Sunday, October 17, 2010
All in a day's work
It never ceases to amaze me how much activity little children pack into a regular day. I find myself in the second iteration of early childhood education now that the girls have left babyhood and are now in the category of little kids at the ripe old age of almost 3 and 4 and a change respectively. Usually they wake up bright and early and either come into my room, one for a cuddle and the other for some urgent discussion or they play with the boys in between coming into my room for one thing or another. Then one of the parents, these days usually my husband gets up. So there is the morning scrambling to get everyone washed, dressed, fed,etc. all in between games and discussions and squabbles, of course. When the older ones and my husband are off to begin their day, we that stick around on the homefront start ours. The girls start to play or help me to water the plants or just watch me do it, all the while keeping a look out for intruding cats. I take care of the baby, do the laundry, put the house together a little, think about meals and snacks for the day. Today the girls were coloring on the chalkboard and then enjoyed cleaning it off. They like to participate in whatever household activities I am doing, so I try to include them, time and energy permitting. Today they were busy cutting up some colorful contact paper into small bits. I showed them how to take the backing off so they could stick it onto the paper for a project. The younger one was pretending she was a lion while she was doing all this. Then they decided they'd like a bath, generally it's more for water play rather than cleanliness so I put them in. I have lots of different bottles and containers for them to play with and they did with great pleasure, all the while chattering away about something. When they emerged, we got everyone dressed, brushed, etc. Today they decided they wanted to play cooking, they got various play cooking utensils and were happily shoveling dirt in and out of them while they were deciding on the menu. They had lunch and some snacks and drinks of water at various intervals. They turned on the demo button on the piano so we were all listening to classical and other good piano music as we went about our business. One took out some wooden beads and built castles for a while and then asked me to build a train or some stairs with her. They sang and danced and played and yelled and asked a million questions about this and that. They played that one was a puppy and the other was taking her on a walk together with her baby in the stroller. They asked me to put a leash on one and attach it to the doll stroller. Then thay wanted to listen to some music, I turned on a lively CD and they were holding hands and jumping and dancing around until one decided that they better put on some fancy dresses because they were princesses at a wedding. So they asked me to help them get their fancy dresses from the Purim costume selection. There was minor bickering but soon everyone was ready and they continued to dance. I joined in to make things a little more exciting. We read stories, we looked at picture books and named various objects. This was today and most of the above took place before noon. When my husband came home, they played and talked and looked at the map together. Then the boys came home. For the rest of the day there is more play, more stories, a trip to the store, everyone pitched in to make pizza for supper, our project for today. Then there was a hot drink and in theory everyone should've been off to bed. Today they had a hard time winding down but finally the house was quiet. Another busy day behind us. Some days are more hectic and some less. Sometimes I take them on outings with me. Somedays there is more lounging around and some are dedicated to more household tasks. Sometimes there is more formal learning or a special project. But mostly it's just astounding how much they do all day on a regular day. It's also interesting how they just flow naturally from one things to the next. There is a rythm to their day but it's not set in stone. And so it goes and as they frolick and skip from one thing to another like carefree butterflies, they seem to pick up language and skills and think of all kinds of ideas, some naughty and some very creative. They philosophize and try to make sense of the world around them. All in a day's work. Sigh. All in a long, sweet, so busy, so new and so marvelously exciting day, every day.