It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Better parenting through Inertia

“Mary, Noah is running in the house!”

“I see that Emily.” I scoop Noah as he pounds by me. “But you know what? Today is such a rainy day, we won’t be going outside.”

We won’t. Not if the current level of inundation continues. The rain provides a humming, drumming white noise, makes a greyish sheen in the air, slooshes off my porch roof not in rivulets but in sheets. Pouring, it is.

“If we stay inside all day, we’ll need to have a good, long, noisy, running-around playtime.” I’m informing her, but I’m also bracing myself. It’s cute as all get-out, when they go all rowdy, but lordy, it is LOUD. (“Pitter-patter of little feet”, my ar… eye.)

ZZZ3Emily’s face goes still. She’s not quite buying into what I’m saying. I’m not sure why.

“We can play Sleeping Bunnies. We’ll do butterflies, too.” Emily loves being a butterfly.

ZZZ3She stares at me, waiting.

“…and Popcorn,”


“…and Smelly Skunk.”

ZZZ3This kid has impassive down cold. Made of stone, she is, and whatever it is she’s after, I’m not delivering. One last try.

“Or would you rather make an obstacle course?”

ZZZ3Geez. Now she’s not even blinking, and me, I’m tapped out. No more ideas.

Okay, then. Two can play at this game. I stare at her. Expectant. Waiting.


And… Emily’s face regains animation. Her lips part. “Or maybe we could do a craft!

Of course! The Emiliphant never forgets. Rainy days are Craft Days. Rowdy play is all well and good, but gluesticks and glitter are the pinnacle of Good Times.

And all I had to do to solve that little mystery was stop being so damned helpful.

June 9, 2009 - Posted by | crafts, Emily, individuality, parenting


  1. Ooh, how do you play Smelly Skunk?

    Comment by Meg | June 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. I’ve always been fond of the school of ‘benign neglect’, within reason … 😉

    Comment by Darcy's Mum | June 9, 2009 | Reply

  3. We’re the same over here–it’s crafts and building galore! Today they preferred fine motor activities, but as the rain continues I’m sure they’ll be ready for some raucous gross motor play. We’re expecting rain all week…bah!

    Comment by Clementine | June 9, 2009 | Reply

  4. This perked me up. I need to do a craft, too.

    Comment by bridgett | June 9, 2009 | Reply

  5. I too have found that sometimes I need to just shut my trap … er … be patient and let the child speak. (Of course, sometimes said child just looks at me and says “What”?)

    Comment by BookMama | June 9, 2009 | Reply

  6. It takes work to impress a toddler sometimes.LOL You’ve been tagged on my blog- if you can find a free minute!

    Comment by Coley Moley!!! | June 11, 2009 | Reply

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