Wednesday, February 12, 2014

28 days of play

As part of a series called "28 days of play" I submitted this story, and it was just published. It can be found here.
Playing is not what I do best. This year, I specifically set a goal for my relationship with each of my 3 children based on what I felt they needed from me. My goal for my 4-year-old daughter is to play with her everyday for at least 30 minutes. Simple you say? Well, not for me. I am not a natural playing-type. That’s what my husband does, and he does it well and loves it. Me, not so much.
Sure, I’m around as she plays and I facilitate it. I take good care of her. I feed her, bathe her, kiss her, help her with CatherinePlayPiclearning, clean up with her, bake with her, brush her hair, wash her clothes, help make her bed, read to her…but I don’t play. In fact, I tried making myself play once, and I sat there hoping she would forget I was there so I could sneak off and fold laundry. That sounds horrible…clearly, I am far from perfect.

So, in an effort to do better in this area, I began the “give it 100″ challenge at the beginning of January. Each day of the week while the baby sleeps, we have a minimum of 30 minutes of playtime. Yes, I actually do set the timer. And you know what? Sometimes I dread it. But since it’s on my ‘to do’ list for the day, I do it. I’m a list kind of girl. Once I get going into her world and forget about mine for that short time, I see her in a different light and marvel at her active imagination and ability to love and interact with me. Most of the time, I am amazed at how much I love being in her world and doing what she wants. Maybe one day I’ll just play for the sake of playing and forget the timer; that’s the plan anyways. After all, she is only 4 for 365 days, and I imagine that one day I may wish these days back. –Catherine, Ottowa Canada.

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