I had a quiet morning with Cora today while Maddy and Owen were at preschool, and after finishing the necessary stop at CVS for milk and diapers, we headed home and just spent time together. My goal for the New Year is to do just that–spend time just being with my little ones. This time is so fleeting; I’m afraid one day I’ll wake up and it’ll be over.
Here’s what we did:
- Dolls: Since language–acquisition, appropriateness, manners, problem-solving, etc– is something parents need to perpetually work on with their children, just playing with dolls with Cora is fun. It gives me a chance to listen to her words developing and practice with her.
- Play-doh: We had about 30 min to spare before I started lunch for her, so I put Cora in her mealtime chair and gave her a tiny container of Play-doh–the ones that fit perfectly in party goodie bags and Christmas stockings. It was the perfect size for her little hand, and it was all she needed. Unlike her older siblings, she didn’t request the haircutting set, the ice-cream making set, or anything else. We rolled, flattened, pulled apart, and just squished. I grabbed a handful of dried noodles from the pantry and put them on her tray. I let her figure out how to use them for a bit then showed her how to stick them in the Play-doh. She loved it.
- Water Colors: Before dinner, another tough time for us, I found I had a good 45 minutes to fill. Maddy and Owen were tired of playing together, tired of playing alone, tired of everything in general. I grabbed the box of Crayola Washable Watercolors (we have about 6 palates at varying stages of life), some blank paper, and tiny water bowls. They all cheered and ran to the table. They watercolored for a solid 30 minutes. They challenged each other to make the brightest colors, the lightest colors, and to mix the ugliest. We played “guess the letter,” “guess the number,” and “guess the picture.” It wasn’t always easy to tell, but at least they were trying. It was great, until Cora tried to paint her cheeks, but that’s another story. . .
And that’s how I tried to make today a bit of a learning day.