Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sculpting every move

Dear Mama,

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.

A friend called me shortly after our play started and, after dealing with our business, I remarked that I was so proud of myself to have initiated Irish Jig's play.  It was keeping her occupied while in my presence but also letting me do my work.  My friend, also a mother of young children, laughed and then commented that she often did the opposite of my usual.  She spent a great deal of time staging play times for her kids and also playing with them.  While she enjoyed it, she has noticed a repercussion to being hands-on: her kids tend to wait for her to initiate their play.  She commented that they don't always self start.

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 told suggested commanded that I get a pair of scissors out for Irish Jig.  "She's ready!"  So I did.  And it was wonderful to watch her progress and hear her excitement.

And my floor was covered in tiny pink gnocchi.  But dinner was completed in harmony.

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.


  1. Oh whew! I thought when I read about the scissors that I would also be reading about finding little ringlets of hair all over the floor!

  2. I love her hair o'natural! What beautiful locks!

  3. The scissors to the hair thing is probably inevitable one of these days! Most of mine did it even though I thought the scissors were inaccessible!
    BTW Love the favicon! I'm impressed!

  4. Love the idea of the dough mat. I checked the link and need better instructions. Dumb question, but do you buy canvas at a regular fabric store like JoAnn?

    I may have to ask my favorite Aunt to tell me how to set up my sewing machine since she is the last one that used it! ha!!


I thank you for visiting with me and for sharing your thoughts. I hope your day is fabulous and that you make some time for music - no matter what kind!