Posts Tagged ‘Play’

Ten minutes’ worth of Etch-A-Sketch (still in the package) for a bored thirteen-year-old, passing time in the check-out line:


And check out the other creative entries for this week…

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The Grand Old Oak Tree

How many monkeys can you see?

Zoom in close and count with me…

One, two, three, four, five, six ~ seven;

These loving arms are a child’s heaven!


A Home Away From Home

This boy has found a notch on which to hang his Crocs, a nook for his Co-cola, a wedge for his hot dog foil and a quiet place to enjoy his book.

What’s your favorite childhood tree memory?


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~Diaper-changing exacerbates any early-onset arthritis you may be in the process of acquiring.

~The Jehovah’s Witness that comes to the door and wakes everybody up at naptime comments, “I see you have a lovely grandchild!”

~Grabbing the child by the back of the OshKosh overalls while they’re attempting to escape, causes a pulled muscle underneath your rib cage. For eight days.

~You look forward to their nap time not so you can get the dishes and laundry done, but so that you can nap too, to gas up for the next round of their shenanigans.

~Your back goes out while bending over to pick up toys.

~You are eternally grateful to Pixar for making movies that you probably appreciate more than the child, since most the humor goes over their head.

~You’re rather appreciative of their willingness to pick up and eat dropped Cheerios off the floor; one less thing to have to sweep up.

~The only things you bother to discipline are the big ticket-things: non-flushable items flushed down the toilet, jumping on private parts and locking you out of the house or car.

~Make and stay friends with a nurse. It’ll save you hundreds in copays.

~There is no guilty conscience whatsoever in donating toys which require batteries, make noise or otherwise interfere with your increasingly-slowing thought process.

~They can actually outrun you now. And you just watch them recklessly fly down the street, as you rock in the rocking chair on the front porch. We’ll hook up sooner or later….

~They learn to be more creative and just as smart since you don’t have the energy to shove all manner of trendy sensory input down their throat. The metal spoon whacked against the pot makes just as fine (if not better) a drum, than the latest retail electronic Fisher-Price equivalent with all the bells and whistles. And the pot drives everybody just a hair crazier anyhow.

~No pants, no shirt, no problem: toilet training made easier…

~You are grateful he learned the hard way (but not too hard!) about why you kept telling him not to touch the stove…one less thing to have to harp on. He gets it now.

~You know the ropes, so you have 5 full years to prepare your argument to the school district as to why your child, born just two days after the cutoff, should be allowed to enter Kindergarten earlier than according to the letter of the law. Besides, it wasn’t your fault…the induction date was a hotly debated issue of negotiation due to an approaching hurricane at the time. Aw, c’mon…

~The line between naughty behavior and experiential learning has become more profoundly blurred.

~It is easier to appreciate the preoperational line of thinking: you understand that the act of charging Daddy unexpectedly from behind with the toilet plunger is an act of securing love, not a derelict violation of household protocol. After you holler at him.

~Maybe french fries in the car seat and animal crackers in bed ain’t so bad after all…they love running the vacuum “all by myself,” anyway.

~Accidentally dumped kitty’s water all over the kitchen floor? Needed mopping anyway. Thanks, kid!

~What goes in, must and will come out, by hook or by crook.

~No one can really tell which side of the debate one’s parents were on when it came to issues like co-sleeping, diapering or pacifiers…we all wind up being a little neurotic anyway.

~You hope they never notice that theirs is the only baby book of all the siblings that only had the first few pages filled out and everything else haphazardly jammed in the front flap, with no pictures because by the time they turned 1 everything was on memory stick anyway.

~Whoops! Who let him out to ride on his Very Noisy Little Tykes Motorcycle at 6 am after the neighbors kept everyone awake till 3 am with their too-loud party?

~You recognize the value of using the baby as a key accessory in the embarrassment of his middle school brother when warranted, until the middle school brother recognizes that the baby can be used as a chick magnet.

~Screen saver pictures at work effectively serve to elevate your status as a Wise Elder, since no one else can claim parenthood at such an old age, and you and your body have endured something they won’t. (Insert audio of Toy Story aliens: “Ooooooooh!”)

~Neither you nor child are quite of the age to really give a rip about too much. Let’s just see how things turn out…

~People are divided into 2 camps: those who assume, and those who can tell but don’t dare to ask.

