Thursday, July 23, 2015

Busy bags

Whenever we go to a family party, or really anywhere that isn't aimed at kids, we pack a "busy bag" for Genevieve. The busy bag has evolved over time, starting with books and Latches Board, and a couple of toys; now, it's a coloring book, cars, books, and sometimes a special toy. It's also usually in a Frozen tote bag.

We started packing the busy bag when she was about a year old, and in the last couple of years, it has become Genevieve's job to pack her own busy bag. As the family has grown, we have had to have conversations with Genevieve about packing the busy bag with sharing in mind- because, let's face it: playing with someone else's toys is way more fun than playing with your own.

Genevieve has - previously - been more than happy to pack a busy bag for herself. However, part of being three years old is pushing boundaries, establishing your independence, and for Genevieve, announcing that she is a Grownup. (Whatever that means. I'm still not entirely certain that *I* am a Grownup.)

This came up the other day, we were getting ready to go to a friend's party, and I told Genevieve that she needed to pack herself a busy bag.

"I'm a grownup," she informed me.
"Grownups have busy bags. What do I always have in my busy bag?" I asked her.
"Knitting," she answered, turning to pack her bag.

One of many busy bags.

Someday she'll realize that not all Grownups knit, and that they don't all have busy bags, but until then, I'll continue to pack my busy bag. To teach by example.**

**That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

30 years, give or take

When Mom was pregnant with KidBrother Sam, we took a family trip to Solvang. While on that trip, Mom bought me a stuffed Applause pig (which I only remember because of the tag), whom I named Perfect, after the world's darkest children's book (which was also a favorite).

Memorable, right?

Perfect was my favorite stuffed animal, who I slept with every night until Andrew and I got married. Despite being booted out of the bed, Perfect was relocated to a place of honor on top of my dresser.

We talk about "special toys" with Genevieve a lot, mostly so that she understands that when she's playing with other people's things, she needs to be extra careful with them. She, too, has Special Toys, but yesterday's Special Toy may not be today's Special Toy. (Ah, being three years old.)

At some point, Genevieve asked if she could snuggle with Perfect. This was fine with me. After a week of asking to snuggle with Perfect, Genevieve said, "I would like a pig just like Perfect to be MY special toy."

"I'll see what I can do," I said.

We don't buy toys for Genevieve all willy-nilly, but after she fell asleep I thought to myself, "I wonder if I *could* find another pig like this one."

So, off I went to Google and I searched "Applause stuffed pig" under image search, and lo and behold, there was a 1985 Applause pig- who looked JUST like perfect, brand new (tags, but obviously not "brand new", since it was from 1985), and for sale for a completely reasonable price on eBay.

So, like any person would do (at 3am, because you have strange pregnancy-related-middle-of-the-night-insomnia), I hit "Buy it Now!" and anxiously awaited the new pig's arrival.

Perfect, left. Genevieve the Pig, right.
When I opened the terrifying packaging, I was very surprised to see the difference between the New Pig (later, named "Genevieve the Pig" (again, see "Three Years Old")), and my much older, very well-loved Perfect. (Aside: does anyone else get upset when stuffed animals are STUFFED into a plastic bag without air? I may never outgrow this particular bugaboo.)

A little threadbare. Short one tail, due to an unfortunate incident with my aunt's black lab (when I was 11 years old). A bit faded.


After 30 years (or so), I suppose we all grow a little threadbare, with some damage (and battle scars) from our life experiences. But it doesn't make us any less special.

If one is good, then two is better.