Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why playing battleship with Mister is important

I had J bring home take-out yesterday so I could play battleship with Mister instead of making dinner. I had promised to play with him Monday, but after putting H down for a nap, helping with homework, dinner prep, feeding H while dinner cooked, there was no time for battleship, a fact which Mister did not understand: "But you promised!" So Mommy-guilt overtook Mommy- frugality, and we broke out the game board and played while we waited for our food to arrive. I decided I should do this more often for the following reasons:

First, sometimes you just cannot put a price on getting a break from dinner prep/clean-up.

Second, I learned all kinds of school-related things from my reserved child while playing:
  • Mister can't wait to change seats at school so he doesn't have to sit by Cheyenne anymore because she puts her arm on his desk, "even though I told her like about 80 times not to."
  • Mister's favorite part of school yesterday was recess because they played War. Now I know all of the rules for playing War.
  • Mister's worst part of the day was missing the reading exercise at school.
Wait a second.

"Why did you miss the reading exercise?" I asked.
"Because I was crying all morning."
"Why were you crying all morning?"
"Because I left my backpack at home and it had my red folder and my lunch in it."
"Yes, but I told you I would bring that to you before lunch," I reminded him.
He looked at me. "But you don't always do what you say you will. Like battleship."

I looked at him. He was right. I don't always do what I say I will. Because there are like about 80 things I'm supposed to do every day and never enough time or energy to complete all of them.

"But something as important as your lunch," I said. "I would never let you go without lunch. And besides, I usually get around to doing what I say I'm going to do. Like battleship. Right?"

"Yeah, I guess," he said. Thanks for the vote of confidence, buddy.

So third, I need to do this more often to reinforce my trustworthiness in the eyes of my children!

1. Clean carpets, 2. Warm afternoons, 3. A quiet house


Dena said...

Those really are special moments and it really is hard to find the time for them! I've learned not to "promise" things, but to make a genuine effort. The hard thing is kids still need to feel important and not pushed aside by all of our other demands. It's a tough balance! (Especially w/a nursing baby!!!) It's been really hard for me lately too!

meliser said...

I am going to ponder this one for a while and see what I can change in my home. Thanks for sharing your insight.