Art (4) baby (5) blogs (3) cleaning (4) Dear Mom (5) educational (13) entertainment (11) Free Stuff (3) fun (8) Grrumbles (4) humor (14) issues (10) lunch (3) Medical (9) My Family (13) pregnancy (1) Preschoolers (5) Products (3) reading (1) safety (4) solutions (19) Teens (1) Toddlers (5) Tweens (3)

Friday, November 19, 2010


Have you ever listened to your children as they play whatever pretend games they enjoy playing? It is a very interesting activity to sit and listen in while they play imaginary games. I've noticed over the past few weeks that my girls are playing games that replicate their real lives. Whatever issues they might be dealing with at the time are acted out in the realm of their pretend world. Their animals have nap times, move to new homes, meet new friends, and even lose their teeth - based on whatever is going on in our real lives.

Kira loves to reenact her favorite television programs, too. Her animals have been sold in yard sales - based on Clean House. They have been in competitions to find out who is the best cook - based on Iron Chef. They play school even though my girls are home schooled. They rescue other animals. The scenarios are really quite endless.

This process of imaginary play is so important for the development of the child's mind and social skills. (Social skills? Learned through imaginary play?  --- YEP!) Children who actively engage in imaginary play are given the greatest opportunity to explore every possible role that they might experience in life. The imagination can allow them to be a teacher, be mean, be nice, and even play through all the possible outcomes of each persona they choose to imagine within themselves.

In our excessively structured world where children are expected to engage in multiple activities and spend every waking moment involved in some sort of perfectly scheduled activity, the unstructured freedom of imagination has been lost. It is time to allow children to reconnect with their imagination. Give them freedom and allow them to revel in a world that is not dictated by any predetermined rules.

Let them play!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Need Help

I'm wandering through my day today, dealing with two very whiny children. I have no idea what has happened to turn my darling angels in to devilish monsters, but I know that something has to change - and FAST - before I completely lose my mind. (or what's left of it...)

In an attempt to figure out what to do, I revisited one of my old posts - Oh the Joy of Whiny Days... - and did a bit of reading to refresh my memory with the wonderful advice I gave so long ago. 

Reading through the list of possible causes of extreme whiny behavior, I had to stop and consider what might be going on.

I know the girls are coming off of an extended sugar high thanks to the gracious givers of Halloween candy. We came home with far more candy than anybody ever needs to eat in such a short time, but eat it they did. There has been a continual barrage of requests for "just one more piece ... PLEASE!" I've held them off as much as possible, but the candy has now dwindled to those dreaded pieces of undesired candy droppings - you know the ones... those things that NOBODY eats, but somebody out there feels the need to buy and give out. That person is probably gleefully passing out dreaded candy droppings while they lament upon the notion of begging for candy in the first place. (If I must give you candy, I'll give you something that I know you will never, ever eat! Bwa ha ha!!!)

And then there's the wiggly tooth. Actually, it would be more correct to say wiggly teeth, as Kira has four teeth that are wiggling their way out of her mouth. One of those teeth is now barely holding on to its last stronghold of rooting in the lower level of her gums. Unfortunately she gets to experience the discomfort of that lingering tooth until it finally gives up its battle to stay where it is. She refuses to let me try to get it out by brute force, so there it stays.

Then there's the fact that they both sleep stalked me all night long. Sleep stalking is the process of relocating themselves to wherever it is that I am trying to sleep. I generally lay on the sofa to sleep because it is more comfortable on my back. About half the time I fall asleep there instead of in my own bed. Last night Kira came out of her room in tears because of some bad dream. I thought this would be okay because just one little girl on the sofa with me really isn't that difficult to accommodate. Unfortunately, Marisa woke up while Kira was crying and soon followed her out to the sofa. I had one little girl curled up at my feet using my leg as her pillow - and one little girl snuggled up in my arms. We all drifted off again, but I quickly woke due to the excessive heat produced by two extra little bodies in such a small space. After I managed to extricate myself from the conglomeration of arms and legs, I moved to my own bed. This was about 3:00AM and I had not yet managed to get any decent sleep. I'm sure they didn't, either. Within a few short minutes - less than half an hour - somebody was following me with plans to infiltrate my newest location. Traitor Daddy gave her access and that was that.

So - all things considered - I think we all just need a really long nap!