Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall activities for toddlers: Homemade Scarecrow

Homemade Scarecrow 
So one of our very favorite books this fall has been The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. My two year old loves this story and has memorized the sounds that each part of the scarecrow makes as it follows the old lady back to her house. It may seem a little Halloweenish, but it still fits the fall season since it's about the making of a scarecrow.

During one of my activities with just Charlotte (two year old), I pulled out the parts of the scarecrow so that she could hold them up as we made the sounds (the pants go "wiggle, wiggle" and the shirt goes, "shake, shake..."). I grabbed whatever was closest, so I ended up with Hazel's shirt, Charlotte's pants and a pair of my husband's boots! We have everything here but the gloves. As we read the story, we put each piece in its place to make the scarecrow that the old lady sees out her window in the end of the story.

On Saturday we're making fall "lanterns" since my four year old has been so fascinated with them lately. Thanksgiving is coming so quickly, I almost can't believe it. I think we'll do another Gratitude Turkey like we did last year, but use the feathers as a countdown to Thanksgiving day...We're all about the countdowns in our house. We made a paper chain to count down the days until Dad gets home (eleven to go!) and it seems to help the girls wrap their minds around TIME.

I'm grateful for the responses to my last post about patience. I've been thinking a LOT lately about what kind of mother I want to be and how it's a CONSTANT work in progress to learn how to maintain my cool and be the eye of the storm. I truly believe that EVERY mother feels overwhelmed in her own way and has those moments where she "loses it" and has to regroup and start over again. And of course we don't share those experiences with one another very often because they aren't our finest moments. 

But doesn't it help to know you're not alone?

Whenever I'm having a difficult day, it really helps to know that there are thousands of other mothers out there going through a similar battle. At my last Power of Moms retreat, they kept repeating to us, "You can do this. You can do this." April even had a t-shirt that had that phrase printed on the front backwards so that you could read it when you looked in the mirror. 

You CAN do this.
On Tuesday I had to take all three girls to vote for our local representatives here in Ogden. It was around 5pm which is of course the worst time to bring my children into public but I had no choice. I balanced Ellie in my arms as she reached for all the buttons in my kiosk while the other two played tag behind me and grew increasingly louder. I managed to keep my cool and whisper gentle but urgent reminders to "please be quiet" and "be obedient." I cast my ballot and the four of us made our back to the car with Charlotte complaining that she never got to see the "boat" (I realized the entire time she thought I was "boating," not "voting"). As we crossed the street, I had the older two hold on to my jean pockets while I carried Ellie and the diaper bag, the keys in hand. A car came to a stop to let us cross and I saw that the driver was smiling widely at me and my little chickens clinging to me. And for some reason I felt really content in that moment because although I was so anxious to be done with this difficult errand, I was grateful to be surrounded (literally) by these healthy happy kids who for the time being, were all mine.

It's really hard, it is. But those quick and simple moments of complete fulfillment really do make up for the hours of hard work, endurance and "growing experiences" that make up the rest of motherhood. I know one day I'll be an old lady who sees a little two year old and aches for those chubby cheeks pressed up close to mine and the warmth of her hand in mine.

Today I want to remember the dirt smudges that line the wall in our stairwell, right at Charlotte's level. I want to remember the pin-dot freckles on Hazel's nose and how proud she is when she helps me with her two sisters or when she creates something new with a crayon and paper (and scissors and tape and string...) I want to remember how amazingly cute Ellie's naked tushie is and that look she gets on her face when she's really listening to you and learning something new. I want to remember Charlotte's cute little legs and her spontaneous kisses on my arm. I love how Hazel has a dimple in her chin just like her Dad and how she loves to tell me everything that she's thinking about, all the time. I want to remember how excited Ellie gets to see Charlotte after nap time and how she jumps up and down and screams with happiness. I want to remember putting my paintbrush down today so that I could do an activity time with my girls and just enjoy them.

I can do this.
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1 comment :

  1. Just recently started following your blog, and I love it! I hope you don't mind, but I just sent you an email to ask you a few questions about Joy School.