Archive for August, 2010

listen up…

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Last night, I did something out of the ordinary.  I colored.  With crayons.  I colored an entire jumbo coloring page featuring Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.  I spent over an hour on my “project”.  I had bought a pack of giant coloring pages for Hattie and Laura while I was out yesterday, much to their delight.  They spent most of the afternoon sprawled on the floor coloring like it was their job.  They could not be bothered.  Laura got frustrated because she had to take a potty break.  She said “but Momma, I have to finish Prince Naveen!”  It was very important.  So, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  It was wonderful.  I was completely absorbed in my picture.  I can see now why the girls couldn’t “hear” us calling them for dinner!  Once my picture was done and displayed with the ones the girls had finished, I began to think about all the events of the past week.

Abigail is at camp.  She is having a ball but she is away from us for 10 whole days!  After dropping her off, my parents, Hattie, Laura and I went to visit relatives in North Carolina.  My father has 8 brothers and sisters.  My mother has 2 brothers.  We have LOTS of relatives.  It was a short trip and we weren’t able to see everyone but it was a great few days nonetheless.

The biggest observation of the week was that Hattie and Laura play together beautifully.  On a couple of occasions, we spent the morning at the hotel until lunch.  We were in a regular hotel.  There was no suite, no game room and the weather was not conducive to swimming.  I was worried that the girls would get bored.  My Aunt Margaret had given the girls some new little stuffed animals so one morning I suggested that they play zoo until it was time to go.  I thought this would last 15 or 20 minutes.  Wrong!  Hattie and Laura set up the animals under the dresser and zipped off into their fantasy zoo.  Hattie got out her notepad and made pages of charts with all the information any zookeeper might need.  The animals were bathed, fed and put down for their naps.  She pretended to call and order animal food, vet services and zookeeper uniforms.  My parents and I were entranced.  It lasted over 2 hours.  I wish I had a tape recording of the conversation!  I was telling Robert about all of this over the phone that night.  He didn’t believe me until we got home and Hattie showed him her notebook.  They continued to come up with game after game in one situation after another.  They needed no toys, no entertainment.  Just the freedom to be themselves.  It was incredible!

Last night as the girls were stretched out on the floor coloring and playing with their Barbies, we listened a little more closely to what all they were saying.  It turns out that the imaginative play wasn’t new or unusual.  It happens at our house on a daily basis.  We had just never heard it before.  When the girls are in the playroom, we are seldom listening unless they need our help.  It is an oasis and a playground and they are free to spend their time in there playing with whatever they choose.  How wonderful it would be to be able to transport yourself into an imaginary world where all things are possible.  I remember those days from my own childhood and I’m delighted that my girls are able to do this.

Laura and Hattie are in the playroom right now with one of our neighbors.  I think I’ll go listen in!