I’m not a player, which is something I used to pride myself on when young and carefree and on the dating scene. I am and always have been a one-man kinda gal.But that is not what I’m talking about here.
I am not a player. I am not great at getting down on my hands and knees and pretending I’m a small green insect scaling a towering tree, or a big brown bear lo-loping through a grassy meadow, or a pretty princess in my castle. Using my imagination to