Do you play with your kids? I mean– really play? How, and what they want you to play? Always with enthusiasm?
Seriously and don’t lie! Because I’ve started taking note and I’ve seen some of y’all at the playground.
Yes, you faithfully shadow your Small Person (me not so much– I’m noticing from this bench over yonder); rationing out goldfish crackers, and warnings to “be careful”. Delivering edicts, with your best in-public nice-mom voice (because surely you yell more at home, right?): “no, no– we don’t throw sand” or “it’s harper’s turn now or “please use your nice words with your friends.”
Bah! Experts keep telling me that the constant adult participation is making children stupider. See kids, I’m not ignoring you; I’m trying to help you avoid the stupid tree.
The constant nice mom-talk makes me want to hurl. I’m all for asking nicely once, maybe even twice. Ignore me for the third time and what you will hear next is the raised-by-a-master-sergeant-voice. Personally, I’d like to hear a bit more of that, mostly so I don’t feel like the only hard ass ’round here.
But I’d also like to change the hearts and minds, so to speak. What if the dialog was just a smidgen more honest?
“just. fucking. play. You nit-wit– right now you have zero life responsibility. Your entire, over-privileged existence consists of unconditional love, warm meals, clean clothes, fabulous vacations, and constant playdates. I intentionally drive you to locations where you can spin in a circle until you puke. So why, in the name of the Un-vacuumed dog hair, the Un-folded laundry, and the Un-finished project are you BUGGING me.
Here is this park, literally crawling with Small People that might love nothing more than a rousing game of Monster Chase. Me? I’m trying to recoup my patience from the ridiculousness that is getting y’all to walk the 10 feet from the house to the car in less than 25 minutes. That you have graciously allowed me an entire FOUR minutes of book reading? NOT HELPING.
Fruits of my uterus, it’s important that you both realize this very important fact.
Even if I could, I don’t want to play with you all day long.
Then that oldest one, who believes that I am somehow too stupid to hear the underlying sarcasm, says: Dad plays with us at the park.
Here, let me tell all y’all my opinion of this statement by the son who might someday take my Smart Ass title.
Oh, fuck your Dad and his damn playing. While on the subject, let’s go ahead and flip the bird at his talent for truly appreciating the fart jokes. Yeah, the man excels at goofy play, making the two of you laugh in that deliciously child-like way that almost motivates me to come out from behind the locked bedroom door.
But–and this happens to be a giant BUT– he couldn’t pick your doctor out of a damn line up. He doesn’t know that–this week–you hate macaroni with white cheese. He forgets– regularly– all of those little detail things that are quite small for a grown up, and the Biggest Thing Ever to a Small Person.
Fucking Dad plays with you.
Not only do I chauffeur your butts various locations where there are opportunities for play; I do play with both of you. I encourage you to destroy my living room with giant forts, like this one from Dr. Suess’s birthday.
We play hide-n-seek. Stop complaining about me carrying around a dust rag. It’s called multitasking, you self absorbed little… children.
Children. The fortunate ones–like mine– honestly don’t realize that the world doesn’t revolve around serving their wants. That there exists some cosmic twins to my children, who already know the truth about the world? Truly tragic.