previous entry :: next entry

imagination happens

We have spent a lot of time inside this winter, but that doesn't mean the kids are bored. Harvey leads Zion in imaginative play for several hours every day (broken up by fights and irritating parental intervention and meals, but still.) Whenever they start a new game I fight the urge to reach for my camera. On one hand I want to remember and, yes, maybe brag about these magical moments. On the other hand, it's not very respectful to my children to treat their games like "precious childhood stuff." Their internal world is just as valid as mine, more so perhaps since I mostly imagine scenarios for potential financial ruin where they envision themselves as intrepid pioneers. Here they are playing Little House, a favorite game these days. They both requested dresses with pockets so they could be Laura the first time she visits the town of Pepin. (She rips her pocket out filling it with rocks. It's in Little House in the Big Woods. A good story.)

on the wagon with their picnic lunches for Pepin

They also like to be Pa and for this role they request a fiddle. At first I made them some cardboard fiddles, but Harvey complained that his wouldn't make noise and then I yelled at him for being ungrateful and then we had a fight about crafting and imagination and La La La this is how I fail hippy motherhood. Then I decided that cardboard stresses me out, one because it's never perfect and two because when I make playthings out of cardboard suddenly I have trash that needs to stay in the toy bin. So here is my new brilliant fiddle solution.

Pa Zion with his fiddle

Take a sushi spoon and string it with two rubber bands. I put an extra rubber band around the top to hold the two "strings" in place. It makes noise, and when they're done playing I just take the rubber bands off and put the spoons back in the drawer. Yes, for some reason we have two wide spoons designed to spread sushi rice. I don't know why — I never purchased a sushi kit in my life, let alone two. But whatever; it works. Unlike the real life Ingalls family we're not minimalists.

The two sushi fiddles making some kind of music

Although the little house series features prominently in Harvey's imagination right now, the boys are into other books too. They had three straight mornings of playing Burt Dow Deep Water Man, strung out so long probably because I let them waste an entire box of bandaids on the project.

patching up the whale's tail

They likely would have played at it longer but I said I was done having cardboard boxes (Duh mom, they're BOATS) as permanent fixtures on the kitchen floor. Again with the cardboard. I'm such a kill joy.

But it don't matter too much though because any book is good for the imagination. If they don't want to act out the story they can play Mama and find something good to read to their babies.

story time

And when that gets dull they find what I'm doing and ruin, I mean, join in with it. Here's Harvey riding on the vacuum while Zion cooks something on his play kitchen.

a day in the kitchen

"Cooking" is how we describe his process for methodically grinding play-dough into the kitchen rug.

But I'm saving the best for last. Yesterday Harvey decided to play Bible Study. He had me and Zion sit on the couch and handed each of us a childrens' bible.

"Should we read the story out loud?" I asked.

"No, everyone reads for himself" he said decisively.

We looked at our books. Zion flipped the pages quietly. After a suitable amount of time Harvey looked up at us, ready to discuss.

"Let's talk about Jesus on the cross," he said. "I liked it!"

previous entry :: next entry