R turned four this week.
Almost everything with R is a new experience for us as parents. Yes, yes, I know that all children are different and are going to be somewhat like that anyway, but… the differences between a child with Autism and a child without Autism are night and day. So on Wednesday, after singing happy birthday to R, after cupcakes and giving him a card… he asked where his birthday present was. (Smart kid, our R.) And after a bit of hurrying on the wife’s part to grab something – we’d not planned on giving him a present till his birthday party in a week and a half – he was very excited to unwrap a “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” game.
(Fair disclosure – I might just have very fond memories of this game, though I’ll admit that the new version feels smaller and the fact that you can store everything underneath seems very weird to me.)
The wife then departed for a meeting, and I was left alone with both kids on the floor to play the game for a while. Explaining the game was easy and straightforward for both of them, and while the Monster doesn’t quite get the aspect of “wait until we say go”, it’s really the ideal game for both of the boys to play with one another.
It’s not the first board game we’ve tried with both kids at the same time. R loves board games, and has had a good time with “Candyland” and “Chutes and Ladders”. The problem with both of these games, though, is that they have complicated rules, they require turn-taking and concentration, and those aren’t exactly the Monster’s strengths. The Monster is quite content to tell you what card he drew in Candyland, or spin the spinner for the other, but the taking turns and keeping his attention on the game, not so much. On the other hand, H3 is really fantastic for the fact that you all play at the same time, that the rules are really straight-forward, and that all you have to do is flick down on the lever until there are no more balls in the pit, and then count how many you managed to grab – he can handle all those things.
And if it’s a good sign, they apparently played again last night for a good long time while I was out at a meeting of my own, so…