Actually they sent themselves….
After having a play at a kinder friend’s house the girls have discovered the idea of ‘playing in your room’ and they like it!
There are a few reasons why I like them to play out in the lounge room – I like to be able to keep half an eye on them, or at least an ear; I also like them to be part of general family life not locked away in another room; and our house is COLD right now and there is only one small oil heater in their room which we only run at night. Still, despite all of this when they begged me to be able to play in their room I could see the attraction… no Muski and no me.
Muski is at the stage where he is able to get to every playing surface in the lounge room. In case you missed it, check out this photo from the other day – no he still can’t walk but that doesn’t stop him climbing onto tables and the couch wanting to join in and ‘play’. To the girls Muski playing = destruction and frustration. It’s also means being restricted a little with what they can have out in so far as what is safe for Muski. He only sleeps after lunch for an hour or two and of late the girls have been begging me to ‘take him away’ ‘put him to bed’ ‘make him leave us alone’ and I think the frustration levels have risen to such a point where they were being not so nice to their little brother, and not so nice to each other which inevitably means I end up being not so nice to them. They told me themselves ‘we want to have a break from everyone’.
So I took a day or two to digest the idea.
Playing in their room… on their own.. away from everyone… away from me… less fighting … less whining… Let’s try it!
Tuesday morning I attempted to tidy up their room a bit. I took out toys that we’d stored in there which were mostly for Muski. I put away in inaccessible places (ie the top of the wardrobe and the big bottom drawer) some containers of toys that I knew would make quick easy messes and be painful to pack up. I tried to make space for playing (it is not a huge room and is pretty full of furniture already) and I tried to let go of my misgivings of how much mess and mischief they could get up to in there….
Tuesday afternoon, after kinder, they were tired and narky and not feeling very charitable towards anyone, least of all their brother and so I quietly suggested they could play in their room while I cooked dinner… and that was the last I saw or heard from them.
I wandered in around 6ish, timidly opening the door, scared to look and see what I might find on the other side…. Yep, there was mess, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. There were a few whines when I told them it was time to pack up but ten minutes later they emerged ready for a bath and their room was pretty darn tidy!
Yesterday they spent almost the entire day in their room – give or take a meal or two and some chasing each other around the house screaming and giggling (please tell me the weather will get better soon!!??). By the end of the day their room was a disaster zone but they packed up without too much fuss (a huge improvement on the usual) and all in all it was a day well spent for everyone. They got a break from Muski and I got a break from them so they got a break from me yelling all without anyone having to go anywhere…
Today was kinder Olympics and then a friend over to play – so we just won’t talk about today’s mess, whinge quota and packing-up-less-ness ok…. but today was not normal so that’s ok.
I am still not sure about this new found love of the bedroom… I wonder how long the good packing up ju ju will last, but regardless… at least it has been a nice change in the middle of a long period of cold, wet, inside weather.