Monday, April 23, 2012

Pennies and popcorn

I suffer from a fairly common ailment - mommy guilt.  Mostly I feel like a lazy mama.  I'm tired.  I look at other beautiful blogs and Pinterest and Facebook of fun things other people are doing.  But when it comes actually getting my act together and doing some cool project it just falls apart.  I keep telling myself I still have time, that really the boys are too little still to really get into or benefit much from such attempts.  They would probably just turn into chaos, frustration, and wasted materials. 

But then, from time to time, he comes up with his own thing.  The WeatherMan had sorted out the pennies and put them in their own container.  And what fun Bigger had.

When I first figured out what he was up to I was not pleased - the mess of the popcorn, the germs on the change.  But I took a step back.  He wasn't hurting anything.  So what if there was a mess?  We have a vacuum.  So what if he had made his popcorn gross?  We had more popcorn.  So I let him have at it. 

He tried to get them into the cup from behind.  He didn't have great success with that and it didn't last long. 
But pouring those pennies back and forth was a serious hit.  He pushed them around, put them in things, used them to "pay" for imaginary stuff.  The digger even got involved for a while.  Although that would have been more fun if we had found the bucket for the scoop but he still made due with just where the scoop should be, trying to pile them on the spot where it would attach.  He even let Littler get involved from time to time. 
He seriously spent close to two hours doing this.  No way would anything I had put him up to suggested or planned held his attention nearly that long. 
Doesn't that face say it all?  It's a little like magic.  What will he dream up next?  And just as I finish up this post, I saw this post at No Time for Flashcards.  Makes me think I should start saving up some building materials for him and see where they lead... 

Maybe my laziness isn't such a problem, it's giving them space to make their own discoveries and create their own fun.  So maybe it's not laziness after all.  Because, after all, who do you think cleaned up most of that mess? 


6 comments:

Tracey said...

Dearest Kate, it took me the longest time to allow my babies to just make messes and have a blast [ I'm a little bit of a neat freak], but once I did it was always a joy to watch how much fun they would have. As a mom with most of her children grown I now say to younger moms to just go with it and have fun with your babies, it goes by very quickly.
Have a great day.
Love, Tracey

Melissa said...

My boys are a bit older than yours are and the "mommy guilt" doesn't go away. I found some of the things my boys had fun with were the simplest. Legos were HUGE in our house. As they got older, anything that they could "build" with was a success. It's hard to let go of what we "think" we should be doing and go with the "feel," but the "feel" always worked best for me. Don't be too hard on your self!

Swanski said...

I wish blogging was invented when my kiddos were small. You would see a big mess and a stressed mom. Time flies and you are doing great. love the penny play!!!

hannahw said...

Agree! Giving your kids time to "be bored" is one of the greatest gifts you can give them!

My Magic of the Mundane post is here:

http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2012/04/wonderfull-full-of-wonder-wednesday_18.html

Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom said...

Awesome play and exploration activity! I love how children get so industrious... so wonderful that you were able to step back and watch this evolve! Definitely magical!

Sofia's Ideas said...

Kate, you put so many good nuggets into this post...

I suffer from mommy guilt too, and to be honest, I sometimes think my guilt is excessive. But, I suppose, like most things, its relative.

Yes, that face does say it all! I think that its good for us to use pinterest and blogs as points of inspiration and ideas. (I think I have mentioned that I wish I could set all of my pinterest boards to private.) But, I like crafting & creating & learning with items we already have on hand. This open-ended activity is just as good, if not better, than what you may be feeling guilty about not doing with them.

I love your last line "Because, after all, who do you think cleaned up most of that mess?" clever!