I spent this chilly May morning in my basement with the two boys, cleaning and sorting through our buzzilion toys.
Before having Roa, I was pumped up to start my own little preschool in our basement. Bryan and I started organizing the space as soon as we moved in with toy shelves, tables and chairs, alphabet hung on the wall,... the whole works. After years of teaching, I was excited to do it MY way without the bother of teaming with other teachers, therapists, etc. I was excited to work with the "typical" child and was feeling a bit burnt out from the "special needs" scene. Set up that wonderful, enriching environment, plan hands-on learning activities set to music. Laugh and frolic together and earn a little extra cash as I enjoyed my new career as a Stay-at-home mom.
Well God had other plans for me. No other children to care for when I had my Roa needing me full time. So, that lovely play space in our basement has been exclusively the King's... until....
Enter, Prince Gunnar.
So both boys were down in the basement with me. Both boys wanted the same exact toy. Both boys wanted and NEEDED mom to be right there beside them.
Pick a toy up, throw it in the bleached water, run over to Gunnar as he cried to be picked up, run over to Roa as he screamed from his blanket because the Animal Train was ramming into his forehead...., run back to the water to lay the toys on a towel, run back to Gunnar who now was being tumbled over by two wrestling dogs,....restart the bubble machine for Roa, race back to Gunnar who grabbed a dog toy to mouth, run back to Roa because he wanted to roll over and insists I be beside him for the big event..... place Gunnar beside Roa to stop my running, return to the bleach tub, only to hear the shrieks of Roa as Gunnar pulls his hair....
You see, I spent years playing with children at the daycares I worked at, at the schools I taught. I visited children's home and played with their own toys with them and encouraged parents to join in. I studied play and brain development and earned my Master's degree in education. I taught play to learn/learn to play classes for parents.
Yet this chilly May morning, I actually forgot all my knowledge and tried to get some work done when both my boys (and both my dogs) just wanted me to play.
The funny thing about kids.... you can buy them the Willy Wonka World of Toys, but until they have your full attention, until you show them the joy that toy can bring, it ain't gonna happen.
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