Friday, June 19, 2009

Finding the Fun

Yesterday we never got out of our pj's. We were too busy playing with toys, old and new. I think that's a pretty good excuse. Dinner was cooking away in the Crock-Pot, and laundry was relatively caught-up, so I gave myself permission to get down on the floor and play. We moms have to give ourselves permission to do that sometimes, don't we? I did just as I was instructed (4 year olds love laying down the rules and calling the shots with the grown ups in their lives). I built elf houses, set up water and valley scenes with playsilks (the Kool Aid worked great as a dye), loaded horses in trailers to take them camping, made mountains out of cushions, pushed wooden lawnmowers around the floor, lent my voice to various dolls and stuffed animals.

We were delighted to get a couple of packages delivered from distant relatives, for Roo's and Rascal's birthdays. My great-aunt sent a handmade quilt for Rascal in various blues and creams (so soft and scrumptious) and a horse-themed backpack for Roo (also made by hand--she's so talented!).

A day spent in pajamas and playing was part of my plan, "Operation: Fun Mommy." Too many times on too many days, I say "no" more than "yes." I am actively striving to change that. Usually I put the kibosh on the fun because I'm anticipating the mess, or the time to set up/take down the mess, worried the fun will end in tears, or I'm behind on all things domestic (meals, cleaning) and need to put my energy there instead of indulging in what my children consider fun.

Now, I'm not so delusional that I expect to be in fun mode every moment of every day. That's not realistic. I think it's important for the children to see me doing my "work." Cooking meals, cleaning house, folding laundry: these are the things that seem mundane or rudimentary, but are actually the cogwheels of a smooth-running home. A smooth-running home is key to feeling secure and cared for and enjoying time with one another. A hot meal to fill their tummies is one way of saying "I love you." Clean sheets on their beds is another way.

But despite the importance of work, room must be made for fun. A while back, one of my "Something to Think About" quotes was this one: "There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." So, I guess you could say that our day of "anything goes" yesterday was my attempt to see the seven million. ;)

Roo modeling her new backpack

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