Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Simple Rituals: Tea Time

The working parent and her/his kids are pulled in many directions at once.  When I noticed that the relationship between my toddler and I was getting strained -- the mommy stuffed animal in all our games was always saying "I have to go to work! I can't play!", I decided that I would make a conscious effort to make the time that she and I had together count. We developed a set of  Simple Rituals to stay close.

Tea Time was the first.

What you need

A designated teapot, can be anything clean, heat-proof, and water tight. We use the bone-china teapot my Grandma and I used for our tea when I was a girl.
Caffieen-free "tea" ours rarely has anything do with real tea, we use herbs or Karkade.
A tray - I use a ubiquitous cookie sheet.
Tea cups - Child size is best, but any will do.
Hats (not optional)
A small table- We use a mini-trampoline (the kind you might jog in place on while watching TV), it is the perfect height for a toddler tea-table when all the guests sit on the floor.  It is water-proof and can seat as many guests as you want.
A pretty tea towel
Guests - stuffed animals, toys, relatives, friends.

 Most nights no matter how late we get home, she and I make tea, drape the cookie tray with a pretty towel and load it down with crackers, fruit or little sandwiches and diminutive tea cups. We put on our hats, plunk down the trampoline, arrange the guests, and then set out the tray. For as long as it take to drink a whole pot of tea, one ounce at a time as the little cups allow, we giggle and talk to eachother.

I learned the hard way that Grandma's teapot was very fragile, luckily the break was in the lid so a little superglue saved the day. I think it is important to use precious family items like Grandma's teapot to emphasize that this time is special. However, to cushion our teapot against future breaks, I crocheted at tea cozy for it using this  Crafster tutorial. The yarn I used also belonged to Grandma.

Having small tea cups forces you to spend a proper amount of time. We use china cups as long as there are any still whole.

I ask Alex to tell me a story about what we are doing. Often we are on a mission to the moon and the trampoline is also doing double duty as a rocket ship. One must have a lots of tea and bunny crackers on the way to and from the Moon. Sometimes we are on a pirate ship. Sometimes we are just at tea.

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