Tuesday, April 10, 2012

put to the test.

Being stuck indoors all winter is like playing the same level on a video game for 3 months solid.

No wonder the kids start getting into everything. They're searching for hidden secrets. Duh, mom.

If they're standing in the toilet, maybe they just needed to check if bending their knees sent them down the plumbing into a room full of floating coins.

I believe that as children develop, their minds and bodies are aching to test their newly acquired skills in more challenging arenas.

Maybe when they fill the bathtub with soap, they are just testing their recently enhanced balancing abilities.

Sometimes they try to jump off of the piano. I think it's because the sofa is not nearly high enough anymore.

I'm trying to be more creative in arranging for new levels to play.

When I'm feeling less inventive, there's always the good-old park. We have about five playgrounds we frequent. Otherwise they might get bored and try something too dangerous.

If I had the time and resources each night I'd build them an obstacle course from their beds to the kitchen. Then maybe they wouldn't need to climb in the fridge when I open the door to assemble breakfast.

You know what? The outside world is a humbling place. Sparky is the oldest here and spends the majority of his time staking claim on the "first" and the "biggest" and the "most" but out there he's got a lot to learn.

His absolute least favorite thing to be called in the whole, wide world is a "baby." Big kids call little kids babies. Not in a mean way, but just because it's the easiest way to communicate that they're different. They said, "don't go so fast because of the baby." Sparky looked around for the baby and soon realized they'd meant him. Standing just in earshot, Duke and I knew he'd been hurt. We watched as he tried to be brave and not let his feelings show. Standing up on the merry-go-round he yelled, "look at me, guys. No hands." And when they all nicely over-exaggerated their reactions for him, he felt like they'd called him a baby all over again.

As hard as it is to watch those sad scenes unfold, we were glad when he decided he'd rather come spend family time with us at the other end of the park. We wouldn't want to "shelter" him. Be we can be a standing shelter of sorts, available when he needs to get out of the wind.

I guess strength of character is something that needs testing, too. Just like their growing bodies and minds, their spirits need a little challenge from time-to-time.

And although the moments of quiet strength can't be applauded loudly at the playground, they can certainly be celebrated lovingly on the family car-ride home.


The Greg Nelson Family said...

We have the same challenge with Zachary being the biggest. I love it when he gets to play with other kids and learn that it is okay not to be the biggest all the time. Our kids would definitely have a good time being boys together.

Rach said...

we miss you guys.

Breanne said...

Hello. I found your blog a few days ago via a link to the, practically world renowned, muppet song you posted. I must say thank you for being a force for good in this world, for providing some good laughs, and inspiring to do and be better, in essence, for being a light. Thank you (from a fellow mother of three boys and one girl) you are WONDERFUL!

kelly said...

that marry-go-round shot!!
plus, I haven't seen a play ground with a merry-go-round is forrrrever.