Friday, October 15, 2010

Stop, Drop, and...Play!

I woke up this morning and thought, "I don't feel very well; I wonder if I'm getting sick," which was a logical query because Shav, the poor dear, has been suffering from a little cold, and to a lesser extent, so have Josiah and Tobin.  But then I remembered that I've felt this way FOR WEEKS.  Ah, allergies, thou art a dreadful beast!  You make me feel a little bit sick every day, but never sick enough for me to cancel everything and stay in bed with the hope of a quick recovery.  You're not a severe affliction, but you are a lingering one, and at times I chafe under the burden of you!

This morning got off to a mediocre start--not terrible--but the cheerfulness in the household was only hanging on by a tenuous thread.  It was time for drastic measures.  Instead of sticking to the schedule and doing our regular school stuff and squeezing in household chores in spare minutes, it was time to throw all that out the window and play!  (I've written before about using play to reverse the spiral of disintegrating attitudes, and included a quote to that effect from Laurie Sargent.  Play is powerful!)  My mind wasn't up for the task of going over Josiah's list of prepositions or doing lesson 80-something in David's reading book.  I declared it a day of art, and we went to Plan B.

Since Jeff's mom is coming in just two days for a much-anticipated four-week-long visit, Josiah has been asking me if we had some big paper he could use to make a welcome banner for her.  I, not being the crafty mom who keeps rolls of large paper on hand, told him that I didn't really have anything big, but that we could still make a banner for her, using one sheet of paper for each letter and printing the outline of the letter on the computer so we could fill it in by hand with colored pencils or stickers or whatever.  He was quite content with the plan, and we got to work.

First, we all sat around the kitchen table (except Shav, who was in his crib for his morning nap).  Josiah and David started working on their pages, and I helped Tobin with his, especially because it was a little tricky for him to do the stickers all by himself.  So there I was, sitting at the table, glued to one spot because of Tobin's need for me, blank paper in front of me, colored pencils beside me.  At first, I thought I should read some of our schoolbooks to the boys while they were decorating the paper; then I thought that I should, at least, read some just-for-fun books to them; then I thought, "Dash it all!" - like Gopher says in the Winnie-the-Pooh movie; can you hear his voice in your head when you read, "Dash it all"?  :) - "I'm going to color, too!"

I'm not sure when the last time was that I had colored, but I'm pretty sure it had been too long.  I need to take advantage of the fact that I have little people in my life to just sit down with them and color.  I suppose I could do it even if I didn't have little people around me, but I'd feel even sillier doing it without them.  :)

Later in the day, as the afternoon sunshine streamed into Josiah's room, he spent part of his quiet time coloring more pages.

Even later in the day, we started hanging the pages from the bookshelves in the room in which Jeff's mom will stay, so that she can look at them often.  She, who was married to a truly great artist, may not see much artistic value in these taped-onto-shelves papers...
...but I'm sure she'll see love:  in this A that Josiah decorated... this D that David did... this O that the big boys collaborated on...
...and even in this A that I scribbled on.
No artistic value, to be sure, but lots and lots of love...and a poignant reminder to me to stop, drop, and play!


Marie said...

I second that!! Reading this gets me all cozy and artsy. Not that I am very artsy but I so love that feeling. I am sure your mother in law will see these dear pics as art to her heart. :)

Thanks for posting the yummy pics too!

~ Marie

Sally said...

I was thinking last evening that it was soon time for your mother-in-laws visit. I hope it goes really well and you have lots of fun.

The art, and the reason for the art day, is such a good idea! Not so long ago, we had a color-the-tablecloth day with paper tablecloth. It was a big hit.

I've noticed lots of pictures of Josiah "going tummy" as Paul & Hannah call it. Does he have an aversion to shirts, or is this the latest way to reduce the laundry mountain?

Julie said...

Awesome! Love you, Friend!!!!

Davene said...

Sally, I like the way you think! Just imagine how much smaller my laundry pile will be when I tell my boys they can no longer wear shirts! :)

In all seriousness, Josiah likes to "go tummy" (what a cute expression!) because he gets so hot! I can be sitting here shivering, and he's hot enough to want his shirt off. He and I are definitely on different levels as far as temperature goes!

I guess that's another advantage of homeschooling: Josiah can take his shirt off whenever he wants to. :)