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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Say "Yes".

Confession:  I have a hard time playing with my kids.

I blame this on my parents.  When we were little, my brother Clay remembers asking my Mom if she would play with him.  Her response, "Mom's don't play."

Clay wasn't too scarred, but obviously it's something he remembers.  We laugh about it now.  My Mom was really good at cooking, cleaning, organizing, chauffeuring, and doing the "taking care" duties of our family.  However, I don't really remember her playing with us.

There are a few foggy memories. I remember that when we would play a board game for family night that she would always choose the yellow piece (which consequently is something I do as well- my kids will even pull out the yellow piece specifically for me).  I also recall a time that she organized a tea party for my friend Haley Juback and me for Haley's 8th birthday.  She got out a real "china" tea set and we were able to eat butterscotch pudding out of the cups.  This was a big deal!  In fact, I don't think I ever saw that tea set again.

Do you think that the "play" gene is something that is in your DNA?

Dallas' Grandma Kaiserman is an incredible play-er.  She will be on her hands and knees with the kids, driving trucks, looking at train books for hours on end, playing slap jack and completing puzzles.  Dallas is the same way.  He walks through the door and within minutes the memory game is spread out on the floor, or he is snuggled up to Will on the couch and playing some race car game on his phone.

I long to be more like this.

So, I've set a goal.  I'm saying "Yes".

My kids come up to me with requests multiple times a day; 'Will you play dominoes with me?' 'Want to watch me color?' 'Can we go to the library?'

Typically I respond with, "I would love to, but Mommy's doing the dishes/laundry/cleaning the bathroom/wants to rest for a minute."

Over the last week I have been doing so much better at answering yes.  It's hard sometimes.  I hate leaving something done mid-task.  But you know what?  A game of Candyland only lasts about 5 minutes (unless you keep getting sent back to Mr. Mint at the very end).  And sometimes it is really nice to get out of the house and enjoy the quiet library!

I feel like I've enjoyed my kids more, and I know for a fact that they have been enjoying me more.  It's amazing the changes that can be brought about with one simple word.  Yes.


marciea casselman said...

I was a little like your mom. I played sometimes, but I felt like the kids should play by themselves.
I know that I should have said yes more, also.
Hopefully, my kids aren't to scarred either.

Phyllis said...

What wonderful memories you make when you say "yes". Wish I would have played more.

Andrea said...

I play with Alaina only because she has no one else and I feel sorry for her- it takes up a ton of time but I figure I can clean the dishes or change the laundry a little later. I guess this is where being a procrastinator comes into play well.

Nate, Cami and Crew said...

I too struggle with this, but am trying to be better. I think that if you bond with them when they are young, then hopefully they will come around as teenagers too. I love you.

Erin said...

I cannot begin to tell you how much I relate to this post. Want to know something funny? We are playing candy land right now! Small world. I think this is the struggle all moms face. I admire you for saying yes!