Sunday, August 21, 2011

Smiley's Types of Roughhousing

Smiley is an active three-year-old who has invented (or re-invented) many types of roughhousing.

(He calls rough play "wrestling" because we tell him things like "No wrestling on the stairs, that's not safe.")

1. Running in Circles

This is his oldest type of roughhousing.  I kneel in the middle of the sitting room.  He runs around me.  I try to grab him.  Sometimes we are the big bad wolf and a little pig/goat and I "eat" his side when I catch him.  Other times I just tickle him.

2. Chase

Now that he is older and runs faster we do not chase each other around the house much.  But sometimes we still do.  This morning I was a rhinoceros, crawling while using only one arm, trying to get him with my "horn" (my other fist, on my forehead).

3. "Baby Push-ups" and "Baby-Situps"

He is too big for these exercises now.  I used to lie and my back and use him as a weight.  As an infant he would naturally keep his little legs up when I held his torso and did a straight-up chest press.  He also sat back against my legs while I did knee-up sit-ups.

4. Horseback Rides

He likes these, but not as much as the next one...

5. Horseback Won't Fall Off

He grabs my back and I try to make him fall off by slowly tilting to one side, leaning forward or back, or moving erratically.  Sometimes I pretend I do not know where he is and am looking for him.

6. Jump off Daddy

When he was younger I would lie flat on my stomach, and he would jump off my back onto the carpet. Now that he is older I kneel on my hands and knees and he leaps from my back.

7. Charging Chest Bump

This game was inspired by the Busy Penguins board book. I kneel with my torso upright, chest held forward, and knees apart. He runs at me with his chest held forward and we crash together. If he impacts me forcefully and accurately (without involving his arms, hands, or head) then I pretend he knocked me over, and fall backwards while hugging him to my chest.

8. Toss into the Air

While kneeling or standing I throw him up and catch him.

9. Foot Rides

He likes two kinds of foot rides. Sometimes he stands on both my feet and we hold hands. Other times he sits on one foot and wraps his legs and arms around that leg.

Usually we just walk. Sometimes I pretend I do not realize he is there, and moan and complain about how my shoe(s) feel heavy.

10. Hitting and Kicking

Like all toddlers he likes to hit and kick but is normally prohibited from doing so. But if he asks me while we roughhouse then he is allowed to hit my arms or kick my legs. Of course, then I get to hit his arms or kick his legs. I do so with moderate intensity: not hard enough to cause any pain or hurt but forceful enough that he gains some idea why hitting and kicking is considered "not nice" in most circumstances.

UPDATE: Two years later I wrote an updated list.

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