Friday, February 11, 2011

Playing 'pwetend'

I often wonder what my kids are thinking about the upcoming arrival of the baby.  I know they 'get it' in their own way; they understand that mommy's having a baby and they'll have either a baby brother, sister, or giraffe :)  I know they see my growing tummy, have watched baby dancing around on the ultrasound screen, felt baby kick and move, and kiss and rub my belly often.  We've *sort of* addressed the logistics of baby's arrival (Brynn thinks my belly button has something to do with it, Gavin believes it's my mouth--like Alien?!).  They get that the nursery is where baby will sleep, bottles are what baby uses to eat, and that baby will cry.  But do they know that baby will not leave?  Baby will be a part of the family, become another person in our family with an opinion, another person waiting their turn to talk to mommy and daddy, another person trying to fit onto our laps as we 'cuggle' and watch movies? 

I don't remember what went through my brain when my mom was pregnant with my 'baby' brother.  I don't remember what mom's belly looked like, if I talked to my brother, asked too many questions about the whole concept of pregnancy and birth.  I don't remember how I learned to understand it all, how to accept it all, how to make sense of it all.  I guess these are conversations that I should have with my mom, stories I should hear, maybe record, and tell my own kids about so I can try to relate to them a little better  (maybe in all that *spare time* I have?!).  I wish I remembered what it was like to be so innocent, so unclear on how the world really works yet so able to create my own explaination that best suited my needs, and so easily able to accept things for what they are rather than seek out a lengthy explaination.

This evening while I was getting dinner ready, the kids were playing together using their darling little imaginations because mommy refused to allow video games until later in the evening, and no TV at least until daddy arrived home.  After the tears and tantrums in response to this devastating news subsided, the wheels began turning in their brains and they found other ways to provide entertainment--noisy entertainment, but entertainment nonetheless. 

They played 'pwetend', one of my personal favorites.  I remember how many times we relied on 'pretend' to provide hours of entertainment as a child, and watch with delight as my own kids' little brains create these magical worlds in which they can be anything they want to be.  Tonight, they played 'puppy'.  Usually, one of them is the puppy (Brynn), one is the cat (Gavin), and mommy is the one that has to pet them, give them treats, feed them, and let them 'out' to pee.  This time, however, Gavin was the puppy from their daycare and Brynn was their daycare provider.  She would ask Gavin if he had to go potty, and pretend to let him out.  She'd help Gavin jump up on the couch, offer him toys and treats, and say all kinds of cute little names and sayings that I'm guessing she hears at daycare when everyone's talking to the puppy. 

After about 10 minutes of this game, they shifted gears slightly.  This time, Gavin was still a dog, however he was accompanying Brynn to the doctors appointment she had for 'her baby'.  She rubbed her belly, put her hand on her lower back, and 'waddled' around with her doggie following close by.  They went into the 'elevator' and made their way into the 'doctor's office'.  Here, they made sound effects similar to the doppler sounds they hear when we listen to baby's heartbeat, and Brynn chattered to her imaginary doctor about baby.  She left her appointment with a friendly 'see you soon', and off they went.  The whole 'appointment' lasted roughly 1 or 2 minutes, and it left me smiling at their interpretation of what goes on at the doctor's office.  Let's just hope that when I go into labor it's in an 'ideal' way for all of us...calm and low-pain for me (hey, I can dream, can't I?!), but more importantly, in a way that will not scar my poor children, thus leading to more games of 'pwetend' that will eventually cause the teachers at school to call us in to discuss things my kids have been teaching their classmates. 

In some ways, they're so 'grown up'...playing 'pwetend' from a grown up's perspective, for example.  They tell me to text their daddy if they want to know when he'll be home from work, they turn on the TV and video game without assistance from mommy, they use words like "actually" and "eventually" correctly, and just today Gavin told me he thought $10.00 was a lot of money for the flowers we saw at the grocery store.  When did he learn to read $10.00 on a sign, and when did he gain perspective on what is a 'lot' of money?!

On the other hand, they're still so incredibly little.  Their 'owies' are magically cured by mommy kisses.  They carry their 'lovies' with them for comfort.  They laugh and dance and respond to ridiculously insane television shows like Yo Gabba Gabba and Blue's Clues.  They can't pour their own milk (without giving me a mini panic attack).  They need help getting dressed (and especially picking out clothes that remotely look good together!).  Their little hands still fit perfectly in mine, and they actually want to hold hands with their mommy.  They still call me 'mommy'.

I once heard a quote that says, "You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going."  While I fear that with the arrival of this newest little family member that we'll begin to encounter more and more questions we're not quite prepared to answer, we still have a few more years until we're living up to this quote.  I'm cherishing their innocence.  Although, I find myself experiencing both joy and disappointment as they lose a little of that innocence with each passing week, month, and year.  Gavin knowing how to read $10.00 on a sign and giving his opinion about what it means, Brynn chattering on her toy cell phone to her Grammy, Grandma Conley, or Daddy about what her day has been like, or the two of them playing pretend together like they're a mommy or daddy...all of these things will be the stories that I get to tell them about someday, when they're older, when they're trying to remember what it was like to be young and innocent so they can relate to their own children better.

When did he become old enough to earn video games as rewards instead of Cheerios?

When did she become old enough to tell me to 'hold on' while she finishes her 'conversation' on her cell phone?!

He won't even acknowledge his mommy trying to document his childhood--he'll appreciate me later!

Meanwhile, this one *loves* to acknowledge the camera!

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