Portrait of Play Project, Week 17


I love slime. It’s relatively easy to clean up, provides hours of independent play time, and always evolves from a sensory experience to a scientific experiment (“what is going to happen, mama?”) to a fully developed dramatic play narrative. We made this slime in February, and as long as we can keep it off the floor and clothes (easy enough when you’re not wearing any), the mixture of glue and starch only requires a little bit of starch added to it at the beginning of every play session to keep it’s sliminess. I had not been feeling the creative energy to do a play observation this week, but when Charlotte got out the slime AGAIN, I reluctantly put down my baby and pulled out my camera. Charlotte started making us pancakes for dinner, cupcakes for dessert, and milkshakes for later (the perfect meal for a nursing mama). She made some baby food to give Winnie, who probably would have eaten it. The kid gained half a pound in her first week of life. Charlotte loves checking on Winnie any time she moves or squeaks. The check usually involves a smothering of kisses and a high-pitched conversation, “Maybe her want her pacifier?” or “Maybe her want to get out? What’s that you say? Yes? Okay, I get you out.” Winnie seems both interested and afraid of Charlotte. My mom told me that when I was a newborn, she walked in on my sister (two years older than me) rocking me in the rocking chair. She had somehow taken me out of the cradle and carried me to the chair. I somehow stayed asleep through the whole event. My vigilance has been taken up a notch since I heard that story. While my mom was in town, she let Charlotte pick out a baby doll so she would be able to take care of a baby of her own. At the store, Charlotte picked a doll that looked like Winnie and named her April (which is what she always said my baby would be named…probably because she knew she was coming in April). I had an old jersey sheet that I cut up to make a wrap for Charlotte. She was now a baby-wearing mama in her story, and after dinner, she told us we had to go to bed and then we could go to the zoo. She tucked me in upstairs (I was the kid), and laid down with me for a “tiny bit.” I was hoping she would just fall asleep as she closed her eyes next to me…but nope, it was already time for the zoo.

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