After a long hard day, sometimes you hurriedly push yourself through things just longing for bed. You barely have a moment to unwind, but you have to tend to your child, no matter how tired you may feel.
Aside from all the mundane tasks that always require our attention, we must still set a moment aside for some quality time with our kids. I make an effort to connect with my child, that is my duty as a parent. But, more often than not he will have his own ideas on just how we should do that. The timing isn’t always great, like the days when I’m so bone-tired. That’s when I might possibly hear these terrifying words,
Mommy, will you play with me?
Depending on how your children are spaced out, maybe you’ve only heard your very first child make this request before their siblings came along. Once those built-in play mates arrived, perhaps your services were no longer required.
When I catch myself on the ground pushing monster trucks with my son for a pretend race, I realize it is a very different experience from when I was growing up. Speaking for myself only, I could sit calmly in a corner with my coloring book or combing my doll’s hair as a little girl. If you had older brothers (unlike me) then you have a leg up.
Nevertheless, my point is that while I truly enjoy playing with children through a wide variety of activities, this would be my least favorite thing to do– but I do it anyway. Sidecar: I’m always in awe when he makes statements out loud that pertain to the imaginary worlds he creates for his toys, period.
Sometimes I try to thwart the plan by suggesting we sort the cars by color, size or model. As the incessant organizer that I am, I can get with that. Or, I mention that we should count them all one by one and see who comes closest to the number we guess.
Nice try, Mom. That’s just my pesky penchant for early learning instead of allowing for some good old fashioned free play which in itself is learning, duh! So, I must often remind myself to stand back and let him have his fun without my interference.
Thankfully, he has never taken me up on my offer and as requested, wants us to just move the cars around while on all fours instead. But, first things first. We must meet and greet each other and speak in our car character, much like they do in the cartoons we watch. Sometimes he lets me choose my own car, but he always decides who has won the race. My baby is in charge of this game.
I have managed to interject the routine of adding some writing practice to this by having him utilize our chalkboard wall for keeping score.
Moral of this post is that I know the day will soon come when he’ll stop asking his mother to play with him at all. The sudden wave of this realization whenever it does hit me in the face has helped me to engage with him better and on his own terms.
Besides, we could all benefit (even as adults) from a little child’s play.