I Don’t Want To Play.

“Mama, do you want to play with me?”

My first inclination is to simply say no, because the truth is right now I do not want to play with my kid.    It’s Saturday, I’m tired and I would much prefer to spend the day lounging on my couch, cheating on my diet and Pursuing My Own Interests.

It’s not that I don’t like my son, it’s just that he is 6 and we do not share the same hobbies.  We have remarkably little in common, actually.  For example, he likes dumb kid stuff and I like fascinating adult stuff.  He likes to do things and I like to sit around and do nothing.

He’s been bugging me since 4:53 this morning to go outside and play in the snow.  I’m not a fan of snow and I find it offensive that Mother Nature would flaunt something so despicable in my son’s face so that I have to be the bad guy and say no about going out in it.  It’s like when some jerk buys your kid a super loud toy that drains batteries faster than you can buy them and then requires a screwdriver to actually get to the batteries that need replacing every five minutes.  That “friend” is all look how great I am, I bought your kid a gift but the second they walk out your door, you are left with that stupid toy and a kid that’s whining because the damn thing is broken again and now you have to stop what you’re doing, find the batteries and the screwdriver and fix it and then, yeah, probably play with the kid, too.  Isn’t that what toys are for?  For the kid to play with?  Why do these toys always require so much involvement on my part?

I a am a grumpy woman and I refuse to pretend otherwise.  Actually, I pretend otherwise quite a bit, because really no one likes grumpy people and I do want people to like me.  But I don’t really like toys or playing or snow or work (like changing batteries).   Now that I think about it, I pretend to like all these things because it seems that’s what moms do – pretend to like a lot of dumb stuff.

I have tried suggesting to my son that he try out some of the activities I enjoy.  He doesn’t seem interested in watching me blog, doing chores for me or catching up on Homeland.  He doesn’t want to sit quietly while I read.  He doesn’t want to entertain himself safely while I nap.  I must not be raising him right.  He doesn’t want to do anything good.

He and I are going to have to have a little talk I think.  As soon as I get done playing some stupid game with stuffed Angry Birds and then playing in the snow.

Hanging out at the first yeah write moonshine grid.  Go see what all the hype is about, why don’t you?

36 Responses to “I Don’t Want To Play.”

  1. Kiki says:

    How can your child not like chores? Man. It’s really funny how exhausting mentally it can be to play a kid game sometime. I have to really psych myself up. My two and four year old wanted to play Monopoly the other day. MONOPOLY. Can you imagine? I said yes, and by the time we got around to “GO” the first time, I said, “Next person who gets to ‘GO’ wins!” We never even got there. But I realized ahead of time it would be absurd to give into their wish to play a game I can’t even finish, so it actually amused me. Good thing my kids and I both like angry birds.

    • Nathan’s angry birds game involved throwing stuffed animals up and down the stairs. Fun for a few minutes. I enjoy board games but he isn’t always into them. Sometimes we’re on the same page about something fun to do. I’m sure the older he gets the more we’ll get to do the same stuff at the same time.

  2. My older son was a lot like that. My younger one is more independent. But not my dog! I’ll be in the snow most of the day with driveway shoveling, playing with Shane and hiking with the dog!

    Hope you get some couch time!

    • This kid isn’t independent at all. He goes through spurts where he’ll play alone for a bit, but he’d much rather play with me. Winter is hard too when we’re stuck inside. I made it about 30 minutes outside before I couldn’t feel my hands. Maybe we’ll go back out tomorrow.

  3. Dilovely says:

    OMG! LOVE this post, love the candour. Funnily enough, I was interrupted while reading it by my 3.5-year-old son who wanted me to play cars with him. He doesn’t want to wait patiently either while I blog (or while I do email or feed his baby sister or change her diaper or make dinner or tidy up…). And while I want him to play in the snow and have a grand old time… I don’t particularly want to go with him.

  4. Kianwi says:

    Ha ha, so funny! The last family I nannied for, they had three boys. I hated playing cars, hated it, but yet that’s all they ever wanted to do. They would actually play trains with me, too, and I at least got satisfaction out of building really cool train tracks…until they smashed it all down. Boys. And they would never take me up on my suggestion to play Barbies!

