“See! This is fun right?” I looked at my four-year-old who was struggling with the arms of a shirt that were inside-out. I was attempting our first “folding clothes” party complete with Disney music and three full loads surrounding us on the floor. My two-year-old was working on the washcloths in between her sporadic jumps and leaps through the air. This is actually working, I thought to myself. We continued to fold for a few more minutes until my two-year-old lost interest entirely and refused to stay in the room. Then my four-year-old started to whine because she felt that she was given the most difficult things to fold. She sealed her unwillingness to fold anymore with a puckered lower lip and tightly folded arms. After feeling frustrated and defeated for a moment, I remembered that I had pulled out my camera at the beginning of the party to capture this fleeting moment of folding fun. I smiled to myself as I continued to fold alone. At least I had snapped the picture before the storm.
There are times when we plan a fun activity and it doesn’t always turn out fun. I recently took my girls out for ice cream, just for fun, and decided to take a picture to remember this time together. Literally a minute later, both girls were fighting over the last few bites in the shared cup, flinging bits of ice cream all over themselves and the table. As I carried my hysterical two-year-old out the door with my angry four-year-old in tow, I reminded myself that one day this would be a fun story to tell. And besides that I had captured the calm before the storm, once again, in my camera and in my mind before the popcorn started shooting at me from all sides.
I hope to be more prepared each day to snatch the fun out of our daily activities. I found a definition of “fun” in a magazine that said, “Fun is an activity too often pushed aside for homework and lost-shoe hunting.” I beg to differ: fun can be found even in the simple and mundane. In fact, that seems to be when we need to find it the most.
QUESTION: What have been some small but fun times you have had with your family recently? What do you do to help create simple yet fun moments with the children?
CHALLENGE: Look for the fun in your daily routine. Recognize the small moments; capture them in your heart, camera or journal. Share them in the comments section for other moms to enjoy!