~You are more inclined to let the crayon scribbles on the wall remain as a sentimental memento, so you can show his future spouse when you are introduced. Besides, the house would be so terribly dull and lifeless if every wall was perfectly maintained…

~All you can do is helplessly turn away and laugh instead of registering appropriate horror when the baby tries his hand at doing what his disabled brother was just admonished for doing in rapid succession at the Fall Festival: coming up behind women with disproportionately and outrageously gargantuan back porches, and losing his hand somewhere in their butt by trying to pat it, angelic smile upward when they generate an updraft by whirling around in shock to see who dared. Let ’em wonder which one in the crowd is the urchin’s mama…

~Beautiful women strike up conversations with Daddy in the grocery store, after cooing over the small, human lure strapped into the buggy.

~It is equally risky to use paid time off for anything but infirmity, since your body has entered its second childhood, and either of you are at risk of requiring sudden medical attention at any given moment. Falling out of a tree is about as easy as dislocating a hip by landing wrong on a meandering Lego.

~You’re the perfect cross between Willy Wonka and Andy Rooney.

Thank you God, for Your perfect timing in all things, for perspective and love. Do we keep You on Your toes, too, God?

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Hey, God…

I really should lighten up. After all, life is too short. Why, I ask myself, are my posts so, um, serious? Is it because I use most my humor at work, making my superiors and the children laugh? Wait, they must be laughing at me instead of with me. This could account for why I have not been promoted within my impatient time frame. Some coworkers might beg to differ, however, since the new position with the office they gave me is the only one, other than higher administrators, which has an actual window in it, a window that overlooks some beautiful scenery…lily pads with bullfrogs sunning themselves, a blue heron whom I suspect may be a prop on the payroll for therapeutically aesthetic purposes, sloping lawn that dares you to lie down, cross your heart and roll down to the pond. One day I will lead all the children to do just that, simply because it is there. We will get muddy and laugh.

Maybe I am being kept there for their entertainment. Maybe they secretly want to say and do the brash things I (sometimes impulsively) do, like saying what everyone is thinking anyway, but nobody wants to be the idiot out on a limb to come out and say so. Or maybe it’s the double entendres I spit out on daily whims as circumstances present themselves, the kind that go clear over the heads of the children and certain adults, but are clearly understood by those who happen to be on their toes at the moment. Other than a couple of appreciated indiscretions, I have followed my New Year’s resolution this year in the office to keep all emails brief and businesslike.


I will have to do an experiment and try being serious at work some day, and see if I don’t have more playful humor left over in the evening for this blog. Oops, that might not work…they recently gave me that office to work in a position in which playfulness is valued, even expected. The staff was stiffly aghast last week at my choice in replenishing the Treasure Box with whoopee cushions, rubber roaches and hillbilly teeth; my superiors suppressed grins and happily but quietly reimbursed me for such purchases. The children and I had a wonderful time, nonetheless, and I hope lessons were learned all the way around about the importance of laughter and lightheartedness. Alas, am I doomed to be playful by day, serious by night? I hereby try not to be so serious, even when I am not being paid to be playful. How much better life is when we keep playfulness a priority. Life is too boring, too straight-laced, otherwise.

I was terribly grateful for the unbusinesslike email a coworker sent me envying my daily playful responsibilities; and shamefully amused at another coworker who went to the trouble to page me overhead throughout the entire facility this morning in front of you, God and everybody, just because she wanted to show me something she found for me on her phone that was best relegated to her phone and not mine, and made me blush just having to look at it in the confines of the office setting. Oh, my. I do want to sign up for those classes, though.

And when I came home, our home was opened to several neighborhood children who emerged out of nowhere when we pulled in. How much more fun was it for them to do homework with classmates who are neighbors; to ride bikes off of the ramp which they rigged up in the front yard; to laugh at the baby who puts a “y” instead of an “l” into his vocabulary and tried to feed his stuffed yion some Yucky Charms; taming snakes and lizards and critters the other kids aren’t allowed to keep in their homes; to feed all seven children supper because they were here and hungry and nobody wanted to go home quite yet. I hope the background strains of “Holding on to Black Metal” didn’t subliminally corrupt anyone.

Now it is my turn to unwind. I am thoroughly exhausted, cold still in full swing, head swimming with all the puzzles and Legos and dollhousing and Monopoly Junior and cards I played today, while I slipped in some neurological rearranging on those with whom I played. I will consider planting a rubber roach somewhere tomorrow. But for now, I am reduced to stick-figure status, tired and simplistic, with X’s for eyes.

Aaaah, thanks, God, for these beach chairs, that we can unwind together! It’s okay to play both on and off the clock, isn’t it?

I secretly think You must like to play, too, God. After all, You rested on the seventh day. You play…for keeps.

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