Summer is here!!! Yay… woo and hoo… Listen, if you’re like me (and I assume you at least aspire to be) you are probably living your best life right now. Just filling your days with super fun activities. Me and my little horde started a garden so that we can make our own calming aroma therapy sprays, There is nothing like getting your hands into the earth and you know… gardening or whatever. We spend our days combing the beach to add to our sea shell collection. That is, when we are not keeping up on our academics. We try to hit at least 3 museums a week.
Ok ok ok… I respect you too much to lie to you. We are basically just phoning it in. My kids have been sleeping in until at least 800 a.m., and it is glorious. My younger daughter informed me that she doesn’t hate showers anymore. That might have something to do with the fact that she hasn’t had one since school let out 2 weeks ago. What? She is in the pool EVERY DAY. I have learned a few things about life the past couple of weeks. Like Pop tarts will not ACTUALLY kill your kids, or no matter how many times I make eye contact with them, and assure them I am paying attention, they will say, “watch me” 5,000 times before they do whatever trick they want me to see.
The biggest lesson I have learned this summer, and this is tough to admit, I …. hate playing. I know… it came as a shock to me too. I am basically a giant man baby who should not be left unsupervised. When Tony comes home from the station I am pretty sure that he is just as surprised as I am that the house is not on fire. To clarify, I love the chasing, the tickling, the wrestling… but the rest of it? Thumbs down.
Normally I could just accept my shortcomings and be confident in the fact that I am at least mediocre in the rest of the parenting arenas, But thanks to my husband, that isn’t an option. You see HE is GREAT at playing. He will drop whatever he is doing to build a space fort, or a Barbie princess tent, or play a made up game where the rules change every 5 seconds. And he… LIKES it. Now before you get a sappy grin on your face, and let out the inevitable “awwww”, can we at least take into consideration how this impacts me? I have given my very life force to these children. I smile all the time at the things they do, and the things they make. God knows I do not have the collagen left in my face to be smiling all day. I should be resting my facial muscles. And do you know how many times a day I wipe their butts???? I am TOO invested to just let him have the title of “Favorite Parent”.
Just yesterday my daughter handed me a doll, “That’s King Ben, you need to be the dad”. Apparently she didn’t appreciate my diatribe about toxic masculinity and the outdated patriarchal institutions that further enslave us as a society, because 5 minutes into it she asked if she could be excused to go clean her room and eat her vegetables. “It’s ok Daddy, I’ll just wait until Papa gets home to play this game.” My son will saunter into a room, “Where’s Papa? I want to play Vampire Ninja Space Detective!!” I’ll play with you Buddy. “Uh…. well…. that’s ok Daddy, how about if I just yell for you like I am on fire when I need to be fed/hugged/can’t find something/ or you want to sit down for 5 seconds?”
Tony, bless his heart… he will try to throw me a bone. He will offer to take over the scheduling, and the cleaning, and the cooking, etc. so that I can be the fun Dad for awhile. And I appreciate it. He just does it all wrong (i.e. not the way I do it), and despite what you might think, you can’t just fold towels any way you want. There is a code. And that code must be followed.
Sigh… I will admit that watching this big giant man hold the tiniest plastic tea cup, pinky outstretched, with a princess Tiara on his head is beyond adorable. Ok, and maybe watching him patiently explain to Brody why he needs a “blah blah blah” to build his space fort makes me involuntarily smile. And you know… I do have enough leverage (in the form of video footage of him dancing and twirling to Disney songs) to comfortably keep me in trips to Target for a lifetime. Maybe this arrangement isn’t that bad.
I guess we can’t be everything to our kids, and luckily for all of us I don’t have to be. Besides, I guess if I really want my kids attention all I have to do is go to the bathroom by myself.