Listen, I love my kids. I so do. And what surprises me the most about them is how different they all are despite the fact that they've been raised in the same family. Although, I guess each child is born into a new family because the dynamic changes each time. ( I realize that Pace was adopted - so he does have some other things going for him that we didn't have much to do with.)
My girls,though? Born three years and 20 days apart,and just as different as the sun and moon. Nina (7 1/2) is the biggest of the bunch,and if there is one thing I love about her (which there's not,there's so many things I love about that child), it's her creativity and heart. She comes up with some of the most amazing creations in her free time. I am a firm believer in boredom! I can only do so much facilitating and entertaining before I expect my children to take over and use their noodle to come up with something.
Now, Nina clearly has the advantage in this department because she was the first,and had to get used to having a sibling when she was 3. Being the oldest,she's always had a bit of an independent streak,and has done quite well playing by herself. When she was a bit over 2, I found out I was pregnant again. I knew that I needed to do some training to get her ready for the new baby. So, we bought her a few special toys and CD's, and put her in her room each night for some time to play alone. I would put in books on CD (Mickey Mouse was a huge favorite, followed by Winnie the Pooh). I can still see her sitting on that little rug playing with her toys and listening to her book. We started slowly, but by the time Tillie was born,I could put her in her room for 30 minutes while I showered, ate, nursed or did whatever else I needed to do,and she was completely content to play alone.
Tillie hasn't been so lucky in this department because she has always known life with a big sister, and is still hard pressed at 4 1/2 to play alone.
So, during the day, we have a mandated quiet time across the house. It's roughly from 1:30-3:45. Pace sleeps, and the girls have to adhere to quiet time. There are a whole list of approved activities that they can engage in, however they must be quiet and not talk to mommy. Tillie just recently gave up naps, but there are still days where she has to rest instead of playing. I can pretty much tell by 9am what type of day it's going to be for her.
The scenario above happened one day last week. She made a bad choice and had to nap. Nina was all on her own, as I am "off duty" during this time,and will ANSWER TO NO ONE. OK,sorry. I'm a little protective of my time. So, Nina decided to hang out in the office. When quiet time was over,she told me she had done a room make-over,and invited me in. And that little gal,well,she turned the office into a "castle."
She dug around in the craft drawers,and found some princess decorations. She made them all, decorated them, and hung them on the ceiling fan. She drug her hugely heavy lamp in there for a spot light, set up a throne, and a stool at her right hand for Princess Tillie. She had gone into my closet and found a dress she wanted to wear that would fit her queen status, and Tillie got to wear her Anna from Frozen dress. It was SO cute. Honestly. And I did not hear one peep out of her the whole time. Unfortunately, I did NOT get a picture. I thought it would stay like that for a few days,so I didn't capture it. I was wrong. The next day, she took all her decor down, and made the room into a detective agency. She found a new outfit from my closet to wear, moved some furniture around ( I don't know, either, she's stronger than she looks) and had a desk set up, with her lamp next to her. She had made spy glasses and some other goodies, and she recruited Tillie to help her do some spying. The chose Pacey, and had a good time reporting on his shenanigans.... MOM, Pace just stuck his hand in the plant and got dirt everywhere!!!!! MOMMMMMM, Pace just threw a toy in the trashcan. MOMMMMMMMMA, get in here right now!!!!!!Pace just climbed to the top of the bunk bed ladder!!!!!!!!! I probably should have paid them after all that work. No picture of this,either, but trust me that it was really funny.