Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What!? You want me to PLAY?

I know it must sound ludicrous but I just am not inspired to play with my daughter. It really takes all I can muster to sit and play. I have decided that it because I am really boring. I think that playing is really a fine art. One that requires a great many skills. I have listed the criteria necessary for fun play in the order of importance for any of you, who like me, are struggling.

Skill #1: Lose the agenda. Creativity only flows well in the absence of agenda. (Note the use of the word well. One can be somewhat creative with an agenda but probably will not enjoy any of its fruits in play with an agenda still clinging to one's back.

Skill #2: Use only the tools readily available. Taking your kid to the toy store to pick out a new toy to inspire creative play isn't really play. It is shopping. While shopping my fill many voids (maybe it's just me), it is guaranteed that your child will not be having much fun. It takes real skill to use something you already have to facilitate really fun, totally unique, and creative playtime.

Skill #3: Spend more than 20 minutes with your child in play. I know... it is hard. Many things beckon as you sit on the floor or the lawn. Do not become distracted, even if it seems your child is ignoring you. Even if it seems as though your child would not notice if you got up to do something really important. This skill comes with great patience. Do not give up. Just think, in 20 minutes you can get up and do something else. Once you hone this skill, chances are you will not want to get up after 45 minutes.

Ok... so that is all I have so far. Maybe some of you more experienced moms might have some more tips to help me!


Blooming Life said...

Ha, ha, ha!
I do that all the time. I sit and play on the floor and when she is content on her own and get up to do something "important" but within 10 minutes or less she always finds me and beckons me with her silent "please" to come back to the floor with her. And being 8 months pregnant, may I mention that task of getting down and up off the floor, is a chore in itself. But...every moment is worth it. I remind myself, of bad AND good 'this too shall pass' and how I would regret looking back when she is older and thinking, 'I didn't play with her enough...if only I spent more time on the floor with her, now she's all grown up.' So if anything, that guilt trip on myself reminds me that this is so fleeting, and to enjoy every moment. Even if the floor is dirty and laundry isn't done. Good luck Mama!

Michelle said...

I still haven't mastered this skill. I find that two things really help with my guilt and their need for playmates. 1) I schedule time each day to sit down and read to them, play a game, or do something we can both/all enjoy. 2) Siblings, cousins, and friends! :)

That said, I do occasionally (very occasionally) sit down with them and just play. I would love to do it more, because I see how they just light up when I do. Especially if I play with one child at a time. Balancing that with all the work that I really do need to do is hard, though. Lord, give me wisdom!

(By the way, I've been thinking lately, how come moms feel guilty for wanting to work, anyway? Someone has to do it! I want to be released from guilt and have the freedom to do whatever needs done, whether it's laundry or playing.)

Roxanne said...

Right now you are her universe. As she gets older, her universe expands to include many other interests and people. I tell myself when I am bored out of my mind playing dinosaurs with Ethan or having a strange conversation about guns and trucks and all things explosive (which by the way, I know next to nothing about) with Jared, that the day will come when they will desire less time with me and more with their friends. Right now the fact that they still want to hang out with mom, is pretty stinkin' cool. There's a song on the radio called "You're Gonna Miss This". Trust me, one day you'll miss the times that she just wants you to "play with me, mommy". So, remember, I think it's less about WHAT you're doing with her, and more about just hanging out in her world for awhile. Love ya!