I dash back inside with armfuls of post [translation = mail] and dump it on the kitchen counter for later. My eye catches a postcard. Closer inspection reveals that it is an invitation to a party for the boys, but there are no details of when or where? Luckily I know who it is from, so I can phone later, obviously they were too busy to fill it out properly. [translation = spotty task completion by an adult]
I try something novel. “I'm going to wash the floor, you two can play together for 10 minutes in the family room.” [translation = thus far, 5 minutes ‘unsupervised or unstructured play’ is their absolute limit] They look at me with slumpy bodies but alert faces.
“Play? Wiv him?” They look at each other as if they've been asked to marry a stranger. [translation = no keeping of brothers around this neck of the woods] They marshal their combined forces;
“What play?” [translation = they agreed to the principal of playing with one another, but lack the impetus to start or the skill to choose a starting point] I shuffle them into the family room, which was strewn knee deep with toys just prior to their sisters departure. [translation = too ‘busy’ a scene for them to be able to distinguish items, which causes confusion] They take in the carpet, observe that there is not enough room to place one foot in front of the other. [translation = especially if motor planning isn’t one of your strengths]
“What we do?” he asks his little brother. [translation = acknowledges that they are related to one another]
“I don know. What we do?” [translation = horray! On the precipice of a joint enterprise.] They both turn to look at me as if I have the answer, but I'm not going to help them, “you figure it out,” I say turning on my heel mop in hand.
“Figure it out?” they both echo.
I mop the floor and listen carefully for any signs of progress in the family room. It's a slow start but they gradually warm to the concept of 'play.' After seven or eight minutes, I can tell that their ability to play has run out. I call “all finished! Come and choose your snacks.”
They bound into the kitchen, junior fiddles with the stack of mail whilst senior examines the contents of the cupboard. I supervise. It takes a while for him to decide what his body needs, so I take down a couple of bowls whilst he dithers. I hear a little voice behind me; 'please come to my party on Sunday da fird of September, time 1:30 to 3:30 love Elliott. What does 'RSVP' meaning?” I turn to see that junior has managed to open what I thought was a postcard.
It would appear that we all have our skills sets and deficiencies.