Over the weekend, my daughter requested that we bring out our tent. By which she meant the little play tent we’ve had since her teenage brothers were tots (a gift from their auntie Em, I believe). To be honest, I’d kind of forgotten we had one, but we retrieved it and put it out and she spent the weekend there, playing. She crawled in. She hid. She got out. She went back in. You get the idea.
The tent was her special not-so-secret-but-yes-secret hiding place. Or really more than that the tent was her place. She could kind of do whatever she wanted in there. Not that she can’t do whatever she wants in the playroom or under the dining table or wherever (she so can), but this felt like hers in some way she totally enjoyed. The cocoon of pretend cannot be underestimated.
Unlike the pillow fort, you can still sit on your couch while the preschooler plays.
I emailed a photo of her in her tent to auntie Em to see whether my nephews—ages one and three—have a tent and then I emailed another aunt to suggest…
Maybe she’ll be the aunt with the winning gift this holiday season. Strikes me as another in the second or third baby hall-of-fame gifts, too. I will have a chance if the nephews don’t get the tent this month—in April.
Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a freelance writer and blogger whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Brain Child Magazine and Salon the Huffington Post, Babble and Ceramics Monthly. Her essays have appeared in various anthologies including The Maternal is Political and Wait a Minute, I Have to Take Off My Bra. A writer for Preview Massachusetts Magazine, she keeps a personal blog, Standing in the Shadows at the publication’s news site, the Valley Advocate and a tumblr Refractions. She is a sometime contributor to Momfilter. Follow her on twitter–@standshadows or Pinterest.