Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Kids Need Their Own Space
I had the happy experience of a computer video chat with my son on Sunday morning. What made this chat especially important was that he's been working in Japan for two years, so I cherish any chance to see his face. He had been on a trip to Tokyo with friends to see an Eric Clapton concert. It's always nice to hear that he's back safely from one of his adventures. He's really broadened his horizons as a 20-something. I remember him, as a two-year old, sitting in a box; a box that was his "reading box."
When the two oldest boys were little, we, like most young couples were in a starter house with limited space. Justin and Blake were only twenty one months apart in age and shared a bedroom with bunk beds. They spent everyday playing together and have always been very close. But, one day when Justin was about three, I noticed that he was taking his favorite books up to the top bunk and moving the ladder so Blake could not join him. Blake, of coarse was standing at the bottom looking mournful and wailing at the injustice! The point? That's when I realized that even two and three- year-olds need their space sometimes.
My very cheap solution to this problem was to go to a store and get two large box bottoms (like the bottom of a fridge box) and cut them down to a six inch depth. This is enough height to define the space, yet shallow enough for little ones to climb over. Use a permanent marker to put their name on the box, or tape a picture of them on the box. Have the child use crayons to decorate the sides or inside of their "Book Box." It gives them a sense of ownership, and an understanding that each of them must respect the other's space.
My boys still wanted to spend most of their time playing together, but I can't tell you how much they enjoyed their "book boxes." Sometimes I would find Teddy Ruxpin (Justin's favorite bear) sitting in his box. Blake, the youngest, just loved having his own space and the power to tell Justin that he couldn't enter!
Now, Blake has his own space in Japan, and I have to view it over the internet. My, how times have changed for this mom! Enjoy your little ones while you can.