Whilst my eldest daughter H was at her class camp last week, I had a plea from my youngest to make a camp cushion for her too and she wanted it right away! I finished it just before H came back from camping at the farm; exhausted but exhilarated by the experience.
For three days, my youngest daughter C had the experience of an only child and although she missed her sister, especially at night, she also enjoyed having her parents all to herself. We let her decide what we ate and what she wanted to do after Kindergarten; a rare treat for this sweet girl.
On the first day, she asked to watch a film with me ( something we rarely do ) and when Daddy came home we went out to eat fish and chips on the beach ( something we try to do at least twice over the summer – a little tradition we started many years ago ). Her older sister doesn’t like chips that much ( in fact she is a very healthy eater), but it was a lovely treat for C and having our undivided attention was a real bonus.
On the second day, she wanted to play board games and eat noodles ( another thing her sister isn’t too keen on). She surprised us with a special dessert she prepared in secret!
Apples with cream, granola and a strawberry with some strawberry milk ( milk with smooched strawberries that she strained).
And on the last day, we made gluten free pizza and pan toasted seeds with tamari. Yum!
These are her favourite foods ( she isn’t such a healthy eater!). I think it really meant a lot to C to make a few decisions – which you don’t get to do much of when you are the youngest!
I can see how important it is for children to make some decisions for themselves now and then, especially as they get older ( Steiner recommended that very young children – before six – shouldn’t be asked to make any decisions as it ‘wakes them’ prematurely from their dreamlike state – more about that another time). It is empowering for them and they feel heard and valued. As someone whose parents made all the decisions and disempowered me at every step of the way ( perhaps unintentionally ), I find myself quite stressed out when making even simple decisions! I think it would have definitely helped to practise this growing up…
When H came back from camp it was challenging for both girls to adapt. They both find transitions difficult as they are highly sensitive : H was really upset that camp life was over and everything seemed so mundane and routine to her and C also struggled to adapt after enjoying having the house and us to herself for a few days and not always being told what to do by her sister ( this book says it all!).
Things have settled down now but it’s certainly not as quiet here anymore!! 🙂