I still have the rest of the story to tell about the girls and their nighttime miseries (or rather, maybe it's my nighttime miseries? and they're not that miserable? either way...), but when I sat down to write about it I got all grumpy and fussy and decided I didn't want to write about it right then.
Until then--and maybe the girls will miraculously fix their sleeping issues while I avoid writing about it--I'm writing about something else.
Did I mention that Sydney got bifocals? The ones that I had been thinking maybe she didn't need? The ones that cost $200 because we already got her a new pair last summer and so our vision insurance (which I am thankful we have in the first place) didn't cover a new pair?
Ah, well, she did. In fact, you've already seen her with them.
If you look closely, you can see the bifocal line on the lens. And actually, these are the first pair she got. The pair that were supposed to be purple, but whoever decided to label these glasses "purple" clearly wasn't familiar with a toddler's perception of purple. These weren't purple; they were indigo. And indigo to a 3 year-old looks like black. So she hated them and refused to wear them, and is only wearing them in this picture because I bribed her with candy.
Then we took them back and got red ones. Which Syd still isn't fond of, but only because they're bifocals and make the world all funky looking.
"There are steps all over! I walk to the step, but it moves!" and she stumbles around for a few minutes until she gets her bearings and then forgets she has them on until she sees her other non-bifocal pair and demands to wear those instead.
We've set up a deal with Syd about wearing her bifocals: she has to wear them when she's reading, and she has to wear them when we're playing games. I wish she'd wear them when we're eating (because that's a close-range activity so her left eye crosses inward), but no deal.
The upside is that she's at least wearing them sometimes; the downside is that I have no excuse to not play games with her.
We play Memory with her Dora cards, and I regularly lose because I have about five million things I have to remember, let alone remember where the card is with Dora wearing a backpack.
We play some other nifty games that she received as gifts.
And lately, we've been playing Rapelli, from the Discovery Store.
All the parts are constructed with bamboo, so it's eco-friendly. (Bamboo is cool! Jason and I were even thinking of getting bamboo flooring in the new house except I don't think it comes in wide planks, which we want.) It's constructed well enough that if Jules happens to grab a piece we don't have to worry about her breaking it (although, the parts are small enough that little babies shouldn't be playing with it). When Parent Bloggers Network was looking for reviewers, I immediately thought of Sydney and working with her close-vision skills. This seemed like a great game to have her practice getting small parts into small holes, and it seemed engaging enough that she would consider it worth playing even if she had to wear her bifocals.
Well, folks. We have a winner.
Sydney plays this game almost every day, and she'll even play around with it even when we're not playing the game with her. The object of the game is to pull the little bamboo caterpillars out of the "tree." You go about doing that by rolling the dice and seeing how many links you can pull the caterpillar out (or, conversely, have to push the caterpillar back in, an aspect of the game we don't follow). The official rules are a bit vague on some of the details of playing the game, but that didn't bother us since we just make up our own rules to fit what we're doing and Sydney's age. For instance, I think maybe you're supposed to collect a certain color to win? And perhaps can use strategy to keep others from getting their caterpillars out? Obviously, though, we're not working on strategy. We're just trying to get as many of those little caterpillars out as we can.
Playing it the way we do, there is no strategy at all involved. It's all just random luck based on the dice. But that's okay because then when Sydney wins we don't have to feel badly that we were just crushed in a caterpillar game by a 3-year-old.
It's also a great game to help Sydney work on vision exercises. She has to look at small parts, manipulate smallish pieces, and coordinate all those things together. She never feels like it's a chore to play the game (and since the game only take about 15-minutes to play, it doesn't feel like a chore to us either), and right now that's key to getting her transitioned into wearing her bifocals more often.
And really, even though I rarely enjoy playing dice games (is it me, or do dice games take forever to play?!), I think this one is a great fit for Sydney and what we're working on, and that makes it worth it for me.
The game is available at the Discovery Store for $29.95, and considering the excellent construction of the game, the environmental friendliness of the parts, and the overall engaging aspects for kids, I'd say that's a reasonable price. More reviews of this game can be found here.
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