Friday, November 15, 2013

Curses, Flails and Balloons

The Lightning Kid had managed to bring a minor curse down on the Royal Family.  It affected each member differently.  The young Prince suffered feeling a little hot, but was otherwise largely unaffected.  His elder brother Shark Boy veritably burned by comparison and wanted nothing more but to lie down for a day and a half.  His father the King felt waves of heat, then chills, then heat and so on, while feeling as weak and brittle as an old crone for two days straight.  Finally, his mother the Queen was the last to have to deal with it; she suffered the aches and pains, but seemingly without the burning or chilling feelings.

The Lightning Kid was a hero when it came to what were known as 'gross motor skills'.  His frenzied walking, climbing and dancing was the stuff of legends.  Speech was something to be worked on, but so were what were known as 'fine motor skills':  Manipulating smaller objects and devices, hand-eye co-ordination and such.  One toy that had been provided to the Royal family for such skill work was a series of blocks that could be threaded with a string.

The Lightning Kid, in the tradition of boys everywhere, decided it would make a better weapon than an instrument of learning, and tried to use it as a flail.  When the King was younger it was common for boys (much older than the princes mind you), to fantasize about the skilled use of the flail as shown below:

But the more common outcome was more like...

And so it went with the Lightning Kid: he swung the string and blocks around wildly until they wrapped around his torso and banged against his ribs.  Lesson learned.

The King had thought of another way to work on fine motor skills.  There were balloons left over from the Princes' birthday celebration that still floated on the ceiling.  The Lightning Kid often requested that he be lifted "up" to reach them or that they be brought "down" (while pointing at the floor) to his level.   The King granted these requests as often as possible, while making sure the Lightning Kid had to grab the string while at maximum reach.  The strings to the balloons were fine and small, and snagging them was a great way to work on the skill of hand-eye co-ordination.

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