Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sunny Days and Projects

Am I the only one who feels like the only parent on the playground that stumbles and stutters when trying to explain stuff to their kids?  I feel like I'm ALWAYS thinking of just the right thing a few seconds after the WRONG thing has come out of my mouth.  In my case, I tend to over explain.  I'm convinced that the more clearly I can explain something to Zoe, the more she'll get it and remember it, but time and time again I'm reminded of the fact that short and sweet is really the way to go with young kids.

The kids and I spent a lovely sunny day at Scott Carpenter Park, or as we (and most people around here) call it, "The Rocket Park".  It's dubbed this because of the 30 foot rocketship that is the feature of the playground.  It has 4 or 5 levels and is a pain in the ass to go up if you aren't a kid, so you usually see a bunch of kids inside (crowded into the tiny top level) and a crowd of worried parents anxiously looking up, praying they don't hear their kid yell for them.  The last thing you want to do is to have to squeeze yourself up there to get them so you just cross your fingers and hope that they'll be able to go up and down on their own.

As I was watching Zoe climb up and down it today, I noticed that she was on the next to highest level looking a little concerned and kind of frozen.  I yelled up to her (of COURSE you have to yell) and asked if she was okay.  She yelled down to me and said that the kids in the top level told her she couldn't go up.  I told her to tell them that of course she could go up and when she did, they yelled "No you can't!!" and started to explain to her that she was supposed to be "crushing aliens" on the level she was on.  Clearly, they had some sort of game going that she didn't know she was a part of and the more they tried to explain, the more upset she got.  So, I was trying to tell her they were just playing a game, but between the kids (sort of aggressively) telling her the "rules" and me yelling up to her she just got overwhelmed and started to cry really hard.  Now, in hindsight I realize I should have at least told her to come down so I could talk to her or tell her to say something like "I don't want to play that game--I just want to go up." What I did say (yell), though was this:  "ZOE, THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO PLAY A GAME WITH YOU!  JUST TELL THEM THEY ARE HURTING YOUR FEELINGS BECAUSE I DON'T THINK THEY REALIZE!  THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO EXPLAIN THE GAME TO YOU HONEY, DON'T BE UPSET!  JUST SAY "HEY YOU'RE HURTING MY FEELINGS CAN I JUST GO UP?"  Why did I think that would be helpful?  I'm sure she couldn't even hear me anymore!  The poor thing finally made her way down, crying all the way (down the 30 foot twisty slide on the other side of the play structure) and ran to me for a hug.  Yeah, nice one Mom.

Anyway, as the weather gets warmer, I've had such a nice time being outside with the kids.  I've been reminded so often of all the wonderful sunny days we spent outside in Prospect Park in Brooklyn with Zoe when she was a baby.  I used to sit on the picnic blanket with her and watch the big kids play and just couldn't picture her being as big as those kids. Now here I am sitting with my second sweet little baby, on the very same picnic blanket watching my big girl run, climb, jump and swing without my help at all (most of the time).

One of my favorite things to do these days is quietly sit at our kitchen table with Zoe when Owen naps in his crib, working on little projects.  This is something I was working on today.  I saw it on Pink and Green Mama and loved it because Zoe loves storytelling lately.  I want to make a bunch of animals and a little stage eventually.
Here's what Zoe was working on while I was working on those:
Here are two of the pottery pieces we painted the other day at Color Me Mine for my birthday.  The sock monkey was Zoe's project and the little cup was one of mine that I made for Owen.  Okay, so I THOUGHT it was a little baby cup, but when I looked at the receipt on our way out, realized it's actually a shot glass.  How classy is that?  I made my 6 month old son his very own shot glass!  Oh well, something to remember his mother by while getting hammered at frat parties.  Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll actually keep him in line.  Yeah, right.
Finally, just a couple of cheerful Springtime shots...man, I love this time of year!
Sidewalk drawing of Daddy

Taking her babies our for a stroll/nap

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