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 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.
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.
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…
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.