Thursday, May 17, 2012

A space for Anjali

Most of the room that patti used to stay in and which we usually keep for guests, is overridden with toys - so much so that if anyone needs to sleep there, they need to move the mountain of plushies and then settle in.

The room also has boxes of sensor materials, busy bags, old walkers, trays with stationary etc. However, it is still not conducively furnished for a child's space.

Since the girls use the living room a lot, I always wanted to set up a personal nook in the living room for the girls to play in, hide in, settle in, when they needed some time. It was also supposed to serve as a reading space, a space that they could decorate for themselves without having to work around the adult defined constraints that a living space had. Some of the ideas we tried before, all with different levels of success included setting a play nook under the table, a newspaper hut, a makeshift table tent. At one time, we hanged the Dora Blanket upside down where the swing usually is and tied its end to a could of chairs.

Anjali had been asking for several days that she wanted to sleep in a tent in the living room. We do it sometime in the weekends as a fun alternative to playtijme, and I always told her that we would do it in the weekends. But weekends always brought other things and the girls wouldnt have slept in the afternoons and neither husband nor I had much energy to put up a tent.

We finally got around to putting up a tent for Anjali on Monday night. It occupied all the living room. Serious. Between the tent and the dining table and the guinea pig cage, there was no room for us to walk in the house. Remember that our tent was purchased for beach camping and accomodates 8 grown people. Husband had bought it in anticipation of the days when we would go camping with three kids - or so he says

So Anjali slept in the tent.  and we took it down on Tuesday morning.  She dragged the bean bag chair inside and slept on it. Sophia complained that it was too stuffy and left the tent in a minute for the bedroom (she has been doing that every day since)

And on Tuesday we were doing some thing in the kitchen and Anjali said, out of the blue

"And that reminds me... we have to set up the tent soon"

What reminded her?

Jokes aside- husband put up the tent again on Tuesday night and the bean bag chair went in, along with a milk carton on top of which Anjali arranged very lovingly a small mirror, a hair brush and two rubber bands

On Wednesday morning, we took the tent down again, along with the box, hair brush, rubber bands etc.

I understood that Anjali wanted her own space. But how could we fit this monstrosity of a tent and leave it open through the day if it ate up all our floor space?

Anjali and husband brainstormed on Wednesday evening. They shifted the dining table and got themselves a space for the tent in a corner of the house

 The bean bag chair went in too
  And if you look carefully, you will see that the cardboard box made it too, along with the mirror, hairbrush and whatnots.

Here is Sophia lounging in the tent before it got too stuffy for her.

And, feeling rather like a mum sending her daughter off to college, I gave Anjali knick knacks for room decoration - a table cloth from bunica (Anjali was so happy about receiving an heirloom) for putting over her dressing (box) table to hold her mirror hiarbrush and the you get the drift and a drawing that said "Anajli's room, Welcome" for her to hang over the tent.  I wanted to do a "Anjali's room, keep out" sign, but decided that there was time enough for it, hopefully another ten years or so and that she could make it herself.

Anjali drew a portrait to hang on the wall - a girl wearing a skirt with long hair - which I later learnt was me. Sophia, in true Sophia style, made a collage, which was wet ang gluey when finished and Anjali let it to dry overnight. She also plocked her guitar in

We looked around.

"You need books and a book shelf" I said. And promised to make her one as soon as possible. *hint. next project*

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