I love my kids. Love, love, looooooove them. Anyone who talks to me and makes the mistake of asking if I have kids knows this is true. I love talking to them, I love dancing with them, I love just hanging out with them. I love taking them to new places and finding things for them to do together as sisters. However, there is one thing that, after eight years of parenting, I’ve never really been able to get into.
I do not like playing with them.
I don’t really enjoy sitting down for an extended session of Barbies. I don’t want to sit and be told how to build a castle with blocks. I am not really interested in pretending to go camping with them. This is why I had more than one child and grandparents that enjoy buying toys: so that somebody, ANYBODY, would play with my kids besides me. When it comes to my children, I am their biggest cheerleader, but their most reluctant playmate.
I watch people who like playing with kids, and I try to figure out what’s going on in their minds. Are they really enjoying this? How is that possible? Why do these people enjoy Candy Land and I just sit there, purposely throwing the game so it can be done sooner? Have they figured out how to click off the part of their brain that wants to reach out for their phone, or the part that keeps them from freaking out about the zillion other things that need to get done before the weekend is over? Oh shit, am I like Rick Moranis and his wife in Parenthood?
This is not to say that I don’t play with my kids. I do. Not as often as I assume people who do like to play with their kids do, but I do force myself to participate in a game of hide and seek once in awhile. But girrrrrl, if I can find an excuse, or a reason why someone else should play instead of me, I am on it.
In fact, here is a list of things I would rather do instead of play with my kids:
1. Get a manicure from my toddler.
2. Explain the Internet to my grandpa.
3. Look at post-partum pictures of myself.
4. Try on bathing suits with my skinny, childless friends.
5. Talk politics with my family on a major holiday.
6. Drink from the “experiment glass” my kids created at the restaurant.
7. Sign up for a fitness class with the word “advanced” in the title.
8. Calculate how much it will cost to send these kids to college.
9. Watch the last ten minutes of Toy Story 3 while PMSing.
10. Check my work email from home.
11. Read the comments on a Miley Cyrus YouTube video.
12. Read the comments on any YouTube video.
13. Let my cosmetologist friend “practice” on me.
14. Sit through someone else’s kid’s recital.
15. Get a job working with my mom.
16. Wear heels that are a half size too small.
17. Listen to my dog lick his paws.
18. Give prescription eye drops to a child.
19. Give prescription eye drops to my husband.
20. Go an entire day with 5% battery on my phone.
It may delight each of you to know that despite having a stone-cold heart that keeps me from enjoying things like being the boyfriend Lalaloopsy EVERY SINGLE TIME OMG CAN I JUST BE TIPPY TUMBELINA ONE FREAKING TIME, I am actually a pretty decent mom. My kids seem to enjoy having me around, I like having them around, and I do lots of other things to make up for being lacking in the playtime department.
Now, if I could only figure out something to make up for the years of blog posts I’ve written about them …