My sons love to play outside.  They do not love to play together.  The rule is very firm for the five year old.  The baby cries, and his outside time is over.  As much as possible, they rotate play spaces.

My daughter does not love to play outside.  She is not particularly fond of sticky heat and blood sucking bugs.  She does not appreciate her need for fresh air or sunlight.  She plays outside until the timer in my hand beeps, and for every time she approaches me to whine about it, another minute gets tacked on.  She tries to be a good sport about it, and sometimes even misses the beep, she becomes so engrossed in play.

All three of them wind up outside at the same time today, a particularly hot and mosquito ridden day.  Within minutes, I am escorting Jack back to the door, to wait for another turn just for himself later.  Samantha watches.

A few minutes later, she appears by my elbow, and quietly, hopefully asks, “Mama.  If I make the baby cry, do I have to go inside?”

Advertisements