Sunday, January 20, 2013

Matchbox Therapy

This week was a tough one with colds for the kids and myself, auto show work dinners for Mike, and end of semester chaos like I've never endured, and it proved what I've discovered time and again...once again.

Getting my butt on the floor, playing with my kids, engaging with them with 100% of my attention, it's magical stuff.

In the early days, in that first year of juggling work and home, at the end of the day you couldn't distract me from my kids.  Since time quantity was limited, I had to to maximize the quality, and I did so eagerly.  The phone, the laptop, the TV--all of that waited for bedtime, hardly even a temptation to me. 

Like so many things, it's different now.  We have discovered TV shows of George, and Einsteins, and Thomas, and I've discovered that half an hour of indulging the kids' TV request while I drink a cup of coffee and lose myself in Pinterest helps me re-energize for the remaining 4+ hours until bedtime.  Pretty or not, it's still an effort toward quality over quantity, and it happens almost daily.

Then they ask for more, and my dilemma begins.  By 3:30 in the afternoon, I've been going-going-going for ten hours with only a 20-minute lunch to inhale some leftovers and unwind my brain.  More time to decompress is so very tempting.  I give in to a show, and then a second show, more often than I'd like to admit, but I do try to remind myself of the magic of...






and how every time I opt for the playroom over a show, I'm glad.  Racing Matchbox cars, building Duplo castles, and making play dough pizzas is some of the most gratifying interaction of my life.  Never have I sat surrounded by a mess of toys, Michael and Sophie squabbling over turns, and thought thirty minutes of vegging out would have been better, that it would have revived me more fully. 

And if it feels that good to me, if it fills my soul with so much of what I need, I can only imagine how it impacts Michael and Sophie. 

A little pinning while blasting Rocket off on his mission has its place, perhaps a daily one, but it can't get too far in the way of the good stuff.  I can't let it.

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