Things are changing in the Butler household. My Em is now 7 years old and in the last few weeks or so I've noticed I'm not needed so much at play time when she's around. It seems my years of hard work focussed on encouraging play have truly paid off and Em now runs around finding resources and coming up with play ideas for her and her brother that are above and beyond anything I'm capable of.
As regular readers of this blog would know, I've always put a lot of thought and effort into my children's play. I think about how I organise their toys, what toys they have accessible to them, what other props I can add, what they're interests are and how they like to play. I set up play scenes to stimulate learning and creativity. I love to listen in on their little play scenarios and think about things I can add or bring into their play so they can benefit from what they are doing even more.
I keep checking in on their play as I always have but where I used to offer ideas or help find materials, Em has it all under control now and I find myself hanging around on the outskirts, marvelling at the ideas they've come up with, but a little bit sad that I'm not included as much any more.
Though a part of me longs for the days I was in there with my sleeves pulled up, feeding off their creativity and ideas to make a play scenario bigger and better, I am bursting with pride at the creative, play-loving little girl my daughter has become.
All of those years of fostering interests, collecting resources, encouraging independent play and negotiating arguments have finally meant I can have a few peaceful hours to myself without lifting a single finger. Bliss!! Now I just have to work on the packing up ...........