It was a beautiful December day here in the Sunshine State. Days like today are why people spend their winters in Florida. We spent much of the day soaking in the warm rays of the sun, while also being delighted with a cool breeze.
For those of you who live somewhere cold, please don’t hate me.
Around 1:00, the natives grew restless. I didn’t feel right letting them watch a movie on a day like today, and in return they didn’t feel right about letting me sit poolside and read.
So after an hour of hearing about the injustice of such imposed boredom and the true cruelty of expecting them to entertain themselves I packed up the antsy brood and off we went to the park where I planned to continue my lounging while they ran off pent up energy.
Upon arriving at the park, I rejoiced to find a long swinging bench mercifully vacant and I settled in for a bit of relaxation only to discover that the smallest of the children had different plans in mind.
“Hey Mom, wanna play house wif us?” Landon asked. I looked over at Tia who widened her eyes pleadingly, which is a completely unfair tactic. Puppy dog eyes are cruel and unusual.
“What do I have to do to play house?” I asked wearily.
“How about you be the Mom and we’ll be the kids,” Tia answered.
“Okay,” I said. “Kids, go play and let Mommy rest for a bit!”
“No, Mom! That’s not how you play!” Foot stomp.
Seriously?! Puppy dog eyes and a foot stomp? She’s good, ladies and gentlemen.
“But I’m the Mom so I can tell you what to do, right?”
“No, Mom. You have to get up and come over here and drive us to school. Then you have to take us to the store and then you have to take us to Chuck E Cheese. That’s how you play!”
Funny. I always assumed that playing pretend actually took us out of real life.
“Okay,” I said. “But this swinging bench is my car so hop in.” And away we drove. I dropped them off at school, then picked them up, then we headed to the store.
“C’Mon, let’s go shop.”
“Uumm…” I stalled. “Let’s pretend I broke my leg and I have to ride in one of the motorized carts at the store. This bench will be my cart.”
“Aw, yeah!” they yelled and away we went. Notice that so far, I haven’t had to move from my bench.
Finally the “errands” were done and we arrived home. ”Alright, you guys go play now,” I said waving them on, stepping out of my role as pretend Mom and into my role as real Mom. It’s all very confusing, I know…
“No, Mom! Now you need to make dinner!”
“Tell you what,” I reasoned. “How about you be the Mom now and I will be the long lost Aunt who came for a visit, okay?”
“Alright! What’s your name?”
“Uh…Toto? Oh and hey – let’s pretend that I came from far, far away and I’m super tired so I have to lay down and sleep. How does that sound?”
“Hey, yeah!” they cried. “And this bench can be your bed and we will rock you while you sleep!”
So I laid down, closed my eyes and they rocked me back and forth, back and forth until I literally began dozing off.
“Mom. Hey Mom!” They shook me and I squinted up into their displeased eyes.
“This game is boring,” Tia said with a frown. “We don’t want to play anymore.”
“Yeah,” echoed Landon. “It’s bowing.”
“Can we go play on the playground?” Tia asked.
I looked at them for a silent moment then let out a small sigh. “Well, alright. If you really want to go play, I guess I don’t mind.” And off they ran, forgetting all about needing my entertainment. I laid back down then, my swing moving slowly back and forth in the afternoon breeze. Alone.
Seriously. I should get some kind of award for that…