Do It Pretend

Guys night out means girls night in. Kids have been storied and sung and I am living in the NOW.

Tillamook Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, baby. In a kid's bowl. ;p

It was quite a day.

Actually, yesterday was quite a day.  Today was good.

Spent the last hour basking in the glorious sounds that come from organ pipes in a large church. Organ performance class where university students take their turn playing in front of classmates. And the odd mother and child duo who come for inspiration and to bask. I closed my eyes, welcomed his warm body leaning into me, and felt the sound waves tremble. That was good.

There's nothing like a little ebay bidding mid-afternoon, trying to win a good deal on Little People for my Little Person. Who most definitely has a bigger imagination than I ever will.

A couple jelly beans made it from bingo board to mouth. I figured that was a small price to pay for the happy, participating child who can recognize almost every lowercase letter of the alphabet. And is learning to have fun playing a game with rules. That he didn't make up. You really must try this game -- Alphabingo from Fabulous.

Oh, the joy of being able to blog freely, knowing I did a good job today. With minty chocolate fresh breath.

Thanks to my husband for listening to my hopeless cries and lamentations and finally, ten minutes after bedtime/lights out/heads on pillows, saying something that turned a lightbulb on in my brain.

"You need to engage in pretend play. You need to ask him questions. It will fill his love cup."

Aaaaah. You are right, good man. You understand him better than I.

And are much better at pretend play than I. Do we really have to pretend things?? I want to be REAL. Let's talk about facts here, people. I like to smell, hear, taste, touch. I'm not a pretender.

But my son is. And I saw his face light up as I began to really listen to all the dialogue I had previously been ignoring. The dialogue I thought unimportant and boring is his best and favorite part of life. For me to ignore and even forbid was poking his love cup full of holes.

So we built a library today. Together. I mustered all the strength inside me to work on it as a team. To ask all the right leading questions. To give a few suggestions. To let him design and think outside my box.

And from morning until night, I listened. He told me all about his attic that is full of insulation [did I ever tell you about our new living room lighting?]. He invited me to come take a walk in the attic and then admonished me to take a shower in his warm shower (that turns off automatically when it thinks you are done, so we don't run out of hot water, because it takes 45 minutes to refill the tank) because I needed to wash all the itchy stuff off.

He made me broccoli soup and cereal. We scanned library book codes with his new scanning device. That has a button which you must push before scanning your card, or it will slurp in the card and you won't be able to get it again.

I'm mentally exhausted. I'm raising a son with a very different personality than my own, with very different needs. Thankfully, I'm able to recognize this {after reading MotherStyles} and have at least a basic knowledge of what to do. But the road ahead won't be easy. 

I had one hour off today (oh, and about 10 minutes while I was eating lunch and told him I "wouldn't be able to talk" because I was eating) while Peter had "1, 2, 3 Room Time". Yes, it's another one of my hair-brained ideas to give myself some alone time during the day. Today, I unveiled the marble run for the first time. No disappointment there. Very fun and something he could do by himself. The idea is that he'll have three activity centers (today he didn't get to #2 Sticker Play or #3 Make something with green playdough and a rolling pin) and need to finish all three before moving to free play {not to finish before the timer set for 60 minutes beeps}.

Day Two in our experimental phase = #1 Paper box creating with tape and stapler, #2 Alphabet tile play, and #3 Cars and roads.

So. I sit. Quietly. Focusing on the real. Filling my senses. Preparing for tomorrow.

The mornings will be real. Playdates, hikes, grocery shopping. The afternoons will include lots of pretend play. With mommy. The evenings will be real. Concerts, game nights, ice skating.

We're meeting everyone's needs here.