Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I need to play

We spent the morning outside. We worked on the garage, Evie stilt walked down to the neighbors trampoline. It is about 1 1/2 blocks away. That was the farthest she has ever gone on her stilts. We jumped for awhile, came home, ate lunch and then walked to the library to pick up some books she asked me to put on hold for her. When we came back her friends were looking for her and they spent the next three hours running at top speed and playing a spying fairies game.

When we were coming back from the library something interesting happened. On the way there we had walked by the school where her friends go and she saw a friend in line waiting to go in after recess. They waved and smiled. When we came home we passed another school with kids out on the playground. Evie got really quiet. I asked "what do you think about when we pass a school like this with kids out playing?" She kind of shrugged her shoulders and then said "sometimes I wonder what school is like." "You could ask X and Y," I said. "I think X would say she sort of likes it and sort of gets bored because she has to go every day." Then she said "I know a few things about school, you sit at a desk and there are lots of people around you." That was sort of the end of the conversation.

I went for a walk later when Evie was playing and I was really thinking about something Sandra Dodd often writes about. To paraphrase she says that one can't make school out to be a dark and evil place because you never know your future circumstances. Our job is to make home always more appealing than school. Lately I am failing in the play department. Ever since we were sick a few weeks ago Evei and I have spent most of our time together either reading or doing housework. We haven't played Barbies in weeks! I see how much she loves to play with her friends. I know she doesn't really understand that school is not all recess and is very little playing. I need to play with her at home a lot, more than I am now. I will always be good at the "projects" part of staying home with her and I use to be very good at the playing. I am afraid Evie would never ask to go to school, no matter what the reason, because she knows I want/like having her home. If she were really curious or she wasn't totally satisfied at home I wish she wuld ask to go because that would start a conversation. For now, she is not asking and when questioned by others says she likes being at home (not that we are ever really at home!)

Bottom line? I think I will dress up as a fairy princess tomorrow morning and see where that gets us!

A thought-provoking day well lived!

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