There has been a lot of talk on Facebook lately about how kids don’t just play anymore. Everyone is so preoccupied with their screen time that they don’t get outside and just play. Certainly, kids don’t play in the neighborhood the way they did when I was young. I think we manage to do a great job of balancing old-fashioned playing with modern technology around here.
Amara spent the night with us on Friday last weekend. She was very excited when she got here and couldn’t wait to tell us that she was planning to be in the school talent show! She had picked out the song she wanted to do and printed out the lyrics so she could finish memorizing them. She couldn’t wait to sing it for Grampy and me and we couldn’t wait to hear it. I can’t wait for the talent show either!
I had reminded her to bring a movie and her special sparkle markers with her when she came. A few weeks ago, we had gotten a plain white frame at Michael’s and she wanted to decorate it and send it to her Little Cousin. For two little girls who have never met they have a very special relationship. So making that frame was the next item on the agenda.
Amara slept in a little bit Saturday morning but woke up ready to make pancakes and eat bacon! This week on the menu were pink and purple pancakes. She got the batter ready, colored, and practiced singing her song some more while she waited for me to get the bacon cooking. I asked her if she was planning to sing her song solo or if she would have some kind of accompaniment. She was hoping to find just the instrumental on YouTube. “Could she look for one on her tablet?” I love that she always asks. She quickly found a Karaoke version of the song! So while I cooked more bacon she stood and serenaded me!
When we were done with our wonderful breakfast, I asked her if there was anything special she wanted to do. There was! I had told her about the tablet covers that you could make through York Photo, another online company similar to Shutterfly. “Could I make one of those so I can give Daddy back his tablet cover?”, which she had borrowed? I just happened to have a coupon for 50% off one so we agreed she could design it but that she would have to show it to her parents first. I asked her what she had planned for this cover. “Minecraft!” While she loves My Little Pony stuff, she is pretty sure she is going to be over them soon and she is pretty sure she is never going to be over Minecraft! So create she did – I love watching her navigate through web pages easily figuring out how things are done.
When it was done and saved, we headed outside to ride our bikes. I know that most of the world is freezing to death but Saturday morning it was about 73 degrees here and beautiful. We rode and chatted and decided that maybe what we needed to do was to play in the water. It was our first time in 2014. We pulled out the tubs and began filling a bunch of balloons, tie-dyed balloons. Amara would fill them; I would tie them and then throw them into the tub of water so that Amara would get splashed. We even spent some time playing balloon toss. I love my granddaughter but throwing and catching – especially catching – are not her strong suit. No matter how many times I told her to keep her eye on the balloon she would hold out her hands to catch it and the moment I let go of that balloon she would turn her head and close those eyes as tight as she could! It was hysterical but then I had witnessed this same behavior at the end of the year party!
It didn’t take much encouragement to get her to dump one of those balloons on her head so that I could take pictures of her with my phone and send them to Aunt Sandy in Michigan. That water was freezing but she would do anything to help Grandma pick on Aunt Sandy! In fact, I got her to do it many times so I could get just the right shot. Off it went by email to Michigan where it was about zero degrees and they were waist deep in snow.
She emailed me back that I could be a real brat.
At least that is what I told Amara it said!
I took a moment from giggling to pull some weeds and noticed a very long worm had come up and was crawling in the grass. This kind of thing used to happen often when Amara was little and she loved worms! She scooped it up without the least bit of squeamishness and called for Grampy to come out and see it, which of course he did. We made plans to do some Google research on worms and whether they have eyes! We decided that the worm probably didn’t like being in the bowl so she found a place to set him free and watched anxiously to make sure he was OK.
All of a sudden, I realized what time it was, her parents would be here in 20 minutes! She quickly started hurling water balloons at poor defenseless Grandma! Worse yet she grabbed the hose! I was drenched but we were sure having fun! We still had the full tub and we have a ritual for that, too! Somehow, Grampy had never been outside to witness this ritual and he has promised to video tape it for next time. It involves Amara climbing into the tub where she sings the “I’m a Little Tea Pot” song. When she gets to the end, I tip her over and pour her and all of the water out onto our grass. This is followed by much laughing.
We really did have fun just playing.