When Blanket Tents Were Magical & Windows Were The Moon

It’s no secret that a child’s imagination and ability to indulge in fantasy worlds are often superior to that of a jaded grown-up’s.  Yesterday, I got the opportunity to flex my creativity in a last-ditch effort to salvage my sanity, which was fading fast.

While working from home, my children fought CONSTANTLY from the moment my older son got home from his half-day at school.  “Mommy, <older son> hit me!” followed by, “Well, he annoyed me!”  Soon after trailed by, “Mooooommmmmm (spoken in two syllables) <younger son> took my toy!” then answered by whining, “He wouldn’t let me play, and I wanted to!”

It would be four hours until my husband got home.  I had to transport my mind somewhere else before I lost it forever.  I closed my eyes and remembered my younger son’s morning playtime.  Hunkered down with his stuffed kitty (aptly named, “Kitty”) in his magical tent made of chairs and blankets, they devised a plan to fight off a bear that waited outside.  He typed stuff in his computer (Lite Brite) by the light of the moon (window above our door.)  Finally, he and Kitty came out and after a fierce fight, they defeated the bear.

Kitty resting after a tough fight

I opened my eyes and felt a hint of a smile on my face.  I breathed deeply and exhaled slowly, allowing the calm to flow through me.  I got back to work, only to be interrupted ten minutes later with the tell-tale signs of sibling discord (screaming, whining, arguing, sounds of scuffling, and then crying).  Time for plan B.

I channeled my inner drill-sergeant and got them moving.  In no time, they were picking up toys (“Anything left on the floor will be given away!”), cleaning bathrooms (“That toothpaste better be scrubbed off the cabinet!”), and dusting tabletops (“Whoever has the dirtiest cloth wins!”)  Meanwhile, I released my pent-up frustration into vacuuming the floors.  Back and forth I went over the carpet and tile until the frown lines creasing my forehead smoothed out and my frustration didn’t feel like it would burst through my skin.  By the time we were done, all of us were too tired to argue.  Peace at last.

On occasion, I have mourned the loss of my childhood imagination but, on this day, my goal-driven adult creativity ruled.  And with that, my sanity will live to be tested see another day.

Have a magical weekend!

Which would you rather have:  a child’s fantasy-driven imagination, or an adult’s goal-driven creativity? 

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23 thoughts on “When Blanket Tents Were Magical & Windows Were The Moon

  1. SuziCate February 18, 2011 / 7:14 AM

    I was thinking last night about all the fun and creative ways my sister and I entertained ourselves growing up. Tents were one of the things we loved and so did my own children….yes, I’d get in the tents with them (as long as I fit!) Oh, the simple joy of life through childrens eyes!

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2011 / 8:04 PM

      I used to love dressing up in frilly dresses, pretending to be a princess; complete with those plastic high heeled shoes. The tents were fun, too. As an adult, I don’t get into the pretend play much, but if I can sneak it in, I like to take notes 🙂

  2. duke1959 February 18, 2011 / 7:16 AM

    It is fun to look back and see some of the things you did.

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2011 / 8:05 PM

      Imagination does seem to be more alive in our youth 🙂

  3. domermom February 18, 2011 / 8:26 AM

    This takes me back — my son loved it when we’d place a blanket over a couple of chairs and make a cave! There’s something so womb-like in a cozy place, a place where you can hide from the world. Perhaps even adults need tents?!

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2011 / 8:11 PM

      Tents are cozy and warm. I wish I had a tent to crawl into – no husband or children allowed 🙂 Now THAT’S an idea!

  4. Aligaeta February 18, 2011 / 8:39 AM

    Do I have to choose? I want both : )

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2011 / 8:13 PM

      Maybe you can have it all, Aligaeta 🙂

  5. nrhatch February 18, 2011 / 9:37 AM

    Janna, you rock! You could give Nanny McPhee a run for the money . . . even without taking possession of her magic stick:

    “I channeled my inner drill-sergeant and got them moving. In no time, they were picking up toys (“Anything left on the floor will be given away!”), cleaning bathrooms (“That toothpaste better be scrubbed off the cabinet!”), and dusting tabletops (“Whoever has the dirtiest cloth wins!”)”

    Well done!

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2011 / 8:15 PM

      Ooooh, if I had a magic stick that would be SO cool!!!

      Thanks for your supportive comment. They didn’t like me barking orders at them, but with the hours of arguing I endured, I think they earned it 🙂

  6. Carol Ann Hoel February 18, 2011 / 10:04 AM

    I want both. 🙂 You have both. Blessings, Janna…

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2011 / 8:20 PM

      You think I have both, Carol? I thought my child-like imagination left me years ago, but thank you!

      Like Aligaeta, you should have them both 🙂

  7. Tori Nelson February 18, 2011 / 1:56 PM

    Haha! You are a genius. Tired kids AND a clean house? Brilliant.
    I think I’d love a ballance of both: imagination to feel inspired, goal-driven creativity to make something from that inspiration!
    Great post!

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2011 / 8:21 PM

      I’d like to think I was a genius, but I think I just got lucky! But I know just because it worked once doesn’t mean it will work again 🙂

      I like the balance of imagination and creativity; sounds like a beautiful goal to me.

  8. Widdershins February 18, 2011 / 3:02 PM

    Vacuuming … great for anger management and stress release, and if it’s loud enough, no-one can be heard above the noise.

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2011 / 8:25 PM

      You’ve accurately named two great benefits of vacuuming, Widdershins. Another great thing is that the floors look so clean when I’m done 🙂

  9. Artswebshow February 19, 2011 / 9:17 AM

    Ha ha mad times.
    It was like that in my home growing up. lol
    I’d like to think that my creativity has a balance between the two

    • jannatwrites February 19, 2011 / 8:45 PM

      I’d say my sons fight during about 90% of the time they are together, so I will say that’s the cause of my insanity 😉 I think your imagination/creativity is a good mix!

  10. clarbojahn February 19, 2011 / 7:04 PM

    I’d like both too, please.
    After my husband died and I was a single mom, I’d make a chores list with nine to do’s on them. Each person got three chores. I usually picked the bathroom. The other chores were geared toward younger hands, but a lot got done. If you do it right the whole house can be cleaned with nine chores.

    • jannatwrites February 19, 2011 / 8:50 PM

      That’s great, Clar! I think kids should participate in housework. My kids have always had little chores to do, but they’re getting old enough where they are getting more difficult tasks. The problem for me is that it’s a lot neater and the jobs get done better if I do them. It’s an effort to resist the urge because they need to learn 🙂

  11. Brown Eyed Mystic February 19, 2011 / 8:06 PM

    “Whoever has the dirtiest cloth wins!”

    LOVED IT especially!

    -BrownEyed

    • jannatwrites February 19, 2011 / 8:51 PM

      Thanks, BrownEyed. Good thing they were satisfied with bragging rights because I didn’t have anything to give the winner 🙂

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