How to Give Your Kids a Wonderful, Special, Extraordinary Day

I have a problem with over-scheduling my children. I mean well, I really do. I want them to enjoy free play and explore their creativity. But they get their creative minds from me. And I always have something brewing. "Girls, there's a concert at the library this afternoon. We can go after lunch!" I announced this brilliant plan early one Saturday morning, shortly after a friend dropped off her own two daughters to spend the day with us. Four girls, eight hours, immeasurable bundles of energy — surely it was my job to manage all this. And I was determined to do it well.

"Okay," they called back from the play room where they were already immersed in an action-packed game of doll hospital.

A few hours later, the girls were still playing — everything from restaurant to house to veterinary clinic. Their sweet imaginations were spilling out over every inch of our play room, and they were all so very happy.

Happy enough, in fact, that they decided they didn't want to interrupt their play time to go to the library concert.

Whaaat? No concert?! But I was the mom in charge! It was my job to provide enrichment! Instantly I became gripped with guilt over the idea of letting an entire day slip by without orchestrating some fantastic agenda for my girls and their friends. What would their mother think? She had entrusted her children to my care! I had to make it SPECIAL!

"But it's Tom Pease!" I tried reasoning with them. "You love Tom Pease! He has the belly button song, remember?"

"Yeah..." my older daughter explained, "but I'm the mom and Lexi is the baby and Olivia is the teenager and we still have to go grocery shopping before we play school. We're pretending we have school tomorrow, which is after lunch."

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