So, as I blogged yesterday, my focus this week is on encouraging a rhythm to our days. That rhythm I see as basically encouraging alternating ‘coming together’ and ‘doing your own thing’ times.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s PS, the attachlings all gathered to play with modeling clay while I typed. I hadn’t said anything about my intentions. They just came.

After the boys had made sculptures that they are drying for painting, everyone moved off to doing their own thing for a while….building with legos, playing on the computer, watching a DVD, whatever….while I tidied from breakfast and knitted a bit.

About mid-morning, when they started to annoy one another again (which seems to be the ‘signal’ that someone is ready for together-time but not achieving it well) I gathered my supplies for the next coming-together-time.

I brought out 3 small coffee cans with lids. These are prevalent in our apartment. They are what we have on the mantel to organize the markers, pencils, scissors, etc. And we have a new one every week, since this is Papa Chris’ favorite coffee from Trader Joe’s.

We cut pieces of construction paper for decorating them, and then cut slits in the plastic lids, and then cut out hundreds of hearts.

As the boys decorated the various hearts, I explained that there would be a can for each of the three of them and that anyone could decide to add a heart to a siblings’ can at anytime. They could write a message on the heart if they wished; ‘thanks’ or ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m proud of you,’ etc.

I thought Nic would really love this project and that Theo would come and go. He’s a very energetic child who doesn’t stay on one thing very long, after all. But it turned out that Nic’s response was rather lukewarm and Theo’s was enthusiastic. Nic wanted to know what they won if they had the most hearts. Grrrhh.

But Theo, my sweet little, sparkplug, big-hearted Theo…he loved it. He giggled with great glee with every heart he decorated. Then he’d run to the other side of the table and put it in Whinnie or Nic’s can and say, “That’s because I LOVE Nic or Whinnie.” Even after Nic and Whinnie wandered off, Theo continued decorating hearts. 🙂

Next we had lunch. After Theo ate, and while his siblings were still eating, he came back to the table, decorated more hearts, delivered them to cans, and told me all about how much he loves his siblings.

During Whinnie’s nap, Nic and Theo played on the computer together…and amazingly, didn’t squabble….much.

After nap, we read some together, played some independently, came together at the craft table again and created there, and then Nic read comic books and I read to Whinnie while Theo continued creating.

There was more modeling clay creating. More reading. Listening to good music. And through it all, knitting.

After dinner Papa Chris opened the ‘mail cans’ as Theo named them, and explored all the different mini-artworks contained therein.

Then bath (did I mention that Whinnie loves to color on herself with the washable markers?) and bedtime. Ah, long day, time to breath.

Today? Not sure yet. But as long as I work on the alternating times of togetherness and solitude, I think it will work out well.