Portrait of Play, Week 28

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“Mama, can we please go play in the van?” I’m not sure why Chuck wanted so badly to play in a hot vehicle on a 90 degree day, but I needed to clean out the van, so I obliged. She grabbed her new binoculars that I picked up at an antique store, an old hiking map from Stone Mountain, and two stuffed horses and waited by the door while I got shoes on Winnie. Putting shoes on Winnie when she knows we are going outside is a little like putting a leash on Atlas when he knows we are going on a walk; too much excitement for the confining task at hand. Winnie grabbed a handbag, I grabbed a trash bag, and we set out for an adventure in a motionless vehicle. I’ve often described my fondness for the warmth with the fact that I enjoy getting into a car on a hot summer day. While it was kind of perfect for me, I soon noticed beads of sweat dripping down Winnie’s face. I opened the door to let in a breeze, and Chuck was devastated because we were supposed to be pretending to drive. I made a futile attempt to explain that I didn’t want us to overheat (more resistance) and then told her to just pretend that we were driving with the door open (“Okay”). The rules of the pretend trump the rules of reality always. The girls were having a great time crawling around in the car seats and buckling themselves into booster seats while flashing big smiles cause they were feeling like big kids. Charlotte told me that she was too medium for a booster seat. When I asked her what she meant, she explained that when she was big she would be in a booster seat, but she’s not small like Winnie for Winnie’s seat. She’s a carseat medium. Charlotte looked out the windows for creatures and then took a turn at the wheel before the van was clean enough and the girls were sweaty enough for me to put up a fight about it being time to go inside.

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