I've been listening to my blogging friend Amy when she writes about being intentional. I have longed to be more intentional, rather than reactive. Now that my health is getting back on track, I am getting more serious about it, though I'm just taking baby steps. I'm sure I read about being a "yes mama" on Melissa Wiley's blog, though I can't find the specific post now. (I have, however, spent a glorious hour clicking around her archives. Lissa is probably the first blogger I followed!) (Hmm, maybe it was Danielle Bean? No matter, though I wish I had another hour to dig through her archives, too...)
As I remember, being a "yes mama" means that instead of thinking about the mess that will be created, all the setup and cleanup that will be necessary for what will surely be approximately seven minutes of whatever activity and saying "not now" or "maybe later" ... that you say yes, and follow their lead with what they want to do.
Seven minutes of painting, sure, but really, it only takes about three minutes to set it up and two minutes to clean it up (provided there wasn't an oopsie accident, and Goose is really quite careful).
I have been slowly accumulating various art and craft supplies on clearance, from garage sales, at thrift stores, and I'm now realizing that it doesn't make sense to keep saving them for a rainy day - especially when I tend to be a "not now" mama on rainy days, too. So, I pulled them all together and put them in a set of plastic drawers now located in the kitchen:
Yup, stepping around Goose, who was using stencils and colored pencils in the middle of the floor was kind of a pain, and she needed help pulling up and re-taping stencils, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that bad. Plus she really, really enjoyed it. I also discovered that when I am more willing to say yes, she is also more willing to say yes when it is time to clean up (especially if we talk about it beforehand.)
Something that got me to thinking about all this again was when she brought me one of her books and said "can I do dat, Mama?"
I know that if I want HER to be creative, I need to demonstrate creativity myself. So, I said "sure!" and hopped up to make it happen. I was wishing that I'd picked up some crepe paper streamers that I see at thrift stores all the time, but I hadn't done so. (That has since been remedied!) So we got a ribbon from her dress up trunk and some masking tape. I taped the ribbon across the doorway, and showed her how to "ready, set, GO!" and run through to break the ribbon, just like in the picture.
Sure, I had to say "ready, set, GO!" (and then cheer her on) approximately eleventy hundred times, but I showed her how to tape the ribbon back up so she didn't need my physical help until the tape got too crinkled, then I just got her another piece.
As I'm typing this out, it seems so simple. But I hope it represents a shift in my thinking and how I make decisions as a mama. Here's to being intentional!