Quiet Fun for a Tired Dolly

Willow has been in school now for a couple of weeks and while she’s spent the past year at a full-day pre-school, this is a new transition for her and the changes have left her a little quieter and a little more tired in the evenings. I’ve been trying to keep things low-key in the evenings for that reason and not rushing us off to classes, trying to squeeze in errands, etc. It’s hard for me to slow down, especially given that I have a fairly active social life and am involved in many things, but I know that it’s best for her so I do. I sit with her and I create moments for us that are quiet and precious.

The other day, after picking Willow up after school and struggling to get her to want to leave school, we came home and my neighbour was sitting outside. She’s incredible and friendly and awesome and she said to Willow, “Hold on a minute, I got something for you!” She went inside and came back out with a tea party set (Melissa & Doug for those wondering!), which made her light up and made me so happy — not because my child was getting another toy, because Lord knows she doesn’t need any more toys, but because she needed the little perk-me-up after a long day and a struggle to come home. It was the perfect thing.

Once inside, the new tea party set gave me an idea. Instead of the traditional supper, I would set out trays and little plates of finger food. I had her help me set out place mats and colorful napkins and we poured apple juice into the tea pot and prepared ourselves for a royal tea party. She even switched out of her school clothes and into the dress of her choice — the little leopard number you see below. It was quiet yet exciting. It was a moment I won’t forget and one that she talked about as she drifted off to sleep that night.

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Tonight, we went out for Chinese food (because sometimes, I just don’t feel like cooking!) and I promised her that we could go to the Dollar Store and finally get the modelling clay she’s been asking me for (this is what happens when your child starts junior kindergarten – she starts desiring school supplies that the school has and the bucket of PlayDough in her play room is no longer sufficient…).

While there, I grabbed some other things that we could use with the clay to build and create with and when we got home, we laid it all out and had fun creating and making. These quiet activities are perfect and tonight was the first night since she started school where I could really just see her decompress and melt into relaxation.

If you have children, do you find the transition from summer to school difficult? How long does it normally take them to adjust?

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