Two Thursdays ago we were in the middle of a stretch of very little sleep. On Monday night Emily and Nathan both got up at least a half dozen times. By 4am we were counting down the hours for the night to end. Tuesday night both kids didn’t go to bed until around 11pm, instead of 6:30. I don’t remember much of Wednesday night, but by Thursday afternoon I was exhausted.
After getting Emily out of bed and handing her a muffin for a snack, I came up with this great idea for us to play a game called Getting Ready to Go! I figured we could practice getting on our coats, hats and shoes and then practice putting them all away so that Emily could learn how to be a little more independent. We got all excited and then realized that Emily couldn’t reach her coat off the coat rack and therefore we were stuck at square one. Not a great way to play a game.
We did a little problem solving and realized we needed a coat rack that was Emily’s size. I didn’t want to spend a cent or leave the house so we headed upstairs to the office to see what random supplies we had. I almost suggested to Emily that we pull out the computer and look for some ideas but then changed my mind because I wanted to really use my brain and own creative thoughts. We found a few metal coat hangers and a scrap piece of wood leftover from making Emily’s toddler bed and got to work bending.
Emily and I pulled out the tools and perfected our design through some trial and error of hanging Emily’s coats on our homemade hooks. With dinnertime approaching (and then bedtime!!! we made it through another zombie day!) we left our coatrack in the office with promises of hanging it in the morning.
The next morning after Andrew left for class, Emily and I grabbed two nails, the level, hammer, stud finder, drill, and Emily’s bag of tools that Andrew 3D printed for her. We found the studs and measured corresponding places on the coat rack and drilled some holes to hang on the nails. We hammered the nails in and hung up our final product. I was so proud of us doing this project completely by ourselves and it looked awesome…until Andrew knocked it off the wall 24 hours later. He kindly helped fix it by putting screws in the wall to strengthen the design.
I forgot how good it feels to work with metal and wood and use some creative juices. It is exactly what my soul needed to wake up and feel joy and get out of the too tired to truly function rut. I also love making our home a space for the whole family – toddlers included. One where we can all be our best selves and contribute because the place lends itself to that. Once the coatrack was in place we didn’t need to play our Getting Ready to Go! game; Emily automatically starting getting her own coat and putting it away (and making piles with her coats all over the living room as an additional daily activity).
I still get giddy thinking about our efforts and looking at our final product.
Emily making a heart with her compass and running in circles around it while I took the coat rack pictures and Nathan watching the action.