Don’t worry, I’ve got it!
I’ve had to reach WAY down in my parental arsenal lately (read: since school started) because the child who cannot sit still wants nothing to do with my laid back approach to tackling each and every day. She wants a schedule! Something on the calendar! An activity!
So imagine my wariness when looking at the calendar today to see an absolutely blank slate. Inside, I’m thinking, Oh, thank you. How wonderful to have a day at home. On the outside I’m scrambling because the countdown has just begun to Whining 301 and Attitude 504. She’s advanced in these subjects.
After discovering that I had left my stroller in the van I needed a back up real quick to killing half the time this morning.
Big surprise here: I’m a bit of a home-body. Only, the child I am trying to raise to be her own person is the most social of butterflies I know. That coupled with my favorite phrase ever “Careful. Please be careful! Are you being careful?” I am riding high on the train that is Parenting A Child Who Will Challenge Everything About You And Your Ideas. Also? Parenting A Girl.
It’s been awesome, to be completely honest. I love being challenged most days in this way because it forces me to live outside of my box and in return, it forces her to do the same.
We compliment each other, one would say. However. The keeping her busy throughout the day went from adventure walks in the woods and baking at home to ENTERTAIN ME! TEACH ME! LET’S DO SOMETHING ELSE!!???!?!!!!!!
And so today, we are.
This morning started with my genius warming up in the play department and we set up a “Grocery Store”, this is also a very sneaky (and fun!) way to work on math skills and decision making. We priced pantry items and set up shop, gave each child a basket and made a “check out counter” stocked with play paper money and a calculator.
Once that wore off and they started actually eating their groceries we cleaned up the Grocery Store and moved onto to Library. There are puzzles at our local library which is probably my sons favorite part and I went in the back of their book closet to find books that are less often read and set them out on “a shelf” for their browsing efforts.
Pretend Library can also be called “Quiet time” but no one wants to play that game.
This was also a sneaky way for me to be able to do some dishes, put away some laundry and listen to my girl teach my boy how to go about the more difficult puzzles together.
They “checked out” their books and went on to pretending to go home and read them, then return them and start the process all over.
Once we were done with the Library I decided it was time to either play outside (cold, and again no stroller and close to lunch time) or we could play “Movie Theatre!!”. Guess what we did?
We moved the furniture in the living room to mock a movie theater and the seating, we decided on the matinée and created tickets. I gave them a quick browse through the possible concession options and sat them down with their favorite blankets and a small paper cup of mini m&m’s.
It has been quiet ever since.
More than once my daughter said “Mom, this is so fun!”, “Mom!! You’re the best mom ever, even better than Carson’s mom!” (I must meet this Carson’s Mom … apparently I have some shoes to fill) So before these comments were even made I had already patted myself on the back for reaching down under and remember the best parts of my imagination as a young girl myself. The fact that she loved it so much made it worth any mess or effort on my part and has me reeling with ideas for once the “Movie Theatre” wears off.
I’m thinking a relay race is in the works this afternoon.
I own a stop watch, dare me to use it.
But what about you?? Are you a teacher, nanny, babysitter or parent yourself? How do you go about keeping it fresh not only for them, but for you??