I've been doing a lot of thinking lately - well, since I've been off Facebook and my forums, what else is there to do! Today I realised how absent I have been as a mother. Sure, physically I've been here, but I've not really BEEN here. So today, I went through and tossed out all our plastic toys that play pretty tunes and have nice flashing lights. I no longer will let my children be entertained by something that runs on batteries (minds out of the gutter girls!) but instead - I will get down there on the floor and play with them.
So today, I read a book to Speedy. Sounds like a nice, normal thing to do yes? I can count on my fingers how many times I have done it. I should be ashamed of myself. When Sparrow was around 14 months old, I spent 3 hours reading to him, because he wanted me to. I read to him until my throat was sore and my voice was nearly completely gone. I didn't have anything better to do than to entertain him, so I played with him, instead of watching from afar and being completely detached from him.
So I read a book to Speedy. Then another book. That same book 3 times. She really likes green sheep it turns out. Then I played blocks with her. And later in the day I played with the trains with her. And it didn't kill me, I wasn't bored out of my brain, I was actually having fun. And she was happy.
Why is it so hard to let ourselves go and just be kids again with our kids? Why do we have children if not to play with them? Why not be a "play at home mum" instead of a "stay at home mum"?
I think we spend so much of our own childhood trying to act older than we are, then we reach adulthood and we have to be so mature and responsible - that we forget how to be kids again. And then because we forget what its like, our children become annoying, or naughty - because we can't see the fun in what they are doing. So today I let Speedy put sand in the dog bowl. She was having fun, and in the grand scheme of things - was it hard to put the sand back into the sand pit once she was done? Did the dog care if there were some grains of sand mixed in with her dinner? I doubt it, judging by the way she hoovered it down - I doubt she even chews it half the time.
So tomorrow I'll be playing more, and helping my little nerd burgers use their imagination with their non-flashy, non-music playing toys. Maybe we'll build a castle, or a cave.
Or maybe, just maybe, we'll build some fantastic childhood memories for them. After all, my children don't care if my dishes are done by 10am, or if my washing is up to date - but they do care if mummy reads them "Where is the green sheep". Be it once, twice, or even three times.