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Well played


When Sam and Michael were younger and I wasn’t working, time seemed to stand still.

If they woke up early, as they usually did, I would sometimes hope it was dinnertime and it would only be 9 am.

I was not really ever the type of person that enjoyed children. I didn’t really ever envision myself staying home all day with babies and toddlers and playing with them.

But I did it.

I would care for them and play with them and by the time Mr. Gaga would get home I was practically catatonic. I always used to recite my favorite scene from Overboard when he got home….he usually didn’t think it was too funny.

I don't belong here. I feel it. Don't you think I feel it? I can't do any of these vile things and I wouldn't want to! My life is like death! My children are the spawn of hell and you're the devil. Oh, God..

I don’t belong here. I feel it.
Don’t you think I feel it?
I can’t do any of these vile things
and I wouldn’t want to!
My life is like death!
My children are the spawn of hell
and you’re the devil.
Oh, God..

I really meant it.  I would stare at him and say over and over again “I feel it!! Don’t you think I feel it?”

Just for my own entertainment really.

But the next morning I would start anew all of the pleasures of being home with small children.

I did everything I could possibly think of to entertain them and myself.  I would do anything to get out of the house and speak to adults…I would have gone to a hanging.

I joined horrendous playgroups, mom groups, playdates and activities. I took them to classes at the library and at an art studio, we would go to the farm and the park, music classes and gymnastics.

When those activities were over I would spend hours on end on the floor in their rooms doing puzzles, coloring, and playing restaurant. I would read them books and do flashcards to learn the alphabet.

I would play Thomas the Train and matchbox cars and Lightening McQueen, I would build buildings out of blocks and forts out of blankets and chairs. We would play marching band and we would sing Wiggles songs and the theme song from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

When it was nice out we would spend hours playing outside. I would take them for walks and pull them in their wagon. I would push them on the swings and chase them up and down the driveway and play hide and seek. I would watch them ride their tricycles and push their bubble mowers. I remember being utterly exhausted, sitting on the driveway in a patch of sunlight doing chalk drawings over and over again. When that got too boring we would blow bubbles and try to catch them. We would collect rocks and pinecones while exploring.

When it was hot out I would fill up baby pools and set up sprinklers and watch them splash in the water.

The other day was the first day that it was warm enough to play outside without a jacket. The kids drew a four-square court and invited Mr. Gaga to play while I prepared dinner.

I went outside to ask Mr. Gaga to light the grill.

“Mom, please play four square with us!” Michael pleaded.

It was nice out and I was in no rush to make dinner.

“Ok – I will play a couple of rounds – but then I have to get dinner ready.” I agreed.

So there we were in the front yard on the driveway having a family friendly game of foursquare.

 

Whenever we all play an outdoor game together Mr. Gaga sings "As long as we got each other..." very loudly which was the song playing during the Hogan Family's football game...

Whenever we all play an outdoor game together Mr. Gaga sings “As long as we got each other…” very loudly which was the song playing during the Hogan Family’s football game…

 

The game went well – we all headed inside and we sat down to dinner shortly thereafter.

A few minutes into dinner Michael said, “You know Mom – tonight when you played foursquare with us……..”

“Yes lovebug…” I replied.

“That was the only time you ever played with us.” he finished his statement and continued to eat his chicken.

 

 

 

I nearly choked.

I looked over at both kids while they calmly ate their dinner.

“Do you people even know that I spend 6 solid years of my life home playing with you and taking you places and doing everything for you?” I spat out.

“No…I don’t remember that.” Michael said confidently before biting into his roll.

“Oookaaay….well I did. I took you to the library, and the farm and the daycare at the gym science museum…….and I read to you and played with you outside practically every day of your life!”  “I took you for bike rides and walks and took you to every park in town a million times!” I said with desperation looking at both children for a flicker of recognition or acknowledgement.

Sam calmly looked up from his dinner and said “Well…you don’t do any of that now.” and took a bite of chicken.

And what could I say to that.

He was right.

Before this little foursquare outing I hadn’t really “played” with them in about a year.

I dropped my fork and sat back in my chair – speechless.

All those torturous hours and endless days of playing with my children……for nothing.

I thought back to all of the other mothers I spent time with and spoke to that made me want to gouge out my eyeballs…all for the sake of my children.  All of the horrible playdates I sat through, all of the horrific toddler classes at the library surrounded by snot-nosed children sitting on the filthy floor, the hours spent chasing them around the park.

And to think they don’t remember one thing I ever did with them.

So I did what any woman in her right mind would do…

 

theresa

theresa2

 

Just kidding …I only did that in my mind.  

But it’s a tough pill to swallow.

All that time and effort and I could have totally ignored them and watched tv and read US Weekly all day for the same results.

Then it dawned on me.  This is why I have two children.  So they can play with each other!! My mother never played with me!!

These jerks are trying to get me down and lay a guilt trip on me and I have learned a valuable lesson.

Now that I know they suffer from severe memory loss…..

I will never play with my kids again.

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8 responses »

  1. I like when she goes buh buh Buh Buh Buh Buh Buh Buh..

    Reply
  2. I was feeling all guilty in the beginning of this since I was never a very good “player” – by the end I realized I had it right all along! I’ve got 3 and when they start bugging me to play with them I tell them “go play with your brother/sister – that’s why we had them!”

    Reply
  3. I’m starting to dig my girls wanting to ignore me and play on their on. They’re 18, 10, and 9.

    You’ll be shocked at the five to ten minutes of alone time that build up.

    Reply
  4. vitatrain4life

    I am so glad I’m reading this NOW when my kids are only 5 (twins) and everyone likes to say “well, at least they have each other to play with,” which is complete and total BS. If they’re not even going to remember all the stuff I’m doing with them now, I’m ending the torture. THANK YOU!

    Reply
  5. Played with them, when I could. Use to tell them, I am not your clown. At this age, they can, entertain themselves. Be careful of Monopoly because this game could last hours…..Good luck. LOL!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Oh man! Or oh momma! I’m in the thick of it now. A 3 yo and a 1 yo, and the 3 yo wanting me to be 5 different characters all at once. I just fell off the trunk in his room ’cause he wanted me to be Lena from singing in the rain. And then Kathy watching him climb into bed and then…and then…I came downstairs to drown my sorrows in chocolate and found your post, and I feel understood, and sort of off the hook. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  7. We just got back from Disney World and the whole time my daughter (13) acted like she’d never seen the place. Never mind that she was there at 3, 5, 7 and 9. She kept saying the only reason she knew she had been there was because of the pictures. OHHH the money I could have saved! When she is 20 she probably won’t remember this trip either!

    Reply

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