Frances is rearranging the house.
She's in a completely new place, a place where she's big enough to reach things, to push up chairs and open cabinits and pour juice and put valves in sippy cups and even change Clark's diaper. She gets down paper and crayons and sissors whenever she wants, puts tortilla chips in cups for herself and Clark, adds bendy straws to her beverage. She can dress herself in the morning, can put on all her snow stuff and be out the door while I'm still wrestling Clark into the first leg of his snowpants.
I think it's all this capability that has made her so much more at home in herself. She now goes for two hours off in her own world: rehearsing her own play, making a book complete with story and pirate/dinosaur pictures for Clark, building a babydoll apartment. Rearranging the furniture. It's crazy to me.
When I pick her up from school she moans and groans about how she wants a playdate playdate playdate, and Bridget and Maia get to have a playdate and she wants one. Then we get home and she's through the door and she doesn't speak one word to me for two hours, off in her own world. Sometimes she comes to ask me how she can make a divingboard for her pollypocket's loaf pan swimming pool. But other than that, she's on her own. FINALLY my no-tv-on-school-days rule is paying off. Damn did it take a while, but she doesn't even ask for it anymore. She's learned how to entertain herself very well.
All of this makes me think I shouldn't be so hard on myself. Often (as is the case with many educated, careered, american, slightly older moms such as myself) I put so much pressure on myself to always be doing enriching things with the kids, to be organizing craft activities, or .... or .... or I don't know what all. Things. That I'm supposed to be doing. But Frances's recent creations are completely without my input. I don't even suggest them to her. The other day I found her in the kitchen cutting out people she'd drawn on paper. They were paperdolls, she told me. She'd already created a house (brick) out of paper with a door that opened and closed. She made them shirts and pants and pillows and blankets and beds, and I seriously don't know where any of it came from.
But the house rearranging... I don't know about all that. Rugs from upstairs and suddenly decorating the kitchen, armchairs and lamps and sidetables crowded together on the other side of the room to create some new little space with some specific purpose, a purpose that is abandoned when I call for dinner. Then I'm the one who eventually moves the furniture back. That part needs to change.
Anyway, it's a new place for her. It's a much more settled place for her, and I like it.