Please forgive me for posting pictures of your beloved Irish Jig sans pants. I did dress her this morning, but we returned from dropping off her siblings and she requested to use the restroom. As usual, she was just stopping in for a visit and it seemed easier just to replace her diaper and let her go about her play. We were at home and she was decent. And I am also sorry for not doing her hair. It's an ugly process that involves yelping (on her part) and tears (on my part). I opted out today.
Love, Your Favorite Daughter
Today was one of the "I am such a great mama" days. At least, in my head. The more I reviewed it, though, I began to wonder if I really was such a wonderful mother. Today was a "home day" - a day without errands, groceries, YMCA class, or appointments. While Irish Jig and I have several of our days together as home days, this one was different. I usually return from school drop off and start on the tasks of the day (laundry, floors, etc) with Irish Jig in tow. She plays and chatters while following me and, after a time, while settle into her own zone.
That's all fine and dandy, but I have begun to feel as if I wasn't serving her needs. Feeding her mind, so to say. I read several blogs by mothers of young children and they seem to have great ideas for hands-on activities, play arenas, staged activities and the like. It's actually quite intimidating. I've never been one to sit for long stretches playing pretend. Does that sound horrible? It looks horrible in print. I just tend to give my children ideas and then let them run with their versions. For example, we collected various kitchen utensils and cookware, plastic foods and serving pieces for the kids. They, as a group, put this to use playing restaurant. This started a few years ago, with the three oldest all participating, and included signs, menus, a chef and a waiter/ress. I was often a customer, so I did participate. I feel better now.
With thoughts of encouraging motor skills, I set up her play dough area in the kitchen before I started working on dinner (a crock pot meal). And that was the epiphany of my "great mama" day - get her involved in her activity before I start mine. It seems so easy and straight forward, but is actually not my usual m.o. She picked her dough color (because OCD mama doesn't allow cross-color-contamination) and she started with her toys. And I started with mine - chopping board, veggies, chicken.
So, the answer, I believe, with this "great mama" stuff is, as always, balance. Some hands-on involvement, some sitting back and watching, and a whole lot of prayer.
My friend also
Last thoughts: the dough mat is based on an idea from Sew Liberated and works great. Irish Jig even folds it and puts it away after picking up the toys. The table and chair were mine as a child and I am now realizing they could use a good coat of not-70's-brown-paint.
Excuse me while I find her some pants.