Joanna Hast Been Found!
5th October 2014
Stop looking. Joanna was found this morning. Sophie recovered her from Peppa Pig’s house.
Sadly, Joanna’s hair – the only part of her that we had last week – is now missing. Oh well, them’s the breaks I guess; one of the challenges of being a gal with removable parts.
I can’t say I’m surprised that Joanna went missing in the first place. My kids never play with their toys in a methodical way. They don’t play with one thing at a time. They don’t seem to see their toys as discrete sets; dolls, car, instruments, puzzles. All they see are ‘toys’ and they play with them collectively like that too. At any given moment, Barbie has a watch strapped around her midriff and is sitting in a tambourine while four Zelfs and a Care Bear watch from the safety of the Little People boat.
And their play isn’t limited to their own toys. Anything in our house can be utilised in the name of play. Tupperware, teaspoons, pegs, placemats, tin cans, brooms, face washers, saucepans, toilet paper (no that’s not a typo I don’t mean toilet rolls, I mean toilet paper), rope, rocks, leaves – you name it, they’ll play with it. That’s why when you try to sit on my lounge you might have to move a frypan, a rolling pin, half a dozen seashells and six pink face washers. Oh and when you do try and move said items, the three-year-old is likely to crack the shits with you because you’re moving the special island she just made for teddy and sixty of his closest stuffed toy friends. Instead of using the clothes that came with their dolls, unique white outfits are fashioned from tissues until the box is empty and our lounge room looks like someone from Kleenex stopped by to show us several hundred samples.
They love to make toys too. And I blame this on pre-school, where every single recyclable carton that I diligently sorted and threw responsibly into my yellow-lidded wheelie bin somehow boomerangs back to me in the form of a rocket/robot/tram/donkey/mailbox. (I’m willing to lay bets that the recycle truck doesn’t go to the tip, it just goes to local day cares/ pre-schools and childcare centres and dumps the stuff straight into their creativity cupboard.) These toys are made using just 400km of sticky tape and fifty staples that don’t quite fold down making the constructed piece both awkward and dangerous. Here’s a crocodile called Mia, who’s currently just lurking around our lounge room (notice torn up card for food):
My girls will play at any time, in any place too. Our wardrobe is a favourite, because it can be made pitch black by closing the door. The other morning as I slipped my foot into the dark depths of my ugg boot, I was met with the sharp, cold sensation of a My Little Pony Unicorn that had apparently been hiding there overnight. They also love playing in the bathroom too and it doesn’t matter that a grown adult is in there trying to enjoy a shower or take a dump. I seriously mean anywhere anytime; they play in the car, lining up at the bank, in the supermarket, while they ride their bikes, when they’re at the beach, in the bath, while they’re (meant to be) eating dinner – it’s constant. I read once that play is like a child’s work. Based on this, my kids are workaholics.
I know it’s wonderful that they’re using their imagination and being creative. I understand that they are exploring their world and engaging in communication. And *blush* I know that genetically, much of that has probably come from me. But seriously, the way they play sometimes DRIVES ME CRAZY. It’s annoying having to trawl through the Magic Sand just to find a teaspoon to stir my cuppa.
When I’m cooking dinner I just want to open the drawer and find the saucepan, I don’t want to have to move ten Little People and sixteen sticky notes. And why oh why is there a large lump of grey (aka every colour mixed together) Play Doh sitting in my pantry? The first time I saw it, I thought it was a dead rat. And while we’re asking why – what’s with the sticker in the freezer? On asking the six-year-old, she told me it’s in there: “Just to see what happens to it.” (I can tell her the answer now – Daddy throws it in the bin, that’s what happens to it.)
So, the moment Joanna was found, what was the first thing the six-year-old said?
“I think we should put her in a jar.”
So the three-year-old did.