Saturday, June 9, 2007

Learning to Play

Today my best friend Allison and I packed up the kids and took them to Planet Child in Cary. It doesn't sound like much, but it was a big undertaking for us.

First of all, there are five car seats to manage. Two booster seats (no problem, they're light and easy), one infant bucket (again, pretty simple) and two mammoth Britax car seats (I should be bench pressing to handle those). I think those things are safe in the same way that SUVs are safe - they're just bigger, heavier and tougher than everything else on the road. Of course, you'll likely sprain a wrist trying to move it from car to car.... I digress...

By 9:30 we had all five kids dressed, fed and strapped into the car. Hooray! Sadly, that meant that Allison wasn't yet dressed. She threw on some clothes and we were off.

Planet Child was terrific. If you haven't been there, it's definitely worth a trip to Cary. (It's a 45 minute drive for us and we'll definitely go back). The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. It was busy but not crowded at all - and the kids all quickly found sections that amused them. Charlie put on a pith helmet and climbed into a Land Rover in the safari section. WG found a buddy and headed to the kitchen/grocery area. Sam and his buddy played in the pirate ship - my personal favorite. And Baby B and Baby T were happy, happy in the baby area. We spent two hours there are scarcely a tear was shed - a near record for our crowd.

I played on the floor with Baby B for a wonderful, long time. We played peek a boo among the padded blocks. We spun the toddler bead toy, we giggled and we hugged the stuffed animals. It struck me that I really do love playing on the floor with him. But I do have a tough time doing it at home. At home it seems that there's always laundry to do, closets to straighten, out of season clothes to pack up, or emails to answer. I have such a hard time putting those things to the side to play. It's when he's frustrated or sad that I'll get on the floor with him and distract him. At the pool we splash about together. Even in the grocery store we sing and play. It's at home that I have a hard time playing.

I think I need to put playing on my to-do list. Every morning I start with a to-do list. It typically has 30-40 items on it, so I rarely get them all done in a day. But I am happy when I can cross off half. Then I roll the other items to the next day. Maybe if I put playing on the floor with Baby B, I'll remember to make it a priority - even when we're just at home.

No comments: