This past weekend, Chris was in tech rehearsals all day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Which left me to fend for myself with two wee ones that weekend. Luckily, they are getting to great ages that make getting out and going lots of fun, so we did a fair amount of running around town to keep us entertained.
There were a few hours on Sunday, though, when I really needed to get some work done, and Gracie was having none of it. She followed me around the house whining. She sat beside my desk whining. She was bored and clingy and driving me crazy. I tried giving her all her favorite things – crayons and paper on her art easel. Stickers. Magnets. Baby Tut Tut. She wanted to play in the sink, but I just didn’t have time. Finally, with nothing left to offer, I hit up my go-to place to find random toys in a pinch – my kitchen. Pots for carrying things, baking pans for magnets, colanders for pipe cleaners, you name it and it’s in my kitchen. On this particular Sunday, I happened to find a half empty pack of cupcake liners. Perfect! Now all I needed was something she could put in them.
A few months ago, one of my co-workers brought me a bag full of over 500 pogs. That’s right. Pogs, my friends. Straight out of 1992, and complete with slammers. She thought my kids might want to play with them. I have brought them out a few times for the kids to play with, and they love them because they are small and easy to manipulate. They make a big mess, so those stay in our toy closet where I keep all the toys that require supervision. So, I busted out the pogs and Gracie went to town!
She had trouble at first with the cupcake liners standing up, so I also gave her a muffin tin to put them in. She sat there for almost an HOUR, people. An HOUR! She sorted and re-sorted and stacked and re-stacked.
I knew she was going to her little introvert place because she really didn’t want me to help or play at all. She wasn’t showing me things or asking for help. She just immediately sat down and played intently and quietly for almost an hour. Bean came downstairs a few times and tried to play along with her, but I asked him if he could find something else for a while to give Gracie some time by herself. Normally, she only gets the pogs when he thinks to ask for them, so this was her first time having total control and I didn’t want her to have to share at that moment. She was taking a little break to play by herself, and I wanted to make sure that we all gave her that space. Bean was a good sport and played with the crayons and art easel that I had set up earlier for Gracie instead.
For almost an entire hour, there was peace and quiet in my house. And I think we all enjoyed it, but especially Gracie. The more I observe her, the more I am keenly aware of her need for personal space. I love that about her, and I’m having a great time helping her figure out what kinds of different activities she can do when she needs some time to herself.