My daughter has introduced to me the art of drafting titles for chapters in the fashion of Charles Dickens and A. A. Milne. The above is my shout out to my wonderful kid and her writing talents. She is amazing and has already published a children’s book (when she was 12 years old): On Ms. Mandy’s Desk. My kids are great people to hang out with. So I want to do the thing they are most interested in doing – playing! Never a Doll Moment reminds me to take time out and play with my Dolls – my darling daughters.
How many times do our kids ask us to play and we are too busy doing things nobody will ever remember? Our kids will remember that we sat on the floor and played with them. My siblings and I fondly remember playing on the playground while our mom was the “Playground Monster”. We especially loved when she climbed up a slide or monkey barred over to tag us, growling and pretending to claw at us from under a bridge, never seeming to quite reach us. My dad, a wrestling coach, engaged us in a kids v. Dad free-for-all, several times a year, where we all ganged up on him and he fought us all at once, laughing until we were too tired to attack any more – or until somebody stubbed a toe and cried.
My mom would declare opera days where we had to sing everything instead of speak. Now that I look back, I see those days coincided with especially long house cleaning sessions – a spring cleaning, or preparing for guests! My mother has been in heaven 16 long years, but the fun stays with me, and inspires my parenting. There is never a dull moment in my house, but if there is, we make it a doll moment!
I honestly have to work at this. I love fun as much as the next gal, but lawyers are not known for livening parties. But when I add up how much time I have until my dolls are grown women, I am inspired to play with them!
My genius friend, Meegan, has a great strategy for making sure her kids get play time with her, while keeping expectations manageable. A timer! The kids see a visual countdown of the designated play with mom time and know that when the timer is up, it is time for mom to fix dinner, work with the older kids, etc.
Possibly my favorite mom playtime with my youngest was when she chose a Lego friends playset she had constructed for us to play with. She voiced the girl figurine “Stephanie” and I had the privilege of voicing the girl’s pet bunny, whom she called “Stephanitis”, of course. Apparently these were a homeless, orphaned pair, because they quickly sought refuge in the neighboring Lego playset, an RV camper that her sister had constructed. Every mom play time, for at least a month, our girl and her bunny traveled to visit “the camper people”. And suddenly it stopped and I was directed to play spies. When I inquired of my little Stephanitis, my daughter informed me that the bunny and her owner were adopted by the camper people and that they all lived happily ever after! I love a happy ending.
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