Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Just Hit Refresh

There are so many messages from helpful people telling us all the things our children need to know.  Their ABC's, their colors, right from wrong, manners...the list goes on and on.  But something amazing has started happening in my home.  I am learning from them.  I have given up structure for observation and, like Jane Goodall among the apes, I am walking away with some wonderful life lessons.  I will share them with you as they happen and tag them "Lessons".  I would love to hear any that you have to add as well.

Ever have those moments when you look around your house and think, "when did this happen?  When did it become such a...disaster?"  Well, I did last week.  The final ball dropped when I tried to grab a book for my baby and the leaning tower of children's literature crashed right on to my feet.  I thought, "if I can't get the book I want, how in the world can my son?"  My husband jumped into help me over nap time and we tackled the major hot spots: The pantry, the bookshelves and the toy bins.

Oh how I dread the toy bins.  I dumped them out armed with a black trash bag and a feeling of absolute determination to NOT let the toys win.  And yet I looked at Mater the talking tow truck and thought, "he just loves to push him down the sidewalk."  I found a puzzle series he hasn't played with in months and thought, "maybe he is ready for these now."  My husband calls this "woosing out" but I like to think it makes me less wasteful when I encourage play with the things we already own.

I decided to rearrange the toys instead of donating them.  I just put them in new spots and grouped like items.  My three year old woke up from his nap and I showed him the lay of the land.  That kid lit up like a Christmas tree.  "Mommy, LOOK!  PUZZLES!   TRAINS!  PAINT!"  It was like he had never seen any of it before.  He played by himself for almost two hours that day.

Isn't it funny how something old can become new again when we just refresh?  I walked away with a lesson from him.  We all need to dust off our old ideas, things and ways every once in awhile.  Move them around, take a look from another angle.  It might just appear different and somehow more exciting.

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