Portrait of Play, Week 21

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Swings! Last year play on the swings looked like this. A year later, the swinging experience has evolved to include synchronized swinging performances. I was told that I couldn’t watch the cousins as they choreographed and practiced their swing routines. Luckily, they wanted to perform their finished routine several times. The cousins have also added a swurfer to their backyard. As far as swings go, the swurfer might be the coolest one out there. You ride on it like a surfboard and use your arms and legs to swing back and forth; although, the kids have taken to using it more as a bodyboard lately, gliding low to the ground as they make a circle around the yard. The kids have their own swurfer routine that includes sitting and waiting on the stacked wood in the back for their turn and using pretend tokens to purchase their ride on the swurfer.

As she was swinging, I realized that Chuck is all of a sudden a big kid, from remembering sequences of swing moves to giving me the cold shoulder, she is taking strides away from me in search of herself. As I reflected on the performances I used to do with my own cousins when I was young, it came to my attention that Charlotte is going to be able to remember more of her own childhood now. This thought makes me a wee apprehensive. I need to be more careful about my tone, my words, how I spend my time, my screen use, the experiences I provide, and how I care for myself even…I am not prone to mommy guilt, but I could stand to be more purposeful as she takes more notice and locks it away in a memory.

Winnie…she’s the poor second child these days. I spend my time keeping her out of rooms with shut doors because more sophisticated play is happening or something is being built that she shouldn’t destroy or eat. She chases after the big kids and watches them with admiration and I imagine a little bit of false confidence about how soon she will be joining them. There’s no rush to grow up, Winnie, you are perfectly adorable just picking clovers and pretending to blow on them as if they were dandelion seeds that would blow off the stem. And if you slept at night, you wouldn’t be so tired that you would want to fall asleep on the swing set pole. You’re lucky your mama doesn’t like to sleep.

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