What a beautiful Sunday! I had the joy of spending the weekend with my 3 beautiful nieces, ages 6, 7, and 9. Or, rather, Lola and Eva had the joy of spending time with their cousins. I hardly saw any of them, all weekend long, so busy were they with pretending and playing and giggling – basically, being little girls. Highlights of the fun weekend included:
1. A tent set up in the living room with tunnels surrounding it.
2. A picnic in the tent, with a show playing on the IPAD. On the menu: Earth’s Best Chicken Nuggets, Ian’s Natural Foods AlphaTots, and baby carrots. Annie’s ketchup on the side, of course.
3. Much of the afternoon spent playing outside, front and back, on the swings, slide, little kiddie coaster, battery-operated Barbie Cadillac Escalade, bikes, and a big inflatable ball you can actually get into and roll around, sort of like a hamster. (Excuse the analogy). Like our own amusement park. My girls have amazing grandparents. 🙂
4. Quality time with our patient Maltese, Hugs.
5. Unwinding at the end of the night with popcorn, hot chocolate, and the vintage animated version of Alice in Wonderland.
This morning, I awoke to find 4 of the 5 (Eva was off doing her own thing, as she often does) huddled in Lola’s room around an episode of A.N.T. Farm on the IPAD, eating breakfast. There were 4 plastic cereal bowls with straws. 2 boxes of cereal: Cascadian Farms Fruity O’s and Mom’s Best Crispy Cocoa Rice. A carton of skim milk. And 4 cups of milk: 2 plain, 2 chocolate. All of these items had made it safely (!) up to Lola’s room.
Eventually, we all finished breakfast, and I managed to ensure that 5 girls were dressed, hair done, teeth brushed, and in the car (a borrowed minivan) in time for church. As I slid into the pew next to 4 little girls (Eva was in the nursery), I thought of my friends with larger families, who are used to toting multiple sippy cups, navigating sibling squabbles, and dealing with the happy hectic-ness that comes when kids outnumber grown-ups. I learned a few little things this weekend. And one big one.
1. If you want to really learn about the different personalities in a group of little people, put them in a tent with a picnic of kid-friendly finger foods.
2. Sometimes a special, silly tuck-in is just the thing to make a homesick 6-year-old feel better.
3. Cookies with frosting have secret, smile-inducing powers. Ditto popcorn. And cinnamon rolls.
4. Your house never feels truly loved and lived in until it’s overrun with little girls, assembling towns in the living room, setting up beauty salons and grocery stores, and raiding the dress-up clothes for inspiration so that they can pretend, for a little while, to be YOU. A grown-up.
5. And here’s the big one: Play is powerful. I’ve never been very good at it. Even as a child, I read, a lot, and dreamed about being big. Next time one of my girls asks me to play, I am going to stop what I am doing and play. I want to learn to play like they do – like I have all the time in the world. And nothing more important to do than enjoy it.
Love this post! 🙂 Thans for the reminder to play with our kids. I recently made the decision to not get on the iPad, phone or computer between the the time I pick the girls up from school and the time they go to bed. It has already made a difference!
I have learned to put down the IPad, telephone and whatever electronic device that is manipulating my time when I am asked to play and play because soon enough I won’t be asked to play anymore.
And by the way, where do I go to sign Pheona up for Camp Manley – sounds like fun.