In our new schedule Sunday is supposed to be the day for art, music and poetry. We didn't get to that today. It was Open Farm Day in Nova Scotia so that meant that part of the day would be taken up by a trip to a local farm. Since I'm only 6 weeks from a baby just the thought of that outing was tiring to me so I came up with an alternative Sunday activity for this week.
I pulled out a little wood puzzle-sculpture kit (Purchased several years ago at a dollar store), put it out on the table and then told the kids they were to put it together by themselves. They had to work as a team and my husband and I would not be giving them any help. Harry seemed eager but Catherine gave me a bit of that tired, "do I have to?" teenager attitude. Didn't matter, they had to do it. When each had the carbonated beverage of their choice, they started working.
Catherine did most of the construction. When she realized I wasn't going to jump in after a few complaints that Harry wasn't helping she found a way for him to be more involved by getting him to find the next pieces she'd need. Her attitude changed from a bit sullen to engaged and polite, especially with her brother.
Soon enough, they were finished.
With the dinosaur done we went off to Open Farm day. I forgot my camera so I have no pictures but they had a fairly good time. The farm we choose was a vinyard that had hired a bouncy castle, brought in some local farm animals and tradespeople and even some absolutely gorgeous but almost unbelievably huge Percherons for wagon rides. When Harry got out of the bouncy castle and needed help with his sneakers, Catherine bent down and helped him. When I made a sarcastic remark about Catherine, Harry stepped in and defended her.
When we got home they pulled out Harry's Star Wars toys and spent the next hour playing together.
I'm calling the Sunday Challenge a success on several levels. Not only did it give me some quiet time, it gave the kids a challenge they had to sort out on their own and seemed to set the tone for a day of sibling fun.
Next week I'm thinking of dragging out the pizza boxes we've been hoarding, handing them over and telling them to construct the giant dice Harry has been wanting to make for some time.