Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Thank you, you've been a great crowd...

This afternoon during Quiet Time, while Captain Adventure was up in his crib dreaming of warm milk and jumping on the sofa, I looked around at my middle two Denizens and thought, Hmm…I think they may be…bored.

It was uncanny mother’s intuition that told me this. Nobody else, merely looking at the two of them, one lying upside down on the sofa staring at the upside down TV – which was not even turned on – and the other lying on her back idly kicking the wall and sucking her fingers, watching the ceiling fan, could have guessed that these two preschoolers were bored.

But I, their mother, with my inexplicable mother’s intuition, I knew they were bored. The signs may have been subtle, but I picked up on them. Because I’m their mother, and that’s what we mothers do.

I was thinking of the various things they could do. Coloring, with or without stickers and scissors and glue sticks. Maybe we could bake something together (shudder) or I could wrestle them outside (they don’t wanna go) (yet – when darned inconvenient, they will want, nay, demand!, to be allowed into the Out). We’re out of Play-Doh (oh, the humanity!) and I’m not emotionally prepared for finger painting.

Then I thought of some puzzles I’ve got up in the cupboard.

Wait, you know what else is up there?

Hi-Ho, Cherry-O.

We don’t do many board games around the Den. We just don’t. Until recently, Boo Bug was too young and tended to merely eat and/or throw the pieces around the room. Even Eldest tends to spend more time flinging cards around the room than playing the board games they go to, so I’ve been taking any games we receive and squirreling them away in the built-in until, well, later.

So I blew the dust off Hi-Ho, Cherry-O, and we set up the game and played a few rounds. The girls were fascinated by it. Boo Bug enthusiastically counted the cherries on and off the trees, laughing and squealing. She also won, repeatedly, and is therefore the Reigning Champion of the Day. And Danger Mouse, it must be stated, was very gracious in defeat, informing Boo Bug that she was “Wow, very good at this game!” upon being defeated for a third straight game.

We played until Captain Adventure began rattling the slats of his crib and hollering for Servant #1 to get her butt up there and get him down onto the floor. As we began putting the cherries back into their little tubs I encouraged the girls to remind me about the games and puzzles tomorrow during Quiet Time – we can’t play them while Captain Adventure is bumbling around, but there’s no reason why not while he’s napping.

Then Danger Mouse suddenly swept in and kissed me daintily on the cheek.

“That,” she declared solemnly. “Is for remembering this game. Because it is awesome and I really love playing it. I love you, mommy. You’re so good to us.”

Dang, they can be an easy crowd to play to. A bucket of plastic cherries, half an hour of undivided attention and a bowl of cheese crackers, and they’re calling you a hero.

Sometimes, I really love this gig…

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