Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hide and Seek

One of the perks of moving from California to Minnesota was the ability to stretch out from our previous 1500 square feet to 3500 square feet of living space. Lest that sound like bragging, please note that I have to clean each and every one of those square feet, currently occupied by two small children, two large dogs and one husband with frequently muddy and very large shoes.

Anyway, at the time of the move both kids were really developing their desire to explore and neither one had many verbal skills yet. The first two months or so in the new house, therefore, were basically a neverending game of hide-and-seek in which I was always the seeker and rarely got any hints as to the hiders' locations. Over time, we have restricted access to some of the less kid-friendly rooms and Pacey and Brighton have - for the most part - starting responding with some verbal clues as to their whereabouts.

Leave it to Pacey, therefore, to up the ante. For anyone that doesn't know, kids with Down syndrome are often hyperflexible due to laxity in their muscles and joints. This, combined with a seriously creative mind, have led to increasingly more hair-raising "games" of hide-and-seek with my bendy boy. Some favorites have been:

1) The time he removed the middle two drawers in his dresser and hid literally inside the dresser,

2) The bizarre day when I heard him crying/calling for me from his room and I went up to check out the scene, only to find his room seemingly empty. I could hear his voice, but could not see him ANYWHERE. I was started to get kind of freaked out when I turned around and found him folded inside his football-shaped toy chest. Now, the opening of this toy chest can't be more than 12 inches in diameter and he had folded himself inside just right so that he entirely filled it up. I had to actually strategize how I was going to extract him!

And 3), the most concerning episode yesterday where his voice called to me, echoing, from the laundry room where he had climbed inside the dryer drum. Now, most of the time his hiding is mainly amusing but I admit this totally freaked me out. All I could think about was that Punky Brewster episode where Cherie hid inside the old refrigerator (raise your hand if you were a kid in the 80's...). We had a talk about how getting inside the dryer is dangerous and never okay but I am pretty tempted to revert to clothesline and clothespins at this point.

I'm thinking Pacey could have a future with Cirque du Soleil...or at least as part of a casino-robbing gang.

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