I have a confession to make: I
loathe playing with my preschooler.
I can’t be the only who feels
that way, can I? She’s 3.5, and so adorable, and I love her more than
I love Gouda (which, just so we’re clear, is a lot.) I love talking to her, and
having fun adventures with her—the kind where we leave the house and do things
that are active and new every single time.
But the act of simply sitting
down and playing with her? Of re-enacting the same tea party we’ve had
approximately 2,586 times in the last year, or of allowing her to “trap” me in
the closet for the 100th time today (as she repeatedly opens and slams the
door and I wait for fingers to be crushed)?
Seriously, I’d rather have back-to-back appointments with the dentist and the gynecologist than spend that
same amount of time “playing” with my favorite person in the whole wide world.
(Just throwing in that subtle
reminder that I do, in fact, love my child very much … I swear.)
Unfortunately, there are only
so many adventures I can plan for us. And inevitably, the point comes every
single weekend where my girl looks up at me with her big brown eyes and says,
“Mommy, wanna play with me?!” And of course I say yes, because I’m not a
But I may or may not set a
timer on that playtime (I’m admitting to no such thing). And it’s possible that
as I will the seconds to go by faster, these are thoughts I have:
OK. Let’s do
this. I’m ready. Bring on the … wait, puzzles?
Nooooo! Why are we
starting with puzzles? It’s like a special kind of torture.
Corners and edges
first, kid! There’s a right and a wrong way to do these things! You can’t start
with the middle—you’re doing it wrong!
OK … keep your
mouth shut, Mommy. Let her figure it out. Don’t be that mom who nags.
Sit on your hands.
Just sit on your hands. Do not snatch that piece from her.
This. Is. Agony.
Wait a minute …
she’s actually figuring this out! Maybe my helpful commentary is working. Look
how proud she is! That’s my girl.
Annnnddd … she’s
trying to force a piece in place by jumping on it. Fantastic.
Thank you dear,
sweet, baby Jesus. She’s on the last piece.
“That’s it, honey.
Right there. You’ve got this!”
And … done!
Crap … there’s still
25 minutes on the timer.
OK… what’s next?
Tea party? Fabulous—we haven’t done this in at least three hours.
Wait, when did she
fill that pot up with water?
No, seriously, when
did she do that? How long has that water been in there? Where did it come from?
What are the chances she … Oh. My. Hell. She just drank it. What if she got it
from the toilet?!?
I think I just
threw up in my mouth a little.
“No. That’s OK, baby. Mommy’s
not thirsty. How about we dump that water out and just pretend though, sound
OK, the pot is
empty. Back to … wait, what is she doing? Oh yeah, how could I have forgotten?
She’s got to bring every single stuffed animal she owns over to this party.
Wouldn’t be a tea
party if she didn’t try to serve me 20 cupcakes.
I wonder how that
timer is looking?
needs to be emptied. And the laundry needs to be done. Maybe I can put her in
front of a movie after I get through this? Then maybe I could even make us
something other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.
“What was that, honey? Oh, yes
please! I would love some more tea.”
That pot is still
dripping toilet water.
My nails look
awful. Why don’t I do my nails anymore?
Come to think of
it, when was the last time I showered? I used to be so put-together. What the hell happened to me?
Oh yeah … she happened to me.
Dangit if she isn’t
adorable, though. Just look at her playing in her kitchen! She’s such a good
Wait … is she
serving each stuffed animal individually?
If I don’t get out
of this tea party right this instant, I’m going to scream.
“Hey, honey! How about we get
the Play-Doh out?”
At least that’s
“Clean up, clean up, everybody
do your share.”
I hate that song.
OK just eight
minutes left on the timer. I can do this.
“What do you think we should
A slide. Of course.
I should have guessed. She always wants me to make her a slide and little
people to go down the slide. Every. Single. Time.
At least I’m
getting really good at this.
Wait ... what is she
doing over there? Is she … no. Why is she smashing all the colors together?!
Kids are the worst.
“Here, honey. Here’s your
I need this hell to
Oh good, it looks
like plenty of Play-Doh has made it to the ground. Super excited about that.