Creativity, re-imagined…

I’ve made an unforgivable mistake: I rescued a train using a dinosaur tail.

The other evening my son came into the living room to fetch me, explaining that his beloved green train was trapped beneath a chair. He was quite agitated about it all, so I put down my sewing and rushed into the children’s bedroom. The floor was covered in a carefully constructed scene of trains, figurines, bridges and tunnels. I got down and peered under the chair – indeed, there was Percy, funnel to the floor, coal cart askew…he was “trapped” in the far reaches of the room.

I must add here that the actions that followed seemed completely logical to me at the time, and I feel certain that, had I not been (quite literally) struck in the head, I most likely would have repeated them in the future.

My son’s frenzy was rising and I was feeling the pressure to rescue his friend as quickly as I could. I sidled up to the chair and stretched my arm as far as it could possibly go. I slithered on my tummy, swatting at the air: I simply couldn’t reach. I am not the tallest of women and so this is never surprising for me; I’m forever corralling chairs and other precarious bits of furniture to stand on, muttering under my breath about the ridiculous limitations of height. My daughter shouted, “You need something longer to help you! Get a stick, Rescue Mama!”

I turned around, my eyes scanning the room for something I could use to help me. A dinosaur! A velociraptor with a long, curved tail would be just the thing to hook the coal cart, rescue Percy and put an end to my son’s misery. I grabbed the dinosaur by the head and swung it around wildly under the chair. The tail worked like a dream. Percy was free!

WHACK! I had been struck in the head. My two-year-old was furious. Tears were streaming down his face and he was stomping his feet, looking to strike again.

“Mama! You don’t understand! Mama doesn’t listen. Mama! Mama!” WHACK!

This was madness. His most favourite train was stuck under a chair and I had rescued it. Peace and tranquility had been restored in the world and we could all continue having a fun evening. What was I not comprehending?

As I threw my arms around him and kissed his tears away, I realised I needed to assume a toddler’s point of view. My son had asked me for my help and of course, I was earnestly prepared to help him. But my error was in entering the make-believe world, bashing about and not remembering that his imagination provides something that is very real to him. Even his rough and tumble dinosaur, who frankly is usually quite aggressive in the world of make-believe, needed to be treated in a certain way. It was clear to me now.  In many ways, coping mechanisms are difficult not only for toddlers who are building their communication skills, but also for adults. Our responses to situations become increasingly automatic and it seems we can skip directly from A to C without batting an eye, forgetting that B is essential in the process.

Indeed there are many friends circulating around our cozy house, from ponies and giraffes, dinosaurs and trains, to bunnies, lions and even sock monkeys. We have now gotten to the point where I am making accessories, food items, Easter baskets and all matter of things for my children’s stuffies and dolls. A request from my daughter led me to design the little bunny and carrot playset that you see below, and I will be making this a permanent item in the shop.

This little bunny can be fully customised for a boy or a girl…satin ribbon suspenders, accent ribbons, hearts and colour of trousers can all be varied as well as the colour of the bunny itself. This particular bunny is for a girl (more specifically, it’s a friend for Rutabaga the Bunny, the most important stuffed animal in our house), but the ribbon detail can most certainly be removed for a boy. Like the bunny, the carrot is made of Eco-fi & wool felt, hand-stitched with cotton embroidery thread and filled with organic lambs’ wool batting.

And just a reminder: *GRAND OPENING* will be this Sunday, Mother’s Day! Please remember to visit Niko & Nonnie at http://www.etsy.com/shop/NikoandNonnie

I will be listing a variety of items in the shop for the opening and adding new stock weekly. We are also very nearly at the magic number on FB for businesses. Thank you to everyone who went online and showed their support.

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