I think I've got a plan of attack for overcast days. Usually I'm dark and grumpy on days like today. I feel lost and the kids and I seem to be disconnected. Yesterday I knew this and so I planned for it.
I cut out three pairs of butterfly wings from black construction paper. I then cut out holes so that the kids could glue coloured tissue paper on one side for a stained glass effect. I knew my niece would want to play school so I printed out some 'B' copy work pages for her and Harry. Catherine might want to play along too so I printed out an adjective-butterfly activity thingee for her. I piled them up on a clean kitchen table (remember, the kids can't make a productive mess unless there's a clean canvas) and then went to bed.
Catherine noticed the pile in the morning. She picked up the wings and asked what they were for. I explained the craft to her and asked if she wanted to try it. Of course she did! The little ones followed and it wasn't long before the kitchen table was a mess of glue and tissue paper.
Harry was the first to lose interest. Butterflies were interesting but boats were better and so we dug around until we found a Styrofoam container he could float in a bucket of water. The cuisenaire rods became passengers but were soon evicted because floating boats isn't half as fun as constructing ramps over the bucket and jumping Hot Wheels cars across.
I sat down with Catherine and my niece and worked on Harry's butterfly. It was so nice. I just let go of the reins and talked and had fun.
Catherine's butterfly took some neat turns from the expected craft and then was abandoned as Catherine decided she's much rather create silhouettes of animals, decorate them with the tissue paper and hang them in a mobile. I said that sounded like a great idea and kept out of her way. The girl that can't seem to find a book that's sitting in front of her without asking me then decided to use Google Images to find some silhouettes (something she's seen me do but never tried herself) she could print off. All by herself without asking one question.
So I kept out of her way more.
My niece was the persistant one. She worked on her butterfly until it was finished. It took her forever. It made a huge mess. Her finished butterfly was beautiful.
Catherine finally decided she'd found enough silhouettes for the day and noticed the adjective worksheet. She sat down, drew a picture of a butterfly and wrote 8 imaginative adjectives to describe her picture. The spelling was completely wonky and I asked her if she wanted me to correct it but she said no. She said she did want to work on her spelling but in a different way. She even outlined a bit of a plan that I'll try out with her tommorrow. But I won't take it over and I won't push.
For lunch Catherine suggested bananas. Fried bananas. I chucked out my plans, heated some butter in a pan and fried up some bananas. Harry thought there should be chocolate and I added that since the whipping cream container would make an excellent boat, maybe we should use up what was left. He though that was a good idea and helped me whip the cream. We had fried bananas with chocolate chips and whipped cream for lunch. I was the only one who liked the bananas but everyone was happy.
Right now I have to go because we planted some acorns about 6 weeks ago and now have little trees in need of repotting. But damn, I feel like it's been one of the most plugged in and concious days I've had with my kids for quite some time.