thoughts on daily life within our family of SIX....each child in her own phase of childhood....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Family That Plays Together.....

I am a busy mom. I hate to say that and hate to feel that because when I am busy (which is a lot of the time), I often find myself not being able to stay present in the moment. I find myself looking at my watch--or at least thinking, "Okay, I have this many more minutes to read this story" or --what's worse--not sitting down to read the story or take the little one outside to cut the grass or walk the dog. How many times have I said, "We'll do it when you get up from your nap," or "After I load the dishwasher...., " or just, "Later...."?

Which one of my children, when getting to spend some fun time with Mama will mess it up through sassy talk or direct disobedience? (Okay, sometimes...but rarely.) Lately, I must say, discipline has been much more difficult with all three of my kiddos. By difficult I mean that I feel like I am walking through drying cement. Even the little one, who is usually pretty easy, has been directly defying me time after time. What is it?

I'm sure that there are several factors at play (no pun intended), but I cannot get away from the fact that there has been too much work and not enough play in our family. Too many "have-to's" and not enough time to laugh or just sit or read bedtime stories about Frances the Badger or bend down and look at the grass and leaves. Not enough time to collect acorns and leave them on the stepping stone for our squirrel and not enough time to have each of my children help me cook dinner and talk about when I was a little girl instead of rushing them through their "have to's" of setting the table and clearing it after we eat.

Today there were dishes in the sink, and there was laundry to be folded. But my boy and I stopped and played ball in the foyer. Over and over we threw the ball and giggled when we didn't catch it--or when we did. Over and over, my boy said , "Mommy,--you--are--playing--wif--me! Mommy,--you--are--playing--wif--me!"

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