Playing Spiders

Edward has a new favorite game.  I don’t know that it has a name, but it always starts out with him making his hands into little spiders and calling out “Oh SPI-ders!”  That would be my cue to make my hands into spiders as well and have them crawl over to his spiders.  He calls my hands and fingers “Mommy and Daddy Spider,” while his hands are called “Baby Spiders” or sometimes just “Little Spiders.”  This is all so maddeningly adorable that I will pretty much stop whatever I’m doing to play spiders with him any time I hear him call out his arachnocatchphrase.

Now, what the spiders are generally used for is tickling.  Finger spiders love crawling up people’s arms and tickling their necks, at least around my house.  But they also love to help each other out.  One thing that I am constantly amazed by in Edward’s play is how much of it is centered on politeness and helping.  He is normally such a destructobot, but when you really sit down with a toy (or your fingers) to play with him, there is a lot of saying “Hello” and “Goodbye,” and lots of pleases and thank yous.  And spiders are always falling down into holes and needing to be helped back out of them.  Once you help his spider out of a hole, it will always say “Thanks” and “See you later,” and later always means two seconds later, because you just know that that spider is going to fall into another hole.

I must point out, lest you think that it is all hugs and manners in the game of spiders, that the other favorite activity during this specific play is the squishing of the spiders.  I will put my hands into spider position, and then Edward will crash his hands down onto mine, flattening the poor spiders while I make a squishing sound.  This cracks him up to no end.  He often has to pause the game because he is laughing too hard to continue.  And don’t worry about the spiders; they get right back up again.  The smooshing is only temporary when you are two.

Now the spiders go everywhere with us.  If Edward is acting up or being fussy when we are at a restaurant or in the grocery store, the spiders come out to tickle him and he is momentarily cheered.  When he needs some motivation to get into his car seat, the spiders can provide that too.  The best toddler games, I have found, are the ones that also secretly coerce your children into doing what they are supposed to be doing.  And as long as playing spiders keeps him in line until he is eighteen, we should have no problems from here on out.

Posted in Edward, Games, Parenting, Photo, Spiders.

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