Play Everyday

365…ok 366 days of simple, inexpensive and wildly fun 2-year-old play!

Wishing Stones (or mama worry stones)

on January 18, 2012

I had to make a late trip to the barn last night to blanket pony. I was waiting out a nasty storm complete with a terrific show of lightning. It was reminiscent of the summer storms I remember growing up in Ohio. Warm winds, heavy rain and quick flashes of brilliant white light. Not great for a pony without shelter, but I was going to blanket her before the temps fell drastically to below freezing and I felt good about being able to check on her after the storms.
Caught in traffic I arrived later than I’d hoped and the last ray of the setting sun was far gone. It was pitch black, pouring rain, and my pony was all alone. Huh?!? Refusing to eat her hay and even the bucket of warm mash I’d set before her, she stared out of her field into the darkness whinnying. I didn’t know what was going on but now we were both stressed out.
After some texts and calls I found out Little Bit’s friend was placed on stall rest for the entire week. I could either leave her in the field where she would be cold, wet, and alone but in familiar surroundings or I could move her into the barn where she would be less cold, dry but in an unfamiliar, box stall. She was too stressed to eat in the field so I chose the latter. She whinnied as I latched the stall door closed and left her It was clear this was a lose-lose situation.
I worried about her all night as I pictured her calling out, pacing or worse yet trying to roll in the awkward space and getting cast. Did I mention this 10’x10′ stall also has a 10’x2’x8″ cement platform along one side? Yeah, totally awkward.
I rushed out this morning at day break, snuffly sick boy in tow, to bust my pony out of jail. Though she hadn’t eaten a bite of her food from last night she trotted off to a nearby field and immediately began to graze. She was going to be fine. And thanks to a wonderful friend who agreed to transplant her horses into our field for the next week to keep Little Bit happy, I felt miles better as well.
The worry-filled sleepless night had me thinking though. I remember my grandma giving me a worry stone (which I’ve also heard called wishing stones) when I was a little girl. It was a marbled yellow color, shaped like an eye with a smooth divot in the middle. You couldn’t hold the stone and not begin rubbing your thumb over that smooth center. I could have used that stone last night.
I don’t remember ever using it because I was worried but I very much remember keeping it in my pocket, arranging it on my dresser, taking it to show-and-tell and rubbing that smooth center. Best of all, it always reminded me of my grandma.
With Little Bit taken care of I turned my attention to Noah who, though sick and stuffed up, was happier than a pig in…mud. All that rain had produced what I imagine Noah’s version of Disneyland to be. My first instinct was to get that sick boy out of this awful weather. That suggestion was met with tearful cries of “No! More mud!”. I can’t imagine a broken heart does any good for a sick little boy so I made him a deal. “We need to get home soon, but first let’s look in this mud for a really cool rock”. Wiping away tears, which left his face streaked with mud, he agreed. Going home was still not on the top of his to-do list, but holding his treasure for a fun activity later in the day did make the transition slightly easier.

  • Stones
  • Paint – acrylics will give the best coverage (of both stone and boy) but finger paints worked just as well for Noah
  • Embellishments – glitter, puffy paint, stickers…

Here is the stone that helped get us back to the truck.  I also picked up a couple of rocks myself.  One vaguely resembled a heart, the other had this wonderful curve that fit just right in my palm and a little dip on the other side.  Perfect for rubbing my thumb across.

When we painted later in the day I couldn’t find his stone.  I later discovered he had squirreled it away in the seat of his ride-on dozer.  I think it was too pretty to paint anyway.  So we painted vague heart stone and curved dipped stone together.


Noah was apparently satisfied with his creation and started on his favorite canvas – himself.  It wasn’t long before he began requesting for his post painting session bath.  I am now fully convinced this is why painting is his most requested activity.  He was so excited to move to his bath that he quickly cleaned up and put away all his paint tubs!


We’re going to let these dry and add some details and embellishments later.  At least I will.  I imagine Noah will just paint his hands and demand a bath 😉


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