Does executing a Lego Cinderella using a flying, screaming monkey (and cow!), constitute "cooperative play"?
Oh, no. Poor Cinderella. Looks like Nerf guns are in your future....
Today all three children are playing together - the perfect world which undoubtedly will result in the perfect storm.
The only question that remains is who will cry first?
The concept of "cooperative play" has always been one that puzzled me. Sean is the only boy in the family. Do I expect him to sit with the girls and be Ken on the Barbie Dreamboat? Do I expect him to play Prince Charming when the girls are playing Sparkling Princesses?
No... I don't.
He's a boy and though he's grown up in a Polly Pocket world, he is all testosterone.
One of my favourite moments when he was growing up occurred when Carissa was playing with her My Little Pony Castle. It came with a hot air balloon... supposedly for gently floating over some imaginary Pony Land.
I doubt the manufacturers planned it as an escape pod as Sean's tank bore down upon the unsuspecting, innocent ponies.
Whenever I am asked about the ultra-huge milestone of cooperative play by some professional, I always tell that story.
Seriously, they're siblings... how cooperative can I expect them to be?
This summer we're going to try, for lack of another name, some "play dates" for Sean. The lucky recipient of an invitation to Sean's domain will be a boy from town the same age.
Can I call him Sean's "friend"? Not exactly.
Sean has "known" this boy for a couple of years and yet neither knows his name nor his face.
Will they play catch out in the backyard? Will they talk interactively or will Sean dominate the pseudo-conversation with his monologues and the other boy simply tune him out?
Or, will they sit side-by-side at the desk while one watches the other capture the enemy in a single-player computer game?
Can two kids playing a 2-person, interactive video game really be defined as cooperatively playing?
Tough question, huh?
Or at least it is for me.
For now, my children fit the definition... even if it is at the peril of poor Cinderella.