Of Sheets and Kitchen Chairs and Saying Yes

They are building forts in the living room with nothing but a few small blankets and a couple of boxes. It’s not really working very well.

I hate it when they build forts. They get all frustrated, and then they fight, and the entire endeavor usually ends with crying or screaming or both. And that’s just me.

But I am trying to be a mom who says yes. Who doesn’t put an end to fun just because it might end in a fight or frustration, or because it inconveniences me. I have a brief conversation with Art, head upstairs for a moment, and soon the boys are armed with a card table, a pile of flat sheets, and some clothespins.

They play for hours, patiently distracting a sister who would like nothing better than to tear the entire thing down just for fun. They argue a little, but work it out. Their fort fills our little living room.

They take it apart for lunch, because we need the chairs, but they don’t complain. The card table still waits by the window, draped in a sheet, for post-naptime play. And I am glad I said yes.

To give them good things– that is a gift I give myself. Because the more I say yes, the more they trust me and accept it when I say no. This is a lesson I am learning these days.

And a gift I am unwrapping.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats


18 thoughts on “Of Sheets and Kitchen Chairs and Saying Yes

  1. What a good mom! (Even with the crying and the screaming, ha ha.)
    I have so many nice memories of forts and ships on the stairs, because my mom was like you. I don’t really remember the arguing, but I bet she does. I’m sure that though it was no fun for her to hear, it helped us learn to work things out.
    As my own kids get older, I keep in mind the way my mom allowed our messy play and try to do the same. I bet you’re creating great memories for your kids!
    Wonderful post!

  2. I loved this post. I totally understand what you’re saying… it’s not easy to be a mom who says yes!! I’m trying, too. I’ll be back to read more!

  3. Ah, you lucky kid you.
    My mom hated anything out of place, and so, no forts for me. But, if i was out of sight, i was out of mind, so i hollowed out the massive blackberry patch in our sort of backyard. That was my fort. Until my sister burned it down while sneaking a smoke.
    Childhood was sometimes the most glorious hell.

  4. so perfectly said! “To give them good thingsโ€“ that is a gift I give myself. Because the more I say yes, the more they trust me and accept it when I say no.” i love it erin. i really do. and i so get the mess and complications of forts. good for you for providing more tools instead of heavy sighs (which is probably what i would have contributed to the day!)

  5. {hugs}

    this is so true.
    my kids , not so young , are currently remodelling our basement. I never really go down there , and it needed some TLC, some pics, throw pillows, etc. So they wanted the okay to make it a as soon as school’s out project.

    I said a big resounding yes. This includes painting, drilling, hammering. And the mess… well they never clean to my way.

    But I’m so okay with it . Honestly . They are doing a whole Ty Pennington thing. With before and after photos and everything.
    Who knew.
    Not me.

  6. saying yes doesn’t come easily for me either. i am sane when there is order. but sheets in the living room equal memories, and good memories of home matter more to me than sanity.

  7. So nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by my place. I love that you’re learning to say yes while your little ones are still little. Especially since you have one who is likely to burn Iowa down! Can’t wait to see/hear what becomes of him! Looking back and wishing I’d said yes more often. Sigh. Trusting grace to fill up where I was lacking. Blessings to you.

  8. So with you on the saying “yes.” My area is not with fort building, but with things that get dirty or messy (sand boxes especially!). Like you I have recently been really trying to not let myself get in the way of my boys enjoying the “messy” things in life! I want them to remember the fun they had when they were small, not a grouchy mommy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I love this reminder to say yes more often so they accept the no better. What a beautiful gift to unwrap! My boys love their forts as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Stopping by from Chatting at the Sky!

  10. I love learning Real Life Stuff from you, Erin. This post is such a fab picture of what Love is, what Home can be like, and oh, the memories your kiddos are making as you learn to say “yes” in spite of the short-term annoyance the resulting play might create. I admire you โค

  11. Don’t you just marvel at how little it takes to create an adventure for them? I like the sheets all folded and tidy – but my hubby lets them tear into them and create a fort. When I’m out for a bit, I usually return to find a fort that looks a lot like yours and smiling faces to go with it!

    Great post!

  12. Something so fun about hiding away inside! Under sheets or table cloths, or even the bed. I remember those days. Now my boys just hide away in the bonus room. Do big boy things. Maybe I’ll put up the pup tent in that bonus room and see what is starts.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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