Here is the post about the hand puppets I promised!

Well, I must admit, I wouldn’t buy them if I saw them in a craft fair, but since my kids and I made them together, they are priceless!  They actually look kind of cute too!

When we originally started this project I had two objectives in mind:  The first one was to bond with them while having fun; and secondly, to stimulate their imagination.  I think I accomplished both, but I also walked away learning something about the both of them.

Lonely unpaired socks -- ready to join the puppet circus.

Aria, who is four years old, actually sat for an hour and worked on her puppets, which she named Emily and Angie.  I didn’t think she had it in her to stay so focused on any one particular task!  She was very particular about the colors and the buttons for her puppets, and she was very clear about not putting any fabric on them.  We went through a number of buttons and ribbons until she found the right ones.   Perhaps she might have a flare for the arts someday?

Buttons, ribbons, hearts, and flowers. Oh the possibilities!

My son Nicolas also expressed interest in making the puppets, but he wanted more masculine colors.   Although his attention span was not as long as Aria’s, he did put in 40 minutes of work.

Later that day, while we were playing with our puppets, Nick pretended his puppets were his friends at school.   As the puppets “chatted away,” I used the opportunity to discuss social etiquette and manners.  One thing that seemed sensitive to Nick was the subject of bullying.   As we have done numerous times before, only this time with puppets, we reviewed the steps on what he needed to do if he found himself being bullied by others.  At the end of our puppet role play, Nick became very quiet and said,” Mommy, I don’t like school sometimes.  The kids who make fun of me used to be my friends.”   Tears started to well up in his eyes and he looked away.   My heart broke into a million pieces and I just hugged him.  Sometimes as parents we need to let our kids experience pain.  That is a part of life, but I find myself wanting to save him from every little catastrophe that comes with childhood.

As my husband and I continue to teach our children to speak up for themselves and fend off bullies, I have found that one of the ways to ease these kinds of situations is to maintain open communication between teachers and principals, sharing with them our concerns and finding solutions together.  It isn’t always easy, but we mustn’t remain silent.

That evening, my son wanted me to tuck him in bed.  As I pulled the covers over him, he kissed me and said, “Mama, I love you.”   Then he gave me a wink.  As I walked out of the room, I thanked God I had another day and another chance to share the joys and tribulations of life with my children.

Can you guess which one(s) Aria made and which one(s) Nicholas made?

By the way, where in the world did he learn how to wink??

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