Sometimes as parents, we need an “ah-ha” moment to really check into this parent gig again. I get lost in being a parent occasionally. It’s so routine and boring sometimes. Wake up, breakfast, play, snack, play, lunch, nap, snack, play, dinner, play, bedtime. Can get a tad monotonous. Especially days when I’m not in the mood to play or do anything. It’s hard to act like a kid all day when you’re not really a kid. I can only play fairies and princesses so many times a day : / And then there are those days where we get out and about to a fun place to get a change of pace and see new sights. I sometimes feel like I want to make someone else entertain my kids for a little while when we get out of the house. It is nice having so many opportunities around Sioux Falls to take the kids to. Get them to explore other areas of their brain and be inquisitive about the world around them rather than our basement playroom. Plus giving Mommy a little break from Barbies and play make-up. Works out for all of us.
Usually when we get out of the house and go somewhere, I let Ivy wander and explore herself as I sit back and take a little break while she entertains herself. However, back to that “ah-ha” moment I had. We were at Skyzone and I was letting Ivy just jump around, I had Leo in the Baby Bjorn carrier and we were kind of jumping around too, but basically just keeping an eye on Ivy, not really interacting too much. Well it was then that I saw Ivy stop and watch this Mom and her daughter. The daughter would run down the long trampoline as the Mom held her arms out for the daughter to run into. The daughter would run run run as fast as she could and jump into the Mom’s arms. They did this again and again and the daughter was laughing hysterically and so happy and the Mom was getting a big huge hug out of it too. As I watched this, then looked down at Ivy, I could see that she wanted to do it too. And immediately, I felt so bad. Why didn’t I think of something so easy like that to play with my daughter? Here I was just jumping around letting the time pass and depending on Ivy to create her own fun, letting “someone else entertain my kid.” Then the embarrassed in me, didn’t want to sit down and do that right away because the Mom would know I was copying them. But good grief, who really cares, I’m at Skyzone for goodness sakes.
So I sat down at the other end of the long trampoline and she started running and running with her little pigeon toed feet as fast as she could and jumped into my happy extended arms to give me a huge hug. It was pretty much the best feeling ever. I was playing with my daughter. She ran back to do it again, and said, “again, again!” about ten more times. I felt so happy but so much like a fool at the same time. Here I was copying this other Mom when I went to Skyzone just to have “someone else entertain my child.” And that’s when I said “ah-ha.” I don’t ever want to feel that way again. Something so simple as running and jumping into arms can make a kid smile. Why wouldn’t I want that more? To offer Ivy a simple little interaction?
And now when I go places with her, that’s kind of our thing. Whenever I see an opportunity for her to “run run run Ivy!” I take advantage of it. She knows exactly what to do and she immediately smiles and laughs. I just die seeing her pigeon toes try to run as fast as she can with that big humongous grin on her happy face. It’s those moments that I want to have with her more and more. Sure I still need those breaks, when she can go play and explore on her own and learn independence, or hand her the ipad for a few minutes of quiet, so I can like, actually take a shower or something (humph), but a quick interception of fun interaction benefits us both. I don’t want to be a kid all day, but we like high morale around here. I need to take better advantage of the learning opportunities that exist out there (says the teacher in me). There’s so much to teach your child when you’re out and about!
I wish I could go tell that Mom that she inspired me and encouraged me to change the way I parent. Something so simple and stupid that made me go “ah-ha,” that’s the kind of parent I want to be. Someone who plays and laughs with their child. I need those little reminders sometimes when times are getting monotonous or when I want to browse on my phone to pass the time. That’s where I should really put it all down and tell Ivy to “run run run!” as fast as she can into my arms. Because let’s face it, she won’t be wanting to run those pigeon toes as fast as she can towards me for a hug forever. #siiiiiigh
Photo by Amie Hansen Photography