For professional photography sessions please visit www.redtentphotography.com

The Green Sheep

“Mummy, watch me!” she says. I barely look up before telling her no, not now, I’m busy. One minute later, she’s back. “Read Peppa Pig, Mummy?” she asks. Ella, not now, I say. I’m busy, okay? I look up and watch her lips tighten across her face, like a drawstring someone is pulling the sides of. Okay, she says, and slips away.

The truth is, I wasn’t busy. I was bored. And saying no meant that I was saving myself from the impossibly tedious task of finding out where exactly on God’s green earth the green sheep could possibly be. Here’s a tip, sister. He’s asleep. He’s ASLEEP. Beside a bush. Just like he always is. He is ALWAYS ASLEEP BESIDE A BUSH.

Playing with my kids doesn’t come naturally to me. Well, it does for the first four minutes until the Rule of Thirds sets in. Anything repeated more than three times is an indicator for my insides to curl in upon themselves and start dry-retching into a corner. Repetitious play is painful. It’s worse than sitting through English comedy.

And yet, there is something that doesn’t feel nice about turning her away so often, so dismissively. She goes to bed at night and as I re-live the day, I feel uncomfortable about the way I’ve remained in my world and dismissed hers. Because what I really think is that she doesn’t care. She doesn’t care where the green sheep is. She knows. She knows where he is. She doesn’t care what she builds with her lego or what she’s going to paint. She doesn’t care if she has a stick or a hundred-dollar flashing, talking, singing, dancing, cart-wheeling fairy dishing out free ice cream (okay, she’d probably care about that). The point is, what she cares about is me. What she wants is me. To engage in her world. To validate her. To get down at her level and say Honey, I’m here. I see you. Let us be together.

It’s unrealistic to engage in child’s play every second of every day. Lord knows, when you’re playing hide-and-seek with a two-year old who is sitting opposite you but covering her head with a towel, the ‘seek’ bit of the game becomes somewhat dull. But this week, I’ve been experimenting with Just Five Minutes. Just Five Minutes of genuine, focused, enthusiastic, and fully engaged play. And, ironically, those five minutes have led to ten and then twenty minutes. Because by making the commitment to play, for once I am in my daughter’s world. And when I’m there, I see her so differently.

It’s up to me to make space in my mind and my day to fully engage in play with my children. It is the language they speak. The currency they stockpile in their I Am Loved bank accounts. But more than that, it is a chance to see them for who they are – not who or what or how you would like them to be – and that, that, is the gift.

_MG_5916

_MG_5840

Some happy moments of play this week, in between finding the goddamn Green Sheep and burying the bloody thing under the washing pile. Because, you know, there was that, too.

Painting gone wild.

_MG_5729

_MG_5739

 

Makin’ cubby houses. When in doubt, always make cubby houses.

_MG_5937

_MG_5970

 

Home-made iceblocks from juiced pineapples.

_MG_5744

_MG_5754

_MG_5948

_MG_5954

 

Playground sessions – the surest cure for witching hour this side of Disneyland.

_MG_5901

_MG_5845

_MG_5886

_MG_5854

_MG_5925

And another trick I learned this week? Add one new play activity to your week. Like bath fishing. Keeps an adult’s creative mind pulsing.

_MG_5773

One stick, one coat hanger and a handful of pipe cleaners is all you need. You’ll be a hit for days.

_MG_5780

_MG_5769

And in honour of all things happy, some more shiny moments from our week.

Spending time with Oma.

_MG_5668

_MG_5686

_MG_5691

Baby toes.

_MG_5798The after school special. I.e. hanging out waiting for fish and chips while being simultaneously mesmerized by big kids who have clocked off from school.

_MG_5807

 

Possibly her newest favourite pastime.

_MG_5815

 

Beach sunsets with friends.

_MG_6243

_MG_6257

_MG_6248

_MG_6264

Where we snuck in a little photography session of my friend and her beautiful family. “Baby Stella” and “Daddy Dean” a.k.a “Daddy Beans” were added to Ella’s list of Favourite Things.

_MG_6227

More coming soon Mummy Thea! xo

Also, I’m loving this snippet from Elizabeth Gilbert during Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend.

“I’m going to say something really weird and it’s going to surprise you,” she begins. “I’m going to speak out for a second against passion.”

Gilbert takes a breath and continues. “You spend a lot of your life having people tell you to follow your passion. It’s nice advice, it’s heart-warming advice, it’s great advice — if you happen to have one that is very clear and obvious,” she says.

But what happens if you don’t have an easily identifiable passion? Hearing the advice to follow it often leaves you with more frustration than you started with.

“Sometimes it feels cruel and all it does is make you feel even worse and more left out, because you’re like, ‘I would if I knew what it was!'” Gilbert says. “If you’re in that position right now… forget about passion.”

Instead, she suggests following something much more attainable. “Follow yourcuriosity,” Gilbert says. “Passion is rare; passion is a one-night-stand. Passion is hot, it burns. Every day, you can’t access that.”

Even though she describes herself as a passionate person, Gilbert insists she doesn’t feel passionate every, single day. What she does feel, though, is curiosity.

“Follow it,” she says. “It might lead you to your passion or it might not. You might get nothing out of it at all except a beautiful, long life where all you did was follow your gorgeous curiosity. And that should be enough too.”

You can watch the video here.

 

A quick Friday Photo Dump to end. (theredtent on Instagram if you want to follow the feed)

IMG_5268[1]

Happy Friday Sisters! Cart-wheelin’ into the weekend…here we come. See you back here soon!

xo

_MG_5842

2 Responses to “The Green Sheep”

  1. ezzwheadon

    Where’s The Green Sheep was my daughter’s favourite book. She recently turfed out all of her old picture books but kept that one because of the memories of me reading it to her. It’s funny because I remember the same thing….the monotony of telling that story again and again. But in the end, 12 years later, all she remembers are those moments when I found that damn sheep before she went to sleep every night. They don’t forget. 🙂

    Reply
    • The Red Tent

      Thanks love. Needed this perspective. It’s actually one of my favourite books to read to her, and the ridiculous thing is that I’m going to miss it when she’s all grown up and onto cooler things than reading with her mum. Mem Fox rocks.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: