Today we had a randomly lovely afternoon. Miss O, tired and teething, had a long tantrum which eventually ended in her breastfeeding to sleep, so Little R and I watched some dinosaur cartoons on YouTube to avoid rousing her. Then we talked about what to do next and Little R favoured the idea of making something out of the cardboard box which was sitting by the back door, waiting to be taken out the garage. We had a quick flick through Pinterest and settled on the idea of a washing machine. We had to wait a little longer, because Miss O woke and was still tired. So I snuggled her on the sofa while Little R practised leaping off onto a pile of cushions he'd constructed.
Finally, I managed to slide her on to the sofa and the two of us crept away to the kitchen for some swift hacking. Little R chose bottle tops to be buttons while I cut a door in the front and stick-back-plasticked a window. A bit of swift colouring together, while discussing what each button should do. Quick scribbling of labels. Et voila! A washing machine!
We based these buttons on the actual buttons on the washing machine.
This "never button" was Little R's idea. You must never press it. If you do, the washing machine will explode. Obviously. However, if you open it, it allows the mud to squirt out all over the floor. Which he quite enjoyed. Love his creative mind!
Miss O woke up in time to watch Little R load the drum with all Baby Tommy and Baby Wilbur's clothes... and a woolly necklace... and some jigsaw pieces... and some miniature wooden cars. Why not? Later on, I caught him washing Baby Tommy and P Bunny in the washing machine! Nooooooo!
There followed a couple of hours of very domestic play. Nappies were changed, clothes were put on and removed again. Babies cried and were comforted (interestingly, where as Little R always used to breastfeed Baby Tommy, Baby Wilbur has a bottle of milk. I assume Miss O had latch problems ;-) )
When Little R put Baby Tommy in his PJ's, not only did he do up all the poppers, he even rolled up the cuffs so that Tommy's hands peeped out. And I heard him saying "Where have you gone? Oh, there you are... I thought I'd lost you in there!" while putting a vest on him. Tooooooo cute.
Once their washing machine had finished spewing mud all over the lounge and clonking jigsaw pieces around, the laundry needed to be hung out to dry. I found a string upstairs among my sewing stuff and grabbed the pegs from outside while depositing some REAL laundry in the garage. And Baby Tommy needed a nap, so Little R wore him in his wrap (he calls it a wrap - I'll explain one day that it's actually a mei tai.) He started off with Tommy on his front, but discovered that his head was in the way, so chose to put him on his back instead. What a pro. (I do the tying, by the way. He's not THAT professional a babywearer at 3 years old! And to make it comfortable, poor Tommy has to have his feet nearly as high as his head! Silly stiff legged doll! This does NOT constitute an ergonomic M position.)
Even Miss O wanted to get in on the babywearing action, albeit only for as long as it took to take a photo (Wilbur, being a soft-bodied doll, has a much healthier seat).
It was so spontaneous, and easy and wonderful. They were both able to take part in the role-play, because it related to things they've seen (a LOT). I loved it, because it was something new. Because the tasks were practical. And because I didn't have to roar like a dragon, or fight like an Incredible. There was a little bit of dog play later on, but I could cope with that having enjoyed this domestic bliss.
Who knew laundry and childcare could be so entertaining?