We decided to take outdoor projects more seriously this year. Yesterday we began to take action by having a ‘by the water’ clean up day. We raked and pruned and cleared dead sticks and logs into two heaping piles to be burned. Being outdoors gave Liv a chance to use her beloved pocket knife. This pocket knife should feel very loved as it was desperately desired for months before it finally made its way into our home. After a trip to my sisters farm, and seeing her cousin prepared and equipped with his pocket knife, ready to help out at a moments notice with any cutting or whatever handy thing needed done that required a pocket knife, my five-year-old began to find herself desperately in need of her very own pocket knife. After much thought and conversations about what a five year old not loving on a farm would do with her very own pocket knife, and still unsure about the idea of having our five year old
running around ‘equipped’ with a pocket knife, we finally gifted her with a ‘childrens’ Leatherman. We impressed the importance of being responsible with her gift, never leave it around the house, only use it with adult supervision, and more warnings of the like. The knife sat, unused but loved in a dresser, in her room, until yesterday. We gave her the important job of cutting off stray branches on logs. Not a task that needed to be done necessarily, but a task that required… yes, a pocket knife. For over an hour she sawed a way at various branches, rejoicing each time she broke through a branch. We are so very happy for Liv and her now useful pocket knife.
Once her hands were sore, and she saw the meaninglessness of her given task, the playing with mud commenced. A game of ‘ wild orphans’ was quickly orchestrated. Whenever my kids are bored, I suggest playing orphans or homeless children, mostly because in such a game you cannot have an adult, therefore I am never asked to play a role (It was also my favourite game as a kid). It is always entertaining listening to how they have decided to find themselves without parents. Yesterday, they were dropped into the woods, Liv– who wanted to keep her shoes on– imagined that her mom loved her so much, that when she abandoned her baby in the wild, left her with an endless supply of shoes, because she cared to much about her. Silvy– who wanted to be a more authentic wild child and took her shoes off– could not role with this story line because, her mother, who also abandoned her in the wild, cared about her too, even though she was left no shoes. I didn’t get to hear how they compromised the shoe issue but getting to overhear what I did was great fun. Mud food was prepared, mud was applied to their faces as a camouflage for predators, and the story continued until they decided they were not in-fact children of wild, but children in need of a bath and dinner. Thus ended our great day outside.