This morning my almost three year old found the “pupcake” pan.
Well, it was empty and therefore needing filling, and what better way to complete that task than to find a bunch of little things to sort into the empty cups!
We decided on rocks, as we have a large amount of them currently in what we are calling our backyard (that is all rock).
Bugs and I went out on a hunt for the most interesting, most lovely, most colorable rocks. A few minutes later, she had a basket (actually it was Kevin’s nest – Kevin is her most favorite bird) full of “interesting treasure” to sort into the 18 or so cups awaiting her attention.
Two hours later, still interested in this activity, she decided to put all the rocks on the floor and declare the pan’s need to be empty, from there on, and for the rest of the day. “It’s tired of the treasure rocks”, she explained.
Another 30 minutes or so, and about 1/2 dozen “oh!”, “ouch!”, and “yeeeawww’s!” later, I asked Bugs to clean up the rocks and told her that I’d help, and that my feet and knees just couldn’t take it anymore. She was watching Oswald (the blue octopus) and sorta half way acknowledged me.
I muted the tv and asked her to tell me what she’d heard me communicate. “Your knees and my treasure don’t have enough room for each other in this spot.”
A moment or two later, I knelt down next to where she was standing and started to pick up a few of the rocks. As I began, I said, “Bugs, are you going to help me pick up these rocks?”
“Yep!”, she chirped, while dropping to the floor to begin gathering.
We made it a game of “Bugs has amazing spy eyes that can see little, teeny rocks MUCH better than Mama;s eyes can”, and she found quite a few I missed, in fact.
Through this experience, she was able to become aware of the value of cleaning up after scattering the rocks everywhere. She learned she has a great eye for noticing little things. She also remembered that when she focuses on something, she succeeds at what she intends to accomplish.
She was happy to see the rocks had returned to their homes and felt no disappointment at the dismantling of her collection (is this encouraging a respect for the environment, at a very early and simple level?).
Win, Win, and Win. Can’t beat that.
The pan survived, and that’s a light house rock, by the way.