I Love You Infinity
This morning, I’d like to share with you a few games Corey and I used to play. Well… all three of the boys and I used to play them, but they started because Corey had a learning disability.
When Corey entered Kindergarten, it quickly became apparent that he was behind the other students. I thought his speech patterns were normal for his age, and the fact that he still hadn’t connected letters with words… well, that was what Kindergarten was for, right? I couldn’t have been more wrong. I hadn’t been able to afford expensive preschool like the other parents in our district, so I really didn’t have a clue.
So I learned games to play with him and his brother Justin (Josh hadn’t been born yet). And we began playing them everywhere we went.
In the car, we played the alphabet game… This is the game where you start with A and work your way through the alphabet. Each player has to name a type of fruit, animal, name, or any other category and work your way through the alphabet using the letter you are assigned and naming off all of the other letters before yours. I admit this game was shaky at first, but after a while… we all got the hang of it.
We’d look at license plates, and make words from what we saw from the letter and number combinations. Some would be silly, and we’d laugh so hard we’d be in tears.
At home we’d play number bingo, letter bingo, money bingo (yes they have that!), and do all types of puzzles.
I taught them a counting game I learned when I was a girl. “There’s a dead skunk in the middle of the road… I one it.” The next person would say, “I two it” the next would say “I three it” and on it goes until someone finally says, “I eight it”
“EWWWW YOU ATE IT?!?!”
It’s hard to explain the joy I felt when Corey and I were playing it one day, just the two of us, and he was “I two it” and he said, “No, mom. I don’t want to be the one to eat the skunk!!”
He learned number permanence. He understood that 2 was an even number, and that 8 was an even number and if you were the one with the number 2 – you ate the skunk.
Instead of breaking into tears, I leaned in close and said, “Want to know a secret?” He nodded. “You don’t have to eat the skunk if you say ‘I jumped over it and YOU ate it!!” He laughed and ran off to use it on Justin.
Then came the next challenge… learning that numbers went on to forever. Thus, the “I love you 3” game was born.
When I’d say I love you, Corey would say, “I love you too”. Then I’d say, “I love you three!”
Justin would jump in with, “I love you Four!” Corey would then say, “I love you FIVE!”
The rules of this game were simple… it was an auction to see who loved who the most… but you could only bid one more than the last person.
And finally I would have to say, “OK! OK! We all win!! We love each other ALL the numbers in ALL the world!! Settle down!”
We still continue these games to a degree. Josh and I play the I love you 3 game… but I think he uses calculus on me. And the boys were heart broken when I had to give up my “001 TSP” (1 teaspoon) license plates.
But they are beautiful memories started from a very difficult situation. Somehow our family turned this difficulty into a strength.
Corey- I love you infinity.