Friday, July 09, 2010

Day 2 What Do They Do in the Playroom?

Today was pretty lazy. I slept in again. R had a better night but I'm so exhausted from the bad nights that I don't really ever catch up. H was up early as usual. When I got up Beasties 1 and 3 were already up and about. Beastie 2 was starting to stir in her typical grumpy way. All day there was this kind of disconnect...we were all in different spaces, not meeting up very often in terms of goals. By the time, I showered, made dinner for later, and soup, I was tired, R was crying, and the kids were immersed in their play. I actually thought "Crap, what am I going to do to show that we did something today?" as I lay nursing R. The day looked like a bust. "At least I'm doing something." I thought as I read Ann Tave's newest book Religious Experience Reconsidered.

When I got up from a totally unintentional nap (nursing lying down will do this to a woman), I decided to see if I could make what the kids had been doing all day school like so I could have a convincing blog entry. C came out and asked H to put the arm back on a Lego person. Sensing a perfect opportunity to elicit some material on learning I said "So what are you guys doing in there?" Now I need to qualify that "in there" refers to the master bedroom in our apartment which has been transformed into what my mom called "Kids' Heaven." This is where we keep all their toys, the T.V. and the X-Box. One would think they'd love it there but as often as not, they lug half their toys into the living room. So anyway, C looks at me all scornful and says in a lofty tone "We're playing." "Okay," I answer "But what story are you playing out?" See I'm thinking that if she tells me the plot of their play, I can write about how brilliant and imaginative my children are. Their play is all about learning! Look at how they create intricate plots and well-developed characters. She gives me a look like I'm really stupid. "Oh we don't do that." And then she walks off.

And then it hits me. What do the kids do in the playroom? I know that sometimes I go in to kick U off the X-Box (he's pretty good about self-regulating but he has a new game so he'd play all day if I let him). But for the most part, I just leave them be. It's their space, and I don't want to intrude on it. I feel very strongly that kids need a place that is really theirs. Sometimes I go in and pick up. I always find amusing things like a line of My Little Ponies facing off a line of dinosaurs. Or multiple Lego scenes acted out on a green Lego board. It's obvious that they do create stories but they don't see it as that. To them it's just play. It's not something to get all worked up over or that even needs to be shared. This is their learning that I am not privy too, and I have to be okay with that. I have to trust that this learning is something that will reflect upon the more formal learning they do with me.

Plus they did do some more formal stuff today. C read all day long in the broken down brown recliner. U had to be told to not read during dinner. P made cool paper masks for R and her (pictures to come later). And Camille topped the day by drawing on the white board. I was so excited that I was going to have something to write about so I took a picture.I didn't really look at first as I was overcome with joy that she was "doing something I could blog about." I noticed that a girl was lying on the ground with a huge thunder cloud with lightening coming out of it and rain over her head. I asked her "What's going on?" just as she moved away. I saw a girl person with a gun and a dog. "Ummm, " she answered, "It's a person killing someone." She acted quite uncomfortable. I said "Is that Piper on the ground!?" She refused to answer but blushed and since they just had a fight....but she did reassure us that she didn't want to kill her little sister. She had been mad but now she wasn't.

1 comment:

S said...

Reading your post struck a cord with me because I always feel so much pressure to have some proof that the kids are "learning something." I move, just the tiniest bit everyday, toward being comfortable with just letting things be what they are. They can learn math and history at any point in their lives. Harder to pick up later are the life skills they need to be happy people.