With great focus they collect bowls and fill them with water.
Then, they collect an armload of (alas, clean) dish towels, and the hand-soap pump from the bathroom and carry it all outside and ‘do laundry’ for hours.
They painstakingly soak and wash each dishtowel and hang them out one by one along the fence; a pretty line of double-clean laundry. Their golden hair wisps about in the sunny breeze, and Tucker and Snowy talk like old-timers about all the newsy tidbits of their day, happily preoccupied with their work.
This play is their work for the day, it is their education. Imitation-play is the occupation of young children; it is their natural process of learning and developing. It is far from rigid, busywork at a table… it is touching the stuff of life and applying imagination to the process.
After cleaning up their own mess (mostly), they will likely come in and draw together, lots of letters and words are included in their pictures these days, though neither is really reading yet. They will eat a snack and put their peach pits in the compost when they are done.
They will argue.
They will ask a million questions.
They will drive me nuts.
They will make me belly laugh.
They will force me to pause and wonder in awe at their simple brilliance and profound faith.
They will ask me to read stories, and I will read the same ones over and over again. They will help me wash dishes and we will sing songs together as they splash water and bubbles all over the chair and counter and floor, and I pretend not to notice the mess.
I just keep chopping up the sweet potatoes for dinner.
They will open a bakery with play dough and bake me a cake on the deck. The play dough will be filled with sticks and maybe an honorary dead bug.
They will hunt down every cherry tomato in the garden, and chase the kittens, and ride their bikes, and listen to an audio story, and swing on the swings, and draw on the driveway with chalk.
They will ask a million more questions.
Then, I will fill their bellies with hearty food, give them a bath and daddy will sing them to sleep.
Tomorrow, they will do it all again: learning to live, one ‘play’ at a time.