Sunday, December 23, 2012

Motherhood Revisited

Known collectively as "the guys," four of the Bean's toys go for a horseback ride.

My days as Super-Nini continue. Taking care of two very small children three days a week is challenging and immensely gratifying. I'm able to get down on the floor and immerse myself in miniature worlds that are as real as my full-sized one and I've lost ten pounds running up and down stairs while the girls are asleep, trying to fit in the washing and cleaning and cooking before their tired Mama gets home.

I watch the Bean play the games of a two year old. She postures and talks to herself— no, not merely to herself but to her toys as if they are alive and participating actively in the game. She questions them and answers in their voices; it is not own her voice that answers. Most times she is so intent on her doings that I can go about mine undetected. While her dolls take train rides or go off to pick apples and make pies, I can get the breakfast dishes washed and dried and put away. While she colors pictures and comments aloud on the names of the colors, I can tidy the living room and heat a bottle for the baby whose cries often work their way into the Bean's play. “Baby’s crying,” she’ll murmur, making a small, helpless, crying sound. Then Momma Teddy, a tiny wooden mother doll, will stop what’s she’s doing to hold the crying paper baby in her arms and rock her.

Sometimes the Bean looks up quickly from her play, fixing my whereabouts in her mind. I can see the flicker of recognition but there doesn’t seem to be a separation of her real and imaginary worlds and when I am on the floor with her amid the scattered dolls and clay apples and the small playhouse, the miniature cars and train engines and miniscule plates and cups, I follow her into the world of altogetherness, of play that is not play as much as it is just being.

11 comments:

Brian Miller said...

just being is good...lost 10 pounds...smiles....you know it is good for her as much as it is for you...smiles...

merry christmas!

Tabor said...

I also lost weight...wish I had them more often.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Merry Christmas Pauline, Cosmo.

June said...

I remember being small and being in that separate but not separated world. I love to see little kids spending time in their imaginations. It's so good for them to have that place.
I bet you are TIRED when you get finished with your day!

Out on the prairie said...

The self-play is always a pleasure to enjoy.I had a hard time staying out of the toy aisle this year.Have a nice holiday!

Star said...

I know how much hard work it is and I only take care of one two year old at the moment. I'm sure your daughter is very grateful. Don't overdo it though.
I also love the games they play and the stories they tell to and with their toys. It truly is a magical world.
Happy Christmas!

Hilary said...

You make me SO look forward to grandchildren.. whenever that will be.

I hope you had a beautiful holiday, Pauline.

Barbara Shallue said...

I remember that world and look forward to stepping back into it with grandchildren! Merry Christmas and a blessed 2013 to you!!

Pauline said...

Brian - we both love our time together, for sure!

Tabor - running up and down stairs is a great exercise - especially when you do it two dozen times a day!

And to you, JCN - Happy New Year, too!

June - I am sleeping better than I have in years ;)

OOTP - ah, the toys! I think I have as much fun playing with them as does the Bean!

Star - the work is continuous, which is the hardest part. I love being with those babies, though. Such fun to get to do it all over again!

Hilary - you will LOVE having grandkids :)

Barbara, and to you! Thanks.

Judith said...

She has inherited her grandmother's extraordinary imagination, that is clear!
How blessed are all of you (including momma and poppa) ---

Judith said...

I loved this post ---- maybe it's up for moderation?
Anyway, seems to me that the Bean has inherited her grandma's imagination, and all of you --- Lily, Momma, Poppa and the Bean --- are blessed!