Monday, November 8, 2010

Choosing Rest

This morning, my little Kiddo was hankering to get his adventure on. "Mama, I want to go to the zoo today" he announced over breakfast.

My first inclination was to agree, then reality set in. Of course I'd love to take Kiddo to the zoo; on rainy days like this, there are less visitors, which I like much better. But I'm back to work teaching tomorrow and there's a lot to be done today to prep preschool. Vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, making sure the last bits of prep are done so that all our activities for the week are ready to go. Add to this the daily demands of meals (lunch, two snacks and dinner await), dishes, laundry, GusKitty care, and a few phone calls-- suddenly my day of possibility looks whittled down to some pockets of time I'll be able to sit down and play with Kiddo.

So, I said no to the zoo, and now Kiddo's playing in the container drawer. He's constructed a fancy fountain from a bowl, plate, food mill parts and the lid from a thermos. "That's my water fountain that sprays out. I need to put a little more cranking into the fountain. Urrchh. Urrchh. Urrchh." He's talking to himself, figuring out how all these disparate pieces might fit together. "I think it goes with that" he declares, shoving a plastic spice bottle into the bottom of the food mill, then explaining the path the water will travel.

There's something to be said for zoo adventures, but I see he's creating his own world here on the kitchen floor. If I'd chosen an outing, we'd be in full swing right now; I'd be exhorting him to get dressed already and trying to maneuver myself into the shower, then hastily throw some sort of lunch together. Instead, he's getting a chance to play at his own pace, to explore how all the pieces of the thermos screw together and to create his own stories. (He's brought the thermos to our little kitchen now, to "pack lunch" with our wooden carrots and bananas.) Sometimes saying 'yes' is great, but I think for today, saying 'no' is better. Taking a 'down day' at home before we kick off our respective preschool weeks will give us more breathing room throughout the days activities and provide a time to relax. I'm still off to take a shower, but I think it will be a long one I'll enjoy, not rushed as it usually is. Good to stop and rest sometimes.