Last week my kids were sick. My son had a fever and sore throat. Nothing major, but as we all know, if one child gets sick, the other will soon after. Three days after my son was better, my daughter came down with the virus. She felt bad enough that she didn’t want to do anything except sit on the couch. I declared it a movie day and we watched Moana on repeat, ate popsicles, and lots of buttered toast. Despite being next to her and giving lots of snuggles, I missed her. That spunky personality of hers and unrelenting energy were gone.
Luckily this was a short lived virus. She was back to normal the next day. I was glad and grateful for the little pause in our busy lives. We’ve had lots of birthday parties lately, end of the year school activities to attend, and summer plans to make. I was able to reflect on how much I really did miss her. How long had it been since I sat down on the floor and played with her? Even as a stay-at-home mom, I too get caught up in mile long to-do lists. There is always laundry that always needs folding, dishes that need washing, and bills to pay. It’s funny how we can go through an entire day without actually playing with our children.
Yes, I’m all for independent play. My husband and I encourage it as much as we can. But they are still at the age where they want to play with us. I hate saying “no” all the time. So that day I went to join her and her brother at the craft table. She wanted to paint, so I got out the containers, paint brushes, and paper. I watched the two of them (especially my son, who is still a toddler and can’t be trusted with paint) as they created their masterpieces. My daughter chatted all the while about nothing in particular. Her cute little musings about her day were sweet and I made note of how long her eyelashes were and how her little nose wrinkled when she laughed.
I stayed in the playroom with them for a good thirty minutes and I don’t regret that I didn’t get caught up on the laundry or the dishes. Dinner may have been late, but I was reminded how good it is to stop, sit, and play.