The other day, the kids were whiny and hot. I looked out on the porch and noticed an old Rubbermaid container that I had emptied in one of my recent purges. It was waiting for its next home, or maybe for me to find its lid.
Rubbermaid container + water + bath toys = over an hour of happy play.
They poured, they dunked, they floated, they splashed.
Silas told Petra the story about “all the animals on God’s boat,” acting it out with his tugboat and a giraffe toy from a yard sale.
Silas pretended to pour tea with his star stacking cups and some plastic Easter eggs. My mom let him watch (part of?) Mary Poppins the last time he stayed with her, and he’s spent the past several days pretending that he is Michael, Petra is Jane, and I’m Mary Poppins (JC has to be Mr. Banks; he does not get to be Bert). So this tea-play felt very British indeed: “Would you like some tea, Mary Poppins? Michael is offering tea to her. Michael is pouring Mary Poppins tea and it’s in a blue cup.”
I couldn’t help thinking of the ten thousand beautiful, thematic, color-coordinated, photogenic, and otherwise perfect water table activities on Pinterest. Mine is sure not “Pin-worthy,” but would my kids have enjoyed it any more if it were? I don’t really think so. The internet is great and it gives us wonderful ways to connect to other people, but it also gives everyone a curated persona, which sometimes isn’t the best thing. It’s easy to fall into a trap of feeling not good enough. The prevailing aesthetic purports to be DIY and individualistic, but, frankly, it’s not. One swallow tattoo is an expression of a personality. Everyone in Brooklyn having one is a fad. I’m never going to be the mom who makes buntings for every holiday. My home will never be “shabby chic.”
I think my kids will get over it.