The Whammy Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

If there was any doubt that Will is my child -- and I know there's not, as I was there, morphine haze and all, when he came flying into the world three and a half months early -- his behavior this week makes it abundantly clear that he takes after his mama.

He's home on a little break between the end of the regular school year and summer school. For my special needs pre-schooler, summer school is a great thing, as it is a venue to allow the continuation of the reinforcement of all the skills he was developing and mastering when school ended. He is achieving so many accomplishments -- he is thisclose to walking all on his own, which thrills me to no end. He has the ability to walk now, but insists on holding my hand as he toddles around like a little drunken sailor, searching for his balance to counteract his cerebral palsy. And his yucky eyesight also has something to do with this delay, I'm sure. Poor kid inherited his mother's blinding nearsightedness, which is compounded by his prematurity. It figures that for the one thing he could use a genetic boost on to counteract the effects of his health history, I bring nothing to the table. At least he doesn't have my hips.

He is now feeding himself his meals, which is a messy marvel all on its own. He is communicating more and more everyday ("I want to swing!" "Let's take a bath." "Time for night-night."), actually expressing his needs and wants to me in a way that doesn't involve a banshee scream. Which is great for my mommy heart and my aching head. Kid's got some lung power on him. You could never tell now that his little lungs were so underdeveloped when he was born. Damn. When he can win a "Who's Loudest" contest with a Shop Vac, you know that he's gifted vocally.

Anyway. Since he's been home, we've slowed down our routine a bit, choosing to take a mini-vacation from bi-weekly therapy sessions he takes as an out-patient at our children's hospital. And, natch, we've been watching tv. Sometimes together, sometimes not. He now has three favorite programs that qualify as Must See Will TV -- two of which warm the cockles of my couch potato heart.

1) The Wiggles. The sun rises and sets for Will with the Wiggles. Oy. It could be worse. He could be obsessed with Barney. *Shudder* So, we wake up every morning "ready to Wiggle, Mama."

2)The Price is Right

3) Lingo

Go figure. I'm raising a game show fanatic. And who says this stuff's not genetic...

But there's a legitimate reason behind his choices. And it's a good one.

Like many preschoolers, he's learning his alphabet and how to count. Loves to randomly bust out with a rousing rendition of The Alphabet Song or will simply begin counting away. He can get up to twenty-nine, but insists that next comes twenty-ten. Actually, that's pretty good logic, if you think about it.

Now, what is the primary component of The Price is Right? Why prices, of course. And prices are made up of numbers.

Likewise, the objective of Lingo is to spell five letter words. It's all about the alphabet.

Will's affection for these shows is based on what he's learning in school. And that makes me prouder than I can ever imagine.

It's really funny to see him, scooched up to the TV, watching Bob Barker and Chuck Woolery do their things, sometimes chiming in with his suggestions of a number or letter.

I'm hoping this game show fascination continues. Because what childhood would be complete without a crash course in witty bon-mots, double entendres and the perils of drinking on national television. I'm talking, of course, about that all-time classic and my very favorite game show ever -- Match Game! Can't wait to share that one with him.

And then, there are the myriad incarnations of Password...

Announcer: The password is "Ridiculous".
Oscar (in angry tone): Aristophanes!
Felix: Ridiculous.

...and the venerable black and white versions of What's My Line and To Tell The Truth. And all those Pyramids.

I figure he can work this out with his therapist when he gets older. Right now, he's all mine.

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