Saturday, July 7, 2007

Nana Rules

It's a treat to spend the night at Nanas. This is because in the 'youth of my old age,' I've become selfish with my night time hours. Kenzie slept over last night and she is definitely getting to be an easier overnight guest. Children need and they like bedtime routines. Kenzie's routine starts when she puts on her PJs and it ends with a 'midnight snack'. In between, she washes her face and brushes her teeth. The dozen or so times she has stayed overnight in the past two years she picks out five books that I read to her before (Rule #1) No more discussion, lights off!
(Rule #2) In the morning we don't watch cartoons. She has plenty of that sort of thing when she is home relaxing with her parents. This morning we once again made our own entertainment. Puppet Theaters are good for this. The dolls and stuffed animals can go at it for hours creating their own animated insanity.
Today, Barbie's baby Peggy got lost and her sisters Pam and Polly couldn't find her. It seemed to end with the lost doll coming home in the dark and everyone rejoicing. There are lots of twists and turns in the dialog of dolls, so some of it gets lost on Nana. Nonetheless, our brains stay engaged and we are forced to invent and enjoy the show, even when it goes way off the trail.
Kenzie has never asked me to turn on the TV. Children enjoy having a grown-up 'play' with them. It's more of a facilitator role; someone leading them to explore the environment, to open up the world like a book. Someone to encourage them to do what comes natural to them.... jump in, use your imagination and have fun. Remember:
  • It's good to be a grandparent.
  • It's good to be super conscious of all the possibilities you can impart to a young mind.
  • It's also good that when you're tired of playing you can implement (Rule #3) ---give them back to the parents.

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