Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Living Now

Sometimes the best medicine to fight unwanted nostalgia is to settle down for some playtime on the floor with the kiddos. Ignore the memories. Ignore the dishes. Ignore everything but them. Because they are what's really important now.

Benjamin's somehow fallen into this miraculous sleeping pattern where he, like, goes to bed at a decent hour, wakes up to nurse once in the night, and then demands to take at least one (and sometimes—get this!—two) naps a day. It's been going on for more than a couple (but less than several) days now and it's kind of amazing.

When he went down for his nap today Miriam wanted to play butterfly princesses but I just couldn't see myself doing that at the moment. Besides when "the whole house is the sky" and we're supposed to "use blankets for wings and run around the house to fly" and the baby is actually napping I start brainstorming quieter activities. So I suggested that we do some puzzles together.

Quiet. No imagination on my part. Perfect.

We did "big girl" puzzles until he woke up and then brought out the baby puzzles after (because Miriam was still in a puzzle mood).

She was trying to teach him how to do the puzzles and he was trying to explore the puzzles and it caused a little frustration for both of them because neither one of them were playing "right" in the other's eyes. But they did well together.

One of the "big girl" puzzles we did was one with a set of words in Arabic and you had to put the letters/pictures together in the proper order. Because we did that, Miriam wanted to know what everything was in Arabic. My lexicon is rather limited so I broke out our little picture dictionary and we spent some time flipping through it.

Benjamin wanted to look at the book, too. Miriam really didn't want him to and kept turning in a circle to keep the book out of his reach. He was crawling squirming in a circle around her, continuously trying to get at the book. Both were very frustrated.

But eventually Miriam gave up and let him look at the pictures with her, which was all he really wanted to do anyway (besides eat the book).

Once he had a few minutes to look at the book he was happy to be forcibly returned to playing with a puzzle.

When we were tired of puzzles (or when Mom was tired of breaking up fights over puzzles and books) we brought out Benjamin's stacking toy (which used to be Miriam's and before that was Rachel's) and turned the cups into balls and played that game where you sit with your feet touching and then roll the balls to each other. Benjamin was surprisingly good at this game and thought it was great fun. Miriam did, too, but kept breaking our "circle" because she just can't sit still.

When she was thoroughly sick of that game we broke them all down and let Benjamin play with them. One of his favourite games (still) is "Up so high! Down so low!"

Rachel was more than happy to play butterfly princesses with Miriam when she came home from school so I sat Benjamin on the floor with a plateful of (dehydrated, dissolve-in-your-mouth) apples and cheerios while I started dinner. He thought that was awesome.

He's getting a lot better at feeding himself finger foods. And not choking on them. Even just since coming back from Utah.

It was fun to listen to the girls yelling as they ran around the house.

Rachel: Stop chasing me!!
Miriam: But I'm a butterfly witch! A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Rachel: There's no such thing as a butterfly witch!
Miriam: I know. It's pretend!

Rachel: Stop it! You're getting too close to my chrysalis.

Miriam: And then tomorrow will be my wedding! But don't worry it's not my real wedding. It's just a pretend one!

Miriam kept throwing in the "pretend clause" just so that everyone was aware that the whole butterfly/princess/wedding senario wasn't really happening. It was just for pretend. Phew.

When they got too out of control, I called Rachel in to help with dinner. She cut up cucumbers and tomatoes for our salad.

Dinner was peaceful. Benjamin had eaten enough Cheerios and apples to keep him content while I fed myself before he started demanding that I feed him, too. Then the girls helped clean up the mess they'd made while playing princess butterflies and we got ready for bed.

We're reading The Wizard of Oz now that we're done with Harry Potter. There are more books in the series so maybe we'll read those, too. Or maybe we'll try something different. Truthfully, I miss Laura Ingalls Wilder. But I think it's a little soon to read those again.

Benjamin went to bed nicely a couple of hours ago. Ten o'clock might seem like a late bedtime but I think it's blissful. First of all, it's not 2 AM (or later). Second of all, I get to cuddle him for as long as I want without any interruptions from the girls. Because I still rock him to sleep. I really don't remember how I ever transitioned my girls from being rocked to sleep to just going to bed on their own, but I'm confident that we'll figure that out with Benjamin, too.

I'm not in a hurry.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely pictures and beautiful children... so full of life...