9 Nov 2007

The House of Fun

We went to an indoor play centre yesterday early in the afternoon. The only other children there were aged 2 to 5, since most of the older children would have been at school. Duncan was playing in his favourite part which is designed for 1 to 3 year olds, but since there were no little ones there at the time he was OK. That section has a nice slide, but the slide in the other section is much too scary for him. He was singing to himself; 'Welcome to the House of Fun' by Madness. It's the soundtrack for one of his beloved roller coaster videos.

Two boys aged 4 or 5 joined Duncan. They were playing with the foam blocks, and Duncan approached them. He laughed and imitated them in their game of jumping onto the blocks. The boys looked at me and whined that he was ruining their game. I just asked Duncan to come and play with Thomas and Lady on the 'pirate ship' (the other section). Duncan was as always these days, wearing his Captain Hook costume. Duncan didn't want to move. He started playing on the slide and in the ball pool again, and the boys were mocking his speech, saying 'go go ga ga' as if he was a baby, though he's bigger than they are. Then he passed the boys again, and one of them started kicking him! I sternly told the boy to stop; 'don't hit or kick him, I'm right here watching!' and took Duncan away. Duncan was upset and kicked at me a bit, but I distracted him by playing at being a crocodile.

The boys went off to terrorise other children and a few little girls came in. One of them was a real sweet heart. She went down the slide laughing with delight, making Duncan laugh with her. She started to play with him wordlessly, throwing balls and sliding and climbing and they ended up hugging each other.

Duncan was rather distracted by the shop, with loads of sweets in easy reach and which was unstaffed most of the time we were there. I had to move him away from it many times. He worked out all the things he wanted in order of preference;
'1, Kinder egg, 2, marshmallow, 3, apple juice with a straw, 4, ice-cream.' We actually got through the whole session without buying any of it. Bonus!

I'd warned Lady about the nasty boys, and when we were leaving I saw her in a corner talking to them. Then she stepped back, and did a jujitsu high kick in the air.
I asked her what had been going on. She told me that they had pushed Thomas on the big slide, and then tried to knock Lady over. She told them not to, and then demonstrated her martial arts capabilities. I think she was making a point. That's my girl.

Thomas loved the play centre. He's become so brave and outgoing recently. He went on the huge inflatable slide, and jumped so far off the top that he landed half way down before starting to slide. He asked a (nice) boy to play with him and somehow I think Thomas was dictating what they did and when.

His tooth fell out on Tuesday and he was so excited about the whole thing, especially the prospect of some cash! He cracks me up with how he talks. He sounds more grown up than he looks, and he's adopted lots of little phrases from films and TV. Echolalia? ;-)
We were watching a film recently where a character fell and bumped his backside. Thomas goes, 'Oh that's gotta hurt!' He's a cute and sweet boy, but he can be rather, well lets put it nicely, self interested. As I said to Gordon once, if Thomas were one of characters in Kubrick's film 'Spartacus', at the end of the film, he'd have stood up and shouted, 'well I'm not bloody Spartacus!'


Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO at "I'm not bloody Spartacus" :D.
Hmmm, a crocodile eh? That was a snappy decision :P.
Sorry that Duncan encountered such hurtful comments at the play centre. I suppose at four and five the children haven't got the understanding to realise how hurtful and wrong they are. What adults were with the lads, did they step in at any time and intervene?

Sharon McDaid said...

Hi Bullet
You're right, the boys didn't know any better. They probably didn't know what to make of this 'big' boy who looked ordinary, but talked more like a toddler. It's a shame their reaction was to be rather nasty. At other times, children have just asked me why he talks like that, and been more straightforward. Their mums were sitting nearby, but they weren't watching them. It's quite a safe place, and quite difficult for a small child to get out of, so most parents just let their children run off while they read the paper. I hover near Duncan all the time!

jypsy said...

"It's the soundtrack for one of his beloved roller coaster videos."

Alex has a collection of roller coaster videos. At one time (and for many years) "beloved" would have been the word for them. He used to draw them too and at one point I could have completely wallpapered his room with his roller coaster drawings. There used to be a number of them on his website, I don't think they're in the web archived version, did you ever see them?

One of the things I've had on my wishlist for many years was to take Alex to a real roller coaster - 6 Flags or somewhere. It still hasn't happened. He has an Aspie friend in the US (named Alex) who visits PEI every summer and brings him roller coaster T-shirts from all the fabulous coasters around the US.

Roller coasters are great as "teaching aides" and we used them across the board to teach all kinds of things, from geography to cursive writing.

kristina said...

Hope the tooth fairy was good to him-----those play centers can overwhelm Charlie; so much (too much) going on. Love that Spartacus ending!

Anonymous said...

Really sorry to hear about the other kids giving Duncan a hard time, but loved Lady standing up to them, she is definately your daughter!
And Thomas cracks me up, he is such a grown up, very like his daddy...

Marla said...

I love the costume! Does he love the Peter Pan movies? My daughter loves the Kathy Rigby Peter Pan play. I am sorry to hear about the nasty little kids there. That is so frustrating as a parent. Thank goodness for little girls and their ninja skills!

Casdok said...

Yes very frustrating.

Sharon McDaid said...

Jypsy, so Alex likes roller coasters too! Duncan wouldn't want to go on one, not yet anyway. He loves watching them. We visited a travelling fair on Halloween which he thought was fantastic. Youtube is such a treasure trove of footage for him. Almost anything (decent!) you can think of, someone has taped it and uploaded it, which is great for fan boys. And I agree, these special interests he has are great at helping him learn without realising he's doing so.
I hope Alex gets to go on the coaster of his dreams some day.

Kristina, we were able to go when the play centre had just opened so there were about 10 children max there- a lot less overwhelming for children and parents than on a busy weekend.

Miche, he is so like his dad.

Hi Marla, he loves that costume! People keep asking him if he's going to a fancy dress party when we're out and about. I have to tell them that no, he just likes the dandy look!
The little girls were great, and kick ass big sisters have their uses too!

Casdok, he wasn't bothered for more than a moment so I don't dwell on it...much. It does make me think that as he gets older, I'd like to help him deal with rude, insensitive, bossy or abusive people in a way that works best for him.