  5. Azara says:

    I really appreciate your honesty – I think a lot of parents feel like this but are afraid to say so. Fortunately my husband takes our toddler out in the snow so I can stay inside and cuddle with the baby. So far our 2.5 year old daughter likes to dance with me and look at pictures of wild animals on the computer. I’m dreading when she starts wanting me to do more boring things.

    • I let my kid look at the computer when he was little and now, 5 days a week, he gets my laptop in the mornings before I do. I’m not sure how this happened. At least then I get some peace :)

  6. This post slays me! Michelle, you are such a great writer. I read your every post by email but I don’t always comment because I have an unnatural fear and/or hatred of blogger. But I always love your stories!!

  7. Erica M says:

    I threaten to drop off Ehren at school if he can’t play quietly with his rescue bots next to me while I work. Yes, even on the weekends—what does he know?

    • I think this is brilliant. I don’t think it would work here though. But I’m thinking that I should come up with some place I could threaten to leave him and see if that works. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Jared Karol says:

    This is brilliant, Michelle. Oh, how many parents are thinking the exact same thing. I guess I’m lucky that I have twins, and they can play all their dumb stuff together and not involve me in it. . . I especially loved this line: “For example, he likes dumb kid stuff and I like fascinating adult stuff.” Wonderfully irreverent and yet spot on. . .and the bit about the batteries and the screwdriver. . . kill me now. . .

    • Before I realized I needed another one to play with the first one, it was too late. I’ve always said it would be great if I could rent an older brother for him to play with. But I don’t know of a service like that. Do you?

  9. Larks says:

    I so hear you on this. As I type this my 4 y/o is playing some iPad game about addition while I goof around on the internet. Sure, I’m letting technology act as a baby sitter but educational games are like the broccoli of screen time, right?

    • I rely on electronics a lot around here. I know I shouldn’t, and it’s not even educational stuff, but sometimes I really just need a minute to think. Or ramble. Or take a shower. Or do some laundry. But then other times I watch him roll marbles past me while I type, like I’m doing right now. It’s all about balance.

  10. Bee says:

    I really appreciate your honestly, Michelle. I don’t have kids, but I can imagine myself having these same thoughts.

  11. Robbie K says:

    My kids haven’t wanted me to play with them for years. ;( My just turned 6 year old will allow me to sort legos but I don’t actually get to build or play with them. He always informs me that I’m a grown up and grown ups can’t play…despite my pleadings that I love to play and am good at it.

    • I know some day I’ll miss it when he doesn’t want to play with me. And I don’t mind playing when it’s something fun (haha!!) or when I have the time. Sometimes the grown up stuff can’t wait. Sometimes Mom’s mental health can’t wait either!

  12. Christir says:

    My kids are like your son!! Playing. Blah!

  13. My oldest was an only child for a long time. I remember feeling guilty that I didn’t want to drop everything because he didn’t have a playmate. They do grow up and he’s away at college. Hardly a text from him — ever. So it does change. ha.

  14. I logged many hours sitting on the floor building Lego structures but now, like Jamie, I have an older kid from whom I’m lucky to get a text. May spring come soon for y’all!

  15. kristin says:

    I often find that when I let myself just get into whatever game they are pulling me into – including snow – that I actually really enjoy myself. But yeah, left to my own devices, I’d be happy to just lounge and surf and watch L&O reruns.

    • I enjoy myself with some games, I really do. But when I have a mountain of me stuff (or just a raging need for some me time – or quiet time) I find it hard to let go. It’s that thing where if he’d give me some space I’d be better equipped to enjoy our time together. He’s too little to understand that. Someday someone will glom onto him and he’ll get it.

      I miss TV during the day. Mindless midday TV watching…

  16. Pippi says:

    Hahahaha! You wrote what a lot of us feel sometimes. :-)

  17. LOL at “He doesn’t seem interested in watching me blog…”

    I can’t imagine why.

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