I love the literalism and have been accused of being “too literal” all the time. I actually think the world would be an easier place (for me and Emma anyway) if everyone was a bit more literal!

  4. Love how Emma changes it to umbrella and raincoat and the imaginary extras in the game- very clever.
    I think every week for nearly 4 years at Roslyn’s autism specific school their idea of teaching her social skills was to play duck duck goose goose, and musical chairs. (as you may guess Mummy not very impressed with this self proclaimed World Class Autism Centre of Excellence)My husband and I always thought they should have given her a Bachelors in Duck duck goose goose. And you know what she has never played it outside of school. ( she now goes to a different school)

  5. Oh Liz! Yes, wouldn’t love it if the game were the centerpiece of her curriculum! We played What Time is it Mr. Fox to great fanfare this morning. She liked it, though prefers Duck, duck.

  6. Pingback: “Come Dance With Me!” | Emma's Hope Book

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