Grace and her glue stick. Construction paper and a paper plate -- "the cheap kind, Mommy, with no pictures please" -- and oh to be five years old at the craft table for an entire afternoon.
I'm not sure who decided that small children have short attention spans. In my experience, with my four children, they have extraordinarily LONG attention spans. And they hate to have that concentration broken. (I mean, since we're trying to reduce the "H" word around here, they really, really dislike and don't prefer it.)
In fact three of my children still get so lost in their reading or craft activites that they often stick the very pink tips of their tongues out in the tiniest little nerdy genetic quirk that charms me to no end. I forbid Mr. Suite to say a word about this because I am so sure it will disappear upon mention just the way that Madeleine's personal "Melmo" turned into ordinary everday Sesame Street "Elmo" when some dumb bunny corrected her two-year-old pronunciation and broke my heart in one fell swoop. Yes, it was nearly nine years ago. Nope, not over it yet.
I think I find it so charming because I know their days are numbered, these hours of breathless focus and undivided absorption. Too soon they may have to enter the world of multitasking and multimedia.
For now construction paper and a glue stick or a fat book and a warm blanket: Hours of entertainment. If I sound wistful, it's because I am. Watching my girls concentrate is a little bit time travel and a little bit entertainment of my own. Come to think of it it's my own obsession for the moment, watching them in this time of unadulterated childhood when the play is all there is.
Gosh I'm lucky that way.