Posts Tagged ‘ playtime ’

Play Pen or Compost Bin?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

No, while my kids are living, growing “things,” I’m not turning them into compost. But I was having one of those evenings where my creativity was running low and my anxiety was running high. Part of it is because we bought a house. We also moved all our stuff out from Brooklyn and it’s now sitting in boxes haunting me.  These are boxes that I haven’t seen in 2 years so how important could they be? Regardless, every time I look at them I get anxious. I need to go through them. I need to purge. And yet, items come to our door almost daily from my favorite source of sh-t — Amazon Prime. So while I begin to purge, the piles still grow higher.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a hoarder. Not even close. I’m not a slob. I’m a neat freak. That’s probably why this clutter drives me more crazy than most. I hit the reset button on myself a few weeks ago. Now I need to do it with my possessions.

One of the items that arrived from Amazon last night was a compost bin. We have a pile of compost on our rental property but the landlord wants it in a bin. Makes sense. We have raccoons, possums, squirrels, and roof rats all vying to be part of our family. More food in the yard only attracts the party. The compost bin was this huge, hard plastic mesh. It had 5 plastic clips that I believe are to hold it together. There were no directions. Not even a small sheet of paper. So I guessed.

While the kids played I figured I’d at least tackle and take this compost bin off my list. So I rolled it out, snapped it together, and set it up proudly.

“Look what Mama just did!” I shouted with glee. (BTW–just by putting something together can feel like a huge accomplishment and mood lifter.)

Emmett and Fia came running as if I just opened an ice cream stand.

“Mama, let us go in!” Fia screamed with excitement. Emmett just jumped up and down smiling with no real clue what was going on. Except that it was something exhilarating.  Such is the world of tots. It doesn’t take much….

So, I put them in. They proceeded to play in there for at least 30 minutes. They had me go count to ten and then come find them. In the same spot. In a contained compost bin. Over and over and over. When I had run out of energy to say for the 17th time, “Hmmm, I wonder where Emmett and Fia are?” we switched to another game: throwing all the toys in the bin. Then taking them out.

By then, it was time for bed. Or at least the beginning of the bedtime routine.

Any good tips on what you’ve spontaneously turned into toys?

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Does Your Child Imitate Her Own Bad Behavior?

Monday, March 4th, 2013

I’ve decided my favorite game to play with Fia is “sleep.” This is when she tells me to lie down, close my eyes, and, well, sleep. Yes, a fascinating game. She proceeds to put blankets and stuffed animals all over me. As long as Emmett is truly sleeping in his crib, I can get away with this game. Even, dare I say, doze off a bit?

But her other favorite game is recreating the scene of the crime–Hers.

Every night when we put her to bed and begin to walk out, before we ever reach the door, she stands up in protest. She’s like the white version of Hush Puppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild.  I know what to say before I even turn around.

“Fia, lie back down.”

“No!” she says and stomps her foot on the mattress.

“Fia, I said lie down.” (This time I’m always a little more stern.)

She stomps the same foot again. On the third try I say,

“Fia, lie down or else I’m shutting the door all the way!” (Something that, when done on occasion, makes her wail as if she were losing a limb.)

Boom. Hit the dirt. She is down in a flash.

So is it weird that when we play she loves to imitate this whole scene in reverse? As in, I am Fia, she is Mama. (Follow that?)

She does it all over the house. Or at the beach. Or in the yard. We’ll be hanging out and suddenly she’ll shout, “Mama, lie down!!!” It’s my instant alert that it’s Game-On time. I stomp my foot. “Lie down!” she yells at me (far louder and intense than we ever do, by the way). And so it begins…

By the time we reach the end of the first go around, in which I hit the ground/grass/sand with a fury, lest the invisible door be closed, she is howling with laughter. “Again mama! Let’s do it again! I’m going to be you again!” she shouts with glee (as if there were any other choice).

It’s especially funny when she does it right before bedtime. We’ll be settling in her bed to read and up she goes.

“Let’s play the stomp foot game.”

Seven minutes later when I really put her down the stomping begins in earnest. She doesn’t seem to “get” the irony that we just went through this. It’s hard to keep a straight face.

I wrote awhile back at how I observed her putting dolls in time out and wondered if that was normal. Maybe this is just the second level of that type of exploration. I mean you play tea party, so why not play punishment-party? (Punishment being the threat of closing her door.)

The best part of the real going-to-bed routine is that after the protesting, when I’m standing with my hand on the doorknob, indicating that I have the power to shut it, she lies down and says, ”But mama, just one more kiss and hug.” Even though I’ve given her 17 already, I always get pulled back in. Sometimes for a triple encore on top of a triple encore. Phil shakes his head when I finally emerge a half hour later. He knows I can’t resist her. I shrug my shoulders and say, “Yep. Love fest party.” Then I pour my wine and settle into my 21 minutes of relaxing before I go to bed myself. With no protest.

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