I Don’t Play with My Children

Today was a PA Day so that the teachers could conduct parent-teacher interviews.  Traditionally we have booked ours for this day because Maggie was at IBI and it was much easier for us to pay attention to what the teachers were saying if Maggie wasn’t trying to dismantle the classroom.  Since there is no IBI for her anymore we decided to get the interviews done yesterday and give ourselves a well-deserved day off today.

We made the right move.

I was in pajamas until 1:15 (and only got out of them because Grace’s friend was coming over to pick her up), and we played.  Actual playing.  Why is that such foreign concept to me?  It wasn’t until I was knee-deep in the middle of building a block castle for Polka (our Elf on a Shelf) that I realized we hardly do this anymore.

They play, either individually or together.  But the top choice is often anything involving a screen.  Or time with friends. I  clean, fret, facebook, write, cook, sort laundry, etc.  And frankly I find that there isn’t a whole lot of free time when we aren’t either unwinding from an activity or gearing up for one.

But today we had a parade with instruments and reporters go through the house.  This was an offshoot of one of Maggie’s favourite scripts as of late from Caillou (Caillou’s words are much less annoying when they come from my sweet daughter.)  She counted out the beat for us as we marched, with a few “Oh no, my sheet music”s thrown in for good measure.

Then we all played a game that we gave Maggie for her birthday – Elf on the Shelf Hide and Seek Game.  It was fun to play a game that all of the kids could enjoy together, and it helped keep the kids from jumping out of their skin waiting for our elf Polka to return from the North Pole.

Finally we began the construction of the Elf Castle.  That was interesting to participate in.  Molly was the engineer in charge of the construction project – telling us how to sort materials, and in what order they should be loaded on the truck from the supplier to go to the job site.  She said things like “The red blocks are the priority for today; the wood-toned blocks are tomorrow’s priority because they are at the back of the job-site.”  Grace was tracking orders on her Boogie Board, and matching up congruent shapes.  It was pretty entertaining watching their minds at work.

Today was a gift right when I needed it.  It felt like we went back in time to when they were little and playing was our day – not what we crammed into little pockets around our day.  All at once I was able to see glimpses of them as playing preschoolers, and engineers running major projects.

It was pretty cool.


  1. says

    I completely mis-read your title to say, “I don’t play with my chicken.” If that is true – good for you. If not, you may need to set some of your own goals. Might as well wait for January. Sounds like a resolution if I ever heard one.

    So happy to read that you had this gift yesterday! A nice deep sigh of relief, huh? See how awesome you are to fully recognize and appreciate it? xoxox

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