Find a way to play together

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We have a new morning routine around here. We’ve started watching a little Curious George or Daniel Tiger after breakfast, and although Bryant and I made virtuous rules about screen time when the girls were tiny, I am loving bending (breaking?) the rules a bit. With the switch to one nap, I’m thankful to have found a way to drink my coffee without two little hands plunging into it and two little mouths begging for a sip.

It’s good to have a quick breather in the mornings that have suddenly grown long. The girls are still getting used to the new schedule, and get grumpy as the hours wear on; and they’re such busy little people I think it’s actually good for them to stay in one spot for 10 minutes (which is as long as even Curious George can hold their attention).

I may even find myself repeating a few of the songs, however silly, from Daniel Tiger. Like, “Let’s find a way to play together.” The grumpier the girls are, the more likely they are to both demand to play with the same toy. Whether it’s the flower shop or the kitchen, playtime usually begins with cute sharing and ends with them each tugging a side of the toy and screaming. (That’s a fun new thing too.) They might not be able to sing it back to me, but I know they understand!

I know because they’ve started doing funny things in response to what I say. Lucy likes to walk away with whatever I’m using– especially wipes or Catalina’s diaper. I was surprised one day when I said, “Hey Lucy, I need that!” and she pattered back over and handed it to me with a cute smile. It’s like she’s saying, “Oh Mommy, I got this for you, of course!”

They both love helping, and love having conversations. If I hand them a washcloth and ask them to clean their tray after lunch, they will. If I tell them they look pretty, they run a hand over their dresses like, “I do, don’t I?” And they like to talk through the process of getting their dolls, strapping them into their toy strollers and taking them for a walk. They’re so proud of following directions and doing things themselves.

There is also the mischievous glint in their eyes when I ask them to do something and they take off running in the opposite direction. And the screaming I mentioned– they think that’s really funny and definitely the most effective way to communicate. Oh toddlerhood, you are crazy.

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