A long time ago (in relative terms) Benjamin started playing “tent” with his Grandma. They would climb into “her” bed (the guest bed at our house) and pull the covers over their heads. They’d bring a flashlight, and lots of toys, and sometimes books to read, too. Benjamin LOVES this game — it’s one of the first games he ever played, and he plays it enthusiastically with anyone who will participate.
He hasn’t gotten much chance to play for a while. He played it when my mom came to visit, and when Dan’s parents came (they’ve been trained to play, too). Dan and I will play with him from time to time, but it’s a tough game to play with one parent and two children in a bed — too much chance of someone toppling out onto the wood floor. So, it’s most often reserved for when one of the grandparents visits, or when we have some one on one play time with B (which doesn’t happen as often as I wish it would — and when it does, it is usually spent on trips to the park or other outdoor endeavors).
Today, Benjamin was pretty heartbroken at the idea of going to school. On the way, I was trying to think of something for him to look forward to in the afternoon — something to think about other than the two hours of school ahead of him. It’s rainy and cold today in Vienna, and all the fun activities I could think of are outside things: going to the park, blowing bubbles on the terrace, coloring with sidewalk chalk . . . I was stuck. But then, I thought of playing tent! So, I propsed the idea to him. He was delighted. He was still pretty sad about having to go to school, but every time I reminded him that after school, we’d go home, make a tent on the couch, get a flashlight and some books and play in the tent, he’d brighten up a bit.
It turned out that he had a great day at school: he played, he did arts and crafts, he had a snack (lots of grapes and lots of cake). After school, we came home, had a “snack” (otherwise known as lunch, but if I call it lunch, he won’t eat it), took a nap. And after nap time, we got out a sheet and built a tent in our living room. We got the flashlight, collected some books and toys, rounded up Liam, and all climbed into our couch tent (which is much more manageable than the tent in the bed). Benjamin and Liam had a wonderful time, and so did I. It was my favorite part of my whole day.