Playtime: It’s Complicated

Playtime.

For years I thought I had this covered. I was the babysitter who played Hide-and-Seek, Barbies, store, puppets – whatever their hearts desired. Later, I was the auntie who sat patiently waiting behind the easy chair with a toddler nephew on the lookout for cheetahs (cheetahs often nest in living rooms, it’s a Canadian thing). Want to go to the park? Sure. Ride bikes? I’m in.

When I first became a mom, I diligently engaged in daily “Baby Blanket Time” and “Tummy Time” (this was with firstborn son, I was really on my game with him, sorry #2, 3, and 4). Toddler play is pretty straightforward – you just do whatever the boy wants: Ok, I’ll drive my car that way. Yup, I’m the bad guy, no problem. Oh, this plastic pizza is delicious!

Then the preschool years hit and I was COMPLETELY OUT OF MY ELEMENT.

My playtime strengths are as follows: Play doh, painting, puzzles, crafts, books, TV (someone has to turn it on), and sidewalk chalk. And Little People. I have discovered, however, that the way I play Little People varies greatly from how they play Little People. I reenact realistic scenes from every day life. The boys reenact scenes from every day life with – DINOSAUR ATTACK. Please note photographic evidence below.

Alright, I'm the one who posed this one.

Alright, I’m the one who posed this one.

Okay, okay, here’s the real carnage scene:

Wait, this dinosaur needed to take a quick potty break before bringing on all the mayhem and destruction.

Well, maybe not carnage, but certainly a focus on toilet humour which is another thing the boys bring into playtime. Coincidentally, also a personal strength of mine. Hold on, this evidence isn’t supporting my position in the least. Let’s leave Little People out of this for now, but trust me, there’s a lot of eating of houses and smashing of personal property when these playsets get brought out.

Playtime outside isn’t quite what I envisioned. We began with chalk and bubbles and somehow it has evolved into “Vehicular Accident Scene Recreation”.

Multi-car pile-up. Expect delays.

No children were inured in the staging of this accident.

No children were injured in the staging of this accident.

And then there’s just the weird stuff they come up with: Bedroom Hurdles, Underwear Tag, Naked Run – I CANNOT RELATE TO THESE GAMES.  I have pretty much given up on them playing safely as evidenced by the fact that instead of suggesting this son stop walking around with pants over his head, I told him to hold on a second while I took a picture.

You think you look like Sonic the Hedgehog, but...no.

You think you look like Sonic the Hedgehog, but…no.

I surrender.

What is the strangest game your kids have made up? Or you? Be honest, we’re all friends here.

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About Jan Moyer

Embracing my inner child since 2005. View all posts by Jan Moyer

8 responses to “Playtime: It’s Complicated

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