The most natural cause of pajama days at our house is a snow day. We have had many weather-related cancellations this year and thus many opportunities for Clara’s favorite kind of day. Seven days off of school just for Hurricane Sandy, and several snow days since. Yesterday, we had a snow day that turned out to be a rather mild day. The roads were clear enough to have easily driven somewhere starting at around 10am.
I already had my quota of pajama days this month, and so I was eager to get out of the house and do something with this unexpected open time. Instead, our day went like this:
8am: Clara watches two episodes of “Curious George” on Netflix. She predictably asks, “please, please, please, can I watch one more, just one one one ONE more episode, pleeaaaassseeee?” Netflix is only allowed occasionally in our house as it is, and two episodes is the limit, so I say no (and then I cringe just a little bit inside because if we are in the house for the rest of the day it means that I am the sole entertainment!)
9am: Clara puts on a theatrical show for me and her stuffed dog. This is a multi-media performance involving many “levels” and the show is “paused” regularly for her to set up a new scene. I am fascinated at how the video game lingo has morphed its way into the performance. She gives me a piece of paper with many circles, x’s and different colors on it. When I press something on the paper, she changes the actions in the performance. It feels very meta and modern.
10am: We play tic-tac-toe and connect the dots. I’m still trying to teach her how to win at tic-tac-toe. She doesn’t quite get it. I win every game. She gets pouty. Should I let her win? I ask her if she wants me to ler her win. She says no, but she's sad that she didn't win all by herself. We stop playing.
10:30am: I suggest that we go to the Aquarium. She loves the Aquarium. I figure this will surely convince her. “No,” she says, “I want to stay in my pajamas ALL day.”
10:45am: The next game we play is something we have never done before... a role play/acting out of “Dora the Explorer.” Clara is Dora, and her dolls are the other characters. I’m Swiper, and since I have only seen the show once or twice I’m not up-to-date with all of Swiper’s actions. I’m supposed to hide, then appear from behind an object, bounce up and down while making a snorting noise... and then steal one of Dora’s toys, and then hide it, and then get caught and then say, “oh man!”
Writing the steps down, it doesn’t seem so hard, but somehow, I messed up the order of the steps nearly every time, much to Clara’s exasperation. Somehow we ended up wearing silly sunglasses, hats, necklaces, and tutus, even though I don’t think that’s part of official Dora uniform. We laughed our way through it all.
|Yes, Clara wears a sweater as her pajamas in the winter.|
noon: We eat lunch, and Clara promises that after lunch, she will go to the Aquarium.
After lunch, Clara says she doesn’t want to go out after all. I ask why. She says she really doesn’t like getting dressed. I try to determine if she doesn’t like the process of getting dressed or the feeling of being in her clothes. There is never a clear answer to this question, but even when I offer to help her get dressed, she asserts cheerfully and clearly, “no, I don’t want your help getting dressed. I like being in my pajamas ALL day.” At least she's consistent.
1pm: I checked my email, and coincidentally, I get an email from a close friend who lives halfway across the country who happened to comment on the frustrated feeling of a day at home with no mission or purpose. She said for her to feel happy, there has to be a purpose to the day, even if just to "go to Target and organize the sock drawer." While I relish in a pajama day once in a while, this email reminded me that I, too, start to feel antsy after too much unstructured time.
2pm: I try one more time... tempting Clara with one of her favorite treats: chocolate!
“Would you like to go out and get a hot chocolate?,” I ask with a tone of anticipation and excitement.
She is too smart for me. “Hot chocolate sounds good, but we can have that at home. Let’s make some here,” she quickly responds.
It was clear I was not going to win this debate if even chocolate would not lure Clara out of the house.
At this point, I stopped trying- my daughter was loving this day too much to nudge her out of the house. I filled two mugs with hot chocolate- marshmallows and whipped cream for her, whipped cream for mine. We spent the rest of the day baking, doing arts and crafts, and accepting the pleasures of a pajama day.