Monday, April 20, 2009

Guacamole in Fort Meyers

The world is a very entertaining place when you let an (almost) four year old lead you through it.

Ours was a misty, moisty morning with no agenda and loads of time. Somehow I managed to resist the urge to catch up on the laundry or organize the cupboards or bundle them off to Old Navy in search of spring clothing sales. Instead, I just played quietly with my girls, following Maya's lead and going along with every inspiration.

First we colored together, all three of us working on one picture. Maya meticulously colors in the lines now, and it was hard work to persuade her that one errant crayon-stroke didn't necessitate a whole new picture. By the time she agreed that perhaps our bunny could be spared, Elliot stopped coloring her palms blue and started scrawling the bunny's ear. Of course this required a new page, and a separate page... actually a whole separate section of the kitchen, for Elliot.

Then Maya dragged out the play dough, serving Elliot and I delightfully colorful ice cream treats from her fancy play dough ice cream maker. This activity continues to be a little confusing for Elliot, but one bite of the salty, nasty stuff seems to be enough to teach her the meaning of "pretend." At least for a bit.

Then suddenly we were at the sink, mixing colored water again, discovering what color combinations lead to black water and which ones are drinkable.

This water escapade inspired us to don swimming suits and pretend the bathtub was a lake. The girls practiced floating, blowing bubbles, holding their noses, flutter kicks... who needs swim lessons when you a bath tub and a lazy morning?

The show stopper of the morning was when Maya and Elliot played in the play room for nearly an hour. The house was almost completely quiet except for the clatter of dishes while they served each other and their dolls snacks and the sound of Maya's tiny voice reading stories to the dolls and her little sister.

Though she usually parrots the stories that she already knows or describes the pictures in her books, lately she has made up her own poetry. She has the rhythm and rhyme of Shel Silverstein down perfectly, and as she lilts through each line, I can sometimes make out the words. My favorite snippet so far is this blog title: Guacamole in Fort Meyers. The next line was just "something, something on some tires." I was so proud!

This was the sort of simple, lovely morning that can only happen if we insist on slowing the pace of our days. Even among us at-homers, it seems all too easy to fill the days up with play dates, adventures to exciting destinations (like Target), and other organized activities. As it turns out, an unplanned day is perfect fodder for creative, kid-led activities that let the girls discover how to entertain themselves, each other, and... well... me.

1 comment:

HausFrau said...

Ah, that's great! Thanks for the reminder to "Slow Down!" and that it's ok to not actively create a super fun day for our little ones, because they can create them themselves!


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