Yes. Yes we did play with rocks.

The thing about spending all day with toddlers is that you really have to be flexible. You have to think on your feet.

The key to happiness in a house with toddlers is to constantly focus on novelty.

Got it?

If it’s new, it’s fun.

So when you come to a day like yesterday, a Friday in the dead of winter, you have to be creative. When poor Nonni is aching from head to toe with a cracked rib, she has to think outside the proverbial box.

I was tired. Ellie and Johnny were fighting off a mystery virus that had left them without appetites or energy.

We were all cranky and bored. We didn’t want our usual pile of toys, our usual favorite books. We didn’t want to make pancakes (any of us.) . What was a Nonni to do with two weepy, crabby babies on a frigid day in a suddenly shrinking house?

I reached for my rocks, that’s what I did. Did I have a creative science lesson mind?

No, I did not.

Was there some level of preplanning involved?

Nuh, uh.

What Nonni did was this: Clutching my ice pack to my painful right side, I opened my hutch and pulled out the first thing my hand found.

rocks in bowl

“Oh, look!” I chirped joyfully. “Stones! River stones and ocean stones!”

Both kids approached with wide eyes. They each reached out a hand.

Two minutes later, they were at the coffee table with my rock pile, a few cups, a couple of plastic bowls and some wooden spoons.

For the next two hours (I am not kidding), they were completely engaged in stirring, frying, serving and pouring out my nice round stones.

I sat in my glider, on my ice pack, waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in.

Lesson learned:

When in doubt as a momma/daddy/grampy/grammy/daycare provider: grab something new.

New is the magic answer.


We may not look like much, but trust us……we’re new.



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