Our good feelings from Christmas have propelled us right into the new year, through a week filled with field trips and free play. Inspired by a gift from We Bloom Here (thank you again!), my kids and I spent a delightful afternoon painting peg people. Once they were dry, Missy spent an entire rest hour and then some costuming hers and Sweetpea’s. I reserved the ones I’d painted for myself, since it was just too fun to allow her to do it all. These are the ones she did. Delightful, yes?
We used the tutorials here and here, and also did a quick search on pinterest for some inspiration. In the end Missy did something completely different than what I’ll do with mine. She’s so proud of them, and loves to play with them!
Sweetpea received a dollhouse family from her grandmother, placed on her wishlist by yours truly. But… uhm… well, we don’t own a dollhouse. We owned a wood farm but the kids never played with it and it found a better home. We own the Diego magic treehouse, a $3 thriftstore find by Buddy. We own a trashpicked Dora house that sits in storage in our basement… You get the picture. To remedy that, I grabbed some boxes from the basement, some fabrics, and a pad of gorgeous scrapbooking paper that I’d purchased on close-out months ago. I showed the kids how to wallpaper and carpet the boxes. They took to it with gusto. Sweetpea made the decisions about color, Buddy and Missy made rooms. Missy has also spent several rest hours since then making furniture with little boxes, fabric scraps, wood blocks, and the like. Having my kids involved in making a dollhouse has been a dream of mine for years now, as I fondly remember working with my dad on decorating our wooden dollhouse with wallpaper and carpet scraps. That one even ended up with electric lighting and miniature furniture kits. I must admit, I prefer the cardboard construction.
Just when I thought our week couldn’t get any better, the kids realized that they could play house under our dining room table (also a fond memory of mine from childhood). I did nothing to encourage this. One afternoon MrH and I looked over, dead-tired from the holiday celebrations, and realized that Buddy was the mail-carrier, while the girls were crouched in their “house.” At regular intervals, he dimmed the lights announcing: “it’s evening now, time to get ready for bed!” or “GOOD MORNING!” while flicking the lights back on. Again. Hours. When it was bedtime Sweetpea was devastated that she wouldn’t actually get to sleep in her bed under the table. The kids begged us to allow them to keep the game set up, so we let them. Today, they played again all morning.
Is parenting as simple as some of the blogs suggest? Is some free time, a few new toys, and lots of boxes and craft materials, truly all they need? After this week, it’d be easy to think “yes.” I’ve parented for long enough now though to know that this is unlikely to last. That sooner or later, one of them will become dis-regulated again for whatever reason. I’m sure a new struggle is only just around the corner. But this week, I’m going to savor the beauty of my kids building up their resilience through play, as they are happily, creatively engaged.