That Boy Around the Corner

Liam(5) is growing up. It became quite obvious this past week when a boy around the corner discovered how to ring our door bell and ask for Liam to play. On Sunday afternoon, Cage rang our door three times in 2 hours. The 2 hours that we spent eating lunch and resting. (Liam doesn't nap most days, but he does have room time while his little brothers nap.) Rick finally told Cage on the third try that we would all be outside when it was time to play. Poor kid. I'm sure he was quite depressed.

We had Cage's dad come over one afternoon last week to meet him. We thought it might be nice to put names and faces together, since our kids are wanting to play every afternoon. He was nice enough to converse with us and even play ball with the boys for an hour, but I think he would prefer to stay in his house while his 6 year old wanders the neighborhood freely.

Me...I prefer to know exactly where my kids are. Perhaps I'll be an overly protective mom, but I think keeping a close eye on my boys at the ages of 5 and 3 is a good idea. Because we don't know Cage's family very well, and because I'm concerned what types of influences are in my boys' lives, I prefer for Cage to play at our house.

So far, Cage has been happy to play here. Happy enough that he comes to our house every afternoon after school. But summer begins tomorrow, and I am envisioning Cage becoming our 4th child this summer.

This rambling post has a point, and it is to ask more experienced moms for suggestions.

  1. What should I always have on hand here to make my home more inviting, more fun? Now, I know kids want to eat and watch tv, so don't just tell me to turn on the tv and open a can of soda. Please give me some specific suggestions on how to be that "cool mom" down the street.
  2. When Cage tires of our place, he is going to ask the boys to his house. What do I say besides, "Because I have no idea what happens at your house, you'll need to play here." A 6 year old won't quite understand that statement, and I don't want to turn him away. I believe that God has sent Cage for us to be a witness to him and possibly his family. So I need suggestions on how to lovingly encourage the boys to play here.
I'd love to hear from you on this topic!


Jess said...

Try to be fun! I am sure it's not hard for you. Plan hands on activites that make all the kids want to play at your house. From watching other parents, I want to be the fun Mom so everyone wants to hang out at my house...with in your own guide lines. I let the kids build forts with all the blankets in the house, play hide and go seek with them and have special treats prepared. We have made homemade pizza's, jello jigglers, and homemade cookies.
A fun idea a while back I heard of was to toss all your change out in the back yard and have a treasure hunt. Let us know how it goes!

Kimberly said...

I agree with Jess, try to be fun. No, I don't have children, but I remember as a child, my house being the house all the neighborhood kids migrated to. We played lots of board games and make-believe games, but what I believe most kids enjoyed was the welcoming feeling my mom showed them, not to mention the fact they knew that they were going to eat. So, I think you can plan, but don't stress, free play is awesome.

Margaret said...

Have board games ready. The sprinkler is ALWAYS fun. Popsicles. LOTS of popsicles.

I agree with Jess' ideas too. Build a fort on the furniture with blankets. Let them make their own pizzas (we always made them on english muffins - way before the mini pizza crusts). Bake cookies and let them decorate them.

Water balloon fights (or tossing contests). Water gun fights (if you are OK w/ water guns, I know parents who aren't). Lots of stuff outside to wear them out.

I would also not object to a weekly movie time. Just one movie a week. Make it a fun deal. Pop some popcorn. Make juice slushies (rather than sodas), etc.

Oh and you can also make your own popsicles....

Emy said...

I just stumbled onto your blog, and for the past 45 minutes I've been reading all about your boys and their stories. I have SO many questions for you because we are considering adoption.
So many great ideas already on being the cool house, so here's
my advice for the possible invite to Cage's house. Tell him that you like for Liam to be home to play with his brothers and they are too young to play at someone else's house. Something like that. My son doesn't have any siblings yet, but I have watched a little boy for 4 1/2 years, and he is always the best reason for us to stay put!

Kmommy said...

Great advice so far! I have none to share, but I so agree with you about not wanting your kids to play elsewhere... it's unreal that Cage is running around unsupervised. We don't even let our 11-year-old run around the neighborhood like that and we live in a very small town...