I think it's a great alternative to watching movies, which is also something she asks to do everyday. I always (usually) say yes to ballet. I try to say no to movies as often as possible which isn't very often because Rachel is very persuasive when she wants to be (read: she throws an awesome temper tantrum). But ballet is a creative, physical outlet, and is something she'll usually do by herself so I encourage it. A lot.
We played with play-dough yesterday and Rachel requested the yellow play-dough. I found this a bit surprising because she had gotten pink play-dough while we were out trick-or-treating. She rolled the play-dough around for a bit and then started smashing it all over the table. I asked her what she was making and she informed me that it was The Yellow Brick Road. We also worked together to fashion a ruby-red slipper.
When we were finished with play-dough we went downstairs to play Oz some more, this time with lego. We started building The Yellow Brick Road again which meant that we had to separate all the lego to find the yellow bricks. While we were doing that, Rachel had the brilliant idea that I should make The Yellow Brick Road while she made The Emerald City. So I made a rather boring path of yellow bricks (I've never been very good with lego) while she created an awesome green city. She even hid a legoman "wizard" in the city for Dorothy's troupe to find.
Then I made Tin Man from some grey blocks. She made the requisite oil can.
She found a doll to play the part of Dorothy, a stacking legoman to play the part of Scarecrow, and a stuffed toy to be Lion.
Then she rummaged around in the toy box again and produced a horse.
"I found it!" she gasped, "It's the horse of a different colour!"
I think she grossly misinterpreted that part of the movie/soundtrack.
Nevertheless, Rachel procured enough horses-of-different-colours for Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow to parade down The Yellow Brick Road to The Emerald City together.
This morning Rachel was following Miriam around saying "Pa-pa!" to Miriam. I thought she was trying to say "ta-ta," which is something I've started saying in spite of myself.
"Rachel," I scolded, "Why do you keep saying ta-ta to Meme? She's not doing anything bad. You're going to confuse her and make her sad."
"Well, Miriam's my puppy, Toto, and I'm trying to teach her to shake so I'm saying 'Paw, paw,' not ta-ta. Is that okay, Mommy? Is it okay if she be's my puppy, Toto? Please, Momma, please, please, please! I said please! Please?"
"I guess it's okay, as long as you don't bother her. She doesn't really understand pretend play yet so sometimes these games of yours frustrate her. She doesn't know that she's your puppy. She still thinks she's just your sister."
"Okay, Mom!" said Rachel, chasing after Miriam, "Here girl, here girl! Paw! Paw! Paw!"
Rachel's got her own little language so sometimes I overanalyze her language, like in the case above. How was I supposed to know she was really saying paw? It could have been anything else.
This is the girl who sings, "We're off to see the Lizard, the wonderful Lizard of Oz!"
How grateful I am for Rachel's charming personality, her passion, her energy, her creativity, her intelligence, her wit, her spunk, her sweetness, her curiosity. I love everything about her. I'm so glad she's mine; what a lucky momma I am. Today I'm thankful for my Rachel-girl.