I am amazed at how some childhood games seem to be universal. Given enough time, they all seem to discover the same joys. The company of other children may hasten the game being learned, but it is not necessary. I remember engaging in many of the activities when I was a child. I watch in wonderment, and sometimes a little pain, when I see Robby "discovering" new games.
We were walking to the mailbox, playing "step on your shadow." If Robby focuses on his shadow, I found that I can keep him moving forwards, in the direction of the mailbox. When the sun is not shining and we can't find out shadows, it often takes me at least 3x as long to retrieve the mail. Robby stops every few feet to examine bugs with his magnifying glass. Many times we have to put worms which are "asleep" (actually, they are shriveled and dead) into his bug box for further study.
Thankfully the sun was shining yesterday so we were able to make it to the mailbox in a reasonable amount of time. After we got the mail and sang the "Mailbox" song from Blue's Clues, we started home. All of a sudden Robby ran in front of me, faced me and stopped walking.
My husband and I have purposely withheld the "walking on mommy/daddy's feet" game. Scott had his big toe amputated due to an accident. Because of the amputation, his toe stump is sensitive to increased pressure and being kicked etc.. We decided that it would be best if Robby didn't get into the habit of walking on our toes.
As Robby stood before me in the middle of the street, I immediately realized what he wanted. His little hands grasped onto my shorts as he stepped onto my feet. He then looked up at me, smiled that adorable little smile that melts my heart, and said, "Momma, walk please." I should have said no. I should have stuck to the deal I made with my husband to not engage in this game. Instead, I told Robby to hang on, and started walking.
Slowly and with each deliberate step, we started back towards the house. I was able to maintain my balance, and the smile on Robby's face let me know that he thought he uncovered the best game ever! To minimize the number of steps I opted to cut through our yard.
I was walking up a small hill when Robby lost his balance. He grabbed onto my hips and was able to stop his fall. I encouraged him to walk next to me. He refused and remounted my feet. This brief stop broke my walking momentum and, apparently, the suction seal in my liner.
As I lifted up my prosthetic for the first step, I felt the seal break beneath Robby's weight. He is, after all, nearly 40 pounds. Because I was walking slowly, I was able to detect that my leg was not secure before I completely stepped out of the socket. Thankfully I was able to push my weight backwards so that I landed in a sit position. Robby landed on top of me.
I was worried that Robby would be upset because we fell. Instead, he smiled and said "wheee." Scott and I didn't want to play the "walk on your feet" game because we were worried about it causing pain for Scott. I found myself trying to explain to a toddler that Mommy's leg comes off when he walks on my feet. That's a conversation I never envisioned before! Instead, I luckily missed a possibly painful accident. We are now encouraging Robby to go Piggyback.