I wrote this post originally for the September Carnival of Natural Parenting - on the role of play in diffusing "situations" with your little ones. Due to a variety of circumstances I didn't get the post up in time, but I'd like to share it now, as a timely reminder of the importance of "play" in ALL our lives and not just for the benefit of the young 'uns.
|Tea Party for One|
A few weeks ago Father Earthly and I were having a pretty major spat over everything and nothing in particular. Months of sleep starvation combined with a multitude of other stresses, from financial to social, resulted in the Mother of all arguments - the likes of which have not been seen in the Earthly household for some 6 years or so.
Each of us had retreated into our own little worlds, silent and seething, whilst the kids became ever-more subdued in their playing in the next room ('room' being given here with artistic licence as we have an open plan boat!). Feeling utterly wretched, I removed myself to the 'bathroom', where I sat on the toilet and cried quietly to myself. The next thing I know, boy Earthly has arrived by my side, carrying a cup from his new tea set, which he offers out to me and gently (and so very cutely) asks for a cuddle whilst wrapping his arms round me.
After our cuddle and cup of play tea, he toddled off into the next room and announced to his dad: "Mummy's crying". He likes to repeat phrases so Father Earthly had it well and truly drummed into him that I was sobbing my heart out in the next room, before he changed tack with the normal lightning toddler-speed and embarked on his next mission, which was to find Thomas (the train).
We can learn so much from our kids, if we allow them to teach us. By the time we'd found Thomas, all was well again in the Earthly household and I felt truly and thoroughly warmed by my cup of tea and cuddle :-)