I trade babysitting time with a mom who also works at the Lab where I work. I've been babysitting for her two boys for almost four years now, since they were 1 and 3. Emma has known the boys her whole life, and probably considers them her brothers. I trust them completely with the care of my daughter, and feel that they trust me with their sons. These people are Good Friends. It's very important to have Good Friends.
The boys are now nearly-five and nearly-seven. They are intelligent, sweet, headstrong, fun, demanding, loving, infuriating, stubborn, independent, strong, energetic, funny, and exhausting. In short, they are boys. I love them.
Last Wednesday while Emma was napping, Nik (age 4) said to me out of the blue, "I want to do some sewing." I have no idea where this came from, but it was an opportunity not to be wasted. He showed me his mom's sewing basket and we found some fabric scraps and some thread. I had him write his name on the fabric, then showed him how to stitch over the lines. Midway through this his brother Kai (age 6) came home from school and immediately wanted to do a project too. I cut another rectangle and had him write his name and showed him how to stitch. I told them that if they finished stitching their names, I'd sew bags with their names on them.
Click to enlarge and see the fabulous monogramming job they did. When I gave them the bags on Friday, they immediately said that they are "collection bags" and we had to go right down to the beach and find some beach glass. This was such a fun project, and it was so great to see the look of accomplishment on their faces when they saw the finished bags with THEIR sewing on the front!