Monday, February 11, 2013

The Fort of Oz

This past week has been "Operation No TV" in my house, and while the boys don't generally watch much television during the day when I have other kids in my house, I do frequently put on one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Curious George episode while I put my youngest charge to sleep for her morning nap.  I have found it to be a much better alternative to three yelling, stomping boys circling outside her door in an angry frenzy until I emerge and inevitably return to her room for attempt #2 after their noisy outbursts. 

But I didn't have the baby last week, so I resolved to shut off the programs and try some extra physical and creative activities to fill the day.

The Play-Doh party was well-received, but short lived as soon as Cael's realized he wasn't as experienced a sculptor as he had hoped.

The obstacle course was just plain bad foreshadowing on my part.  The couch cushions and my ear drums are still in recovery.

But the jumbo fort-- the one I constructed from all of our vinyl pop-up tents and blankets-- was the ticket.  The boys could barely hold still as I contructed it, itching to wriggle beneath the blankets and into the various rooms it contained. 

I wish I could say that the fort lasted as long as it took me to construct, but the boys must have been reenacting the twister scene from "The Wizard of Oz", because within seconds there were blankets and pillows flying through the air, and the entire structure came down with a whoosh

No witches were harmed.

So we started again.  I "fortified" the tents with strategically placed furniture junctures and a bungee cord.  I used two tents in place of one and arranged items beneath the fort ceiling to keep the roof aloft.

The tin man Graham staked his claim on the "attic room" while the scarecrow Cael thought it best to remain close to the exit in case of another collapse. 

But this time, my efforts paid off.  The fort held strong for an hour while the kids tunneled in and out, dumping toys inside and imagining my efforts to be a cave, a tee-pee or a ocean liner.  And by the time the fort drooped to the floor, the sun was down and the day was done.

"See, wasn't that fun?  You didn't even miss the TV!"

"You're right, Mom.  But now it's time for your iPad.  Please?"

Back on the yellow brick road...

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.