Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rainy Days and Soccer Balls

Strange things float up and down the Hudson (bodies not excluded), and one of Daddy's latest finds was a decent soccer ball. I'd been considering what kind of ball to get the girls since they enjoy playing ball with other kids at the playground-- lacrosse, basketball, you name it. So Ryan fished out this soccer ball and it was settled. He was planning to clean it up nicely before we played with it, so it was sitting on the pier for a day. One of our neighbors has this nice big dog he sometimes walks out to our end of C pier, and apparently the dog ate the ball. It was no big loss since we paid nothing for it and hadn't even played with it yet, but the same neighbor showed up the next day (before I had even noticed the ball was missing), carrying a brand new regulation soccer ball for us!  Completely unnecessary for him do so. Ryan even told him our ball was a river find, but this guy's really nice and admitted he was looking for an excuse to go to the new Modell's on Amsterdam. I'll just keep saying it: New Yorkers are really, really nice!

This brings me to a common question people ask: So what do you do when it rains?
Well, we don't get wet, if that's what you mean. We stay below and entertain ourselves the best we can, just like people in apartments and houses do. There have been a number of thunderstorms lately, so we've been put to the test. Right now, Ryan and the girls are playing with the brand new soccer ball in our main salon. Mariana has separation anxiety when she doesn't have the ball, but she's learning. :-) The kids also like to swing off of the table, play hide and seek on our bed, play "elevator" in Mariana's room (with the door closed, it feels like you're in an elevator), Halina will "read" to Mariana, and they do their dance routines on top of the sitting room table when it's in the "down" position without the cushion. They also like quieter activities like coloring with crayons, playing with Play-dough, and listening to tapes. Just like any other toddlers, right? They even run around on the boat. There's no substitute for running around outside, but there's plenty to do on rainy days that will wear them out. I don't think our challenges are really any different from apartment dwellers. The key is to stay involved with them so they don't get bored or frustrated.

I hope I don't sound too defensive in how I describe our lifestyle with our kids. Not everyone is critical of us, so that's not necessary. I think, however, that many people are curious and at first think that this is an impossible way of life. I'm here to explain how we do it, how we deal with the challenges, and share the rewards we reap of being in a close-knit space with our children. There are hundreds of ways to raise kids, and no one way is right for everyone. This is just what's working for us right now, and I hope you enjoy reading about it!