Saturday, March 25, 2006

Aspiring To Be The Cat in the Hat

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was, of course, The Cat in the Hat. The rhyming, the wonderful illustrations, and especially the mischievous Cat who helps the kids of the story have so much fun when their mother is out. All of that was very appealing to me as a child.

So of course we have the book on one of our bookshelves, and I've read it to the kids a dozen or so times. One day, when my oldest was about five or six, he said "Mom, you're more like the Cat in the Hat than the mother in the story. Our house is always fun!"

Now I'll make it clear that I can't juggle live fish and I don't think we've ever tried to fly a kite in the house (though I wouldn't put it past anyone), my children aren't quite like Thing1 and Thing2, and I most unfortunately don't have a three-handled, moss-covered family credenza that can clean up the entire house in three minutes flat (anyone who has a line on where to buy one can please email me immediately). But I do know about having fun, and our house has always been a place where we don't have to sit around just because it is cold and rainy outside. There's always something to do. We've ridden basket lids down our stairs on days that we would really love to go sledding but there's no snow, made an incredibly messy and only partially successful attempt at baking and frosting our own petit fours when my son loved the ones at the bakery so much that he wanted to make some himself, created obstacle courses in the house, camped out in a tent in the living room, learned to juggle (with balls, not fish, mind you), created a space station out of boxes, bounced from trampoline to bed and back again. And of course all the usual stuff: movies, games, puzzles, books, puppets, toys, etc.

Anne Ohman, an unschooling mom whom I really admire has made up bumper stickers with her quote: "How can I connect with my children today, expand their worlds, bring joy into their lives, nurture and encourage what they love to do?" That is such a wonderful and world-expanding idea that I printed it out to carry with me, along with one of her other mantras: "Choose Joy".

Yes, choose joy, and a life so wonderful that your kids don't really understand why the kids in The Cat in the Hat could possibly not have anything to do if they were at home - the greatest place on earth.

1 comment:

I LUV CATS said...

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