Another day of wicked cold meant afternoon spent at a preschool playground. Yesterday I surprised Timmy by taking him to one of his favorite playgrounds, where he always finds buddies and is free to climb, slide, run and play to his heart's content. Kid Junction is also one of my personal favorites because it features a parent lounge in the middle of the action, allowing me to keep a watchful eye on my little adventurer while enjoying the benefits of free wi-fi.
After running through the climbing structure for two hours, Timmy was wearing down and needed a brief break. He isn't one to actually sit and rest. Instead, he led me by the hand to the Veterinarian Clinic play zone. He donned a coat, put a stuffed pony in my hand and assumed his role as Dr. Timmy.
Whenever I play imagination games with Timmy other kids seem to quickly swarm to be part of the action. Within minutes of my exam I had little kids sticking every appendage with a fake injection, blood pressure cuffs on both hands, and tiny reflex hammers banging away on me as if I were a toy on Santa's workbench. (I tried, without success, to encourage a softer use of the reflex hammers.)
At one point a new buddy grabbed the small pair of toy scissors and told me that he was going to fix my (pretend) broken finger by cutting it off. As soon as he spoke those words and made a pretend cut I saw a glint in Timmy's eyes. After quickly grabbing the scissors Timmy said, "Buddy, watch this. Watch this Buddy." He then smiled wryly, giggled and said, "Timmy fix Momom leg. Timmy cut Momom leg off."
With a room full of little eyes zoned in on the "surgery" Dr. Timmy was about to perform, he carefully made one small pretend cut. Then he put the scissors down, gave my prosthetic a yank and dropped it through my pant leg and onto the floor, where it landed with a thud. "Ta Da!" he shouted with gleeful success.
I wish I had a camera to record the shocked and mesmerized faces of his new buddies. Timmy stood victorious, quickly swooping my leg off the floor and holding it like a prized trophy. The buddies crowded around him, clamoring to get a glance at the leg Dr. Timmy had quickly removed. Soon my leg was being tried on by every kid at the playground and had been shown to every parent in the lounge. I have to admit, the discomfort and squirming on the adults' faces when their child took my leg to proudly show them was well worth the price of admission to the playground!
When I finally received it back I was able to talk with all of the kiddos about my prosthesis, my amputation, and my abilities. Timmy certainly made meeting their first amputee memorable! Yesterday was the first time that Timmy has ever demonstrated an understanding that I am somehow unique and different from other parents. Much like his brother, I think he is going to have fun with my novelty.