Our girls have been super focused on their remote learning. Each morning they get dressed, make their bed, and hurry down to take care of the dogs before they sit down at the table and pull out their worksheets and set up the laptop. Have I mentioned they are 8 and 6 years old? They like to see their assignments checked off of their daily progress sheets, and put in the complete bin. I couldn’t be happier with how they are doing.
But I’m sad for them.
I’m sad they won’t finish their school year at the elementary school. Our district just announced we will not be returning to the classroom until the fall. I’m sad there was never a day of closure for the kids. They went home on Friday; assignments waiting to be graded, classroom read aloud books unfinished, work lining the hallway walls, desks full, sneakers on the shelves, art projects drying, spring concerts not preformed, and they didn’t go back. I’m sad they don’t get to see their friends, or teachers. We all know how we as adults feel, imagine children! At least we can rationalize the importance of social distancing, but kids forget, and don’t understand why it’s going on for so long.
Don’t Let it Get You Down
Although, the girls are busy bees with their school work, we are stopping to smell the flowers, or in the Northeast, the imaginary flowers. Here we are actually having a “snow day.” This works perfectly into our slower paced Friday. When my kindergartner was reading along with the Disney Princess book, “The Perfect Princess Tea Party,” she was inspired to host a tea party of her own. Her brother, sister, myself, and some of her favorite dolls were invited. The three kids drew out a map, complete with a compass, set the table, and made the snacks (with some microwaving help).
Please Be Seated.
I was escorted to my place at the table, the rose stool next to Penelope and Jenny. My son, uh- Spiderman, was seated in the other stool, and my daughters sat across from me. The girls took turns serving popcorn and butter cookies to each of us. We also had milk to drink, and dip cookies in. No tea filled our cups, but long sips were taken with our pinkies out. I used this time to practice some manners and etiquette with them. Mind you, some of the teaching was, “Now dahling, in public you would never dip your biscuit or slurp your tea.” But we continued to do just those things in play.
I Could Hear My Mental Time Clock Ticking
Honestly, I had lots of things stewing my mind. Things I “needed” to do, and get done on a specific, self-set, timeline. Then I realized, why? Why did I need to rush off for the dishes? Why did I need to sweep out the front of the house, and stairs right now? Sit yourself down, grab a butter cookie, and dip it in your milk until its almost soggy. Use an accent, of any kind, and tea talk with your biscuit in one hand and your tea in another. When it came down to it, all those things I had added up on my mental list to get done right now, was nothing life or death, or that someone else was needing from me. I didn’t need to do any of those things this very minute.
I needed to give my kids my attention, and to look at them, and truly listen to their words. I had to stop focusing on the tidbits in the house for just a bit. Another thing lingering in the back of my mind, how I could make this a Pinterest prepared tea party. That was the last thing I needed to be thinking about. This kid concocted party was perfect just as it was, and I wanted to enjoy it just as it is.
Pinterest is awesome! It’s today’s magazine for every interest possible, and can make some seemingly out of reach things possible. BUT! Pinterest can also make you, or at least me, feel less. I sat there thinking, I should make those brownies, and have us design some napkins, and have us make some cupcake liner flowers to set on the table….
But I didn’t.
I pushed all that aside, and I sat with the kids and their dolls. I played into their imagination, and helped the dolls eat their food (that we ate for them). We looked at the Disney Princess book and went over the tips to have the best tea party. I sat with the kids and soaked up the milk with my cookie, as I’ll soak up this memory. These are the memories I want my kids to have from the quarantine. From their childhood in general really. Tea parties, and dress up, laughter filling our home, and their parents taking the time to sit down with them and just play.
We don’t always have time to play, but when you do, sit down and do it. You won’t regret the time with your children. Here’s a map to get to your very own tea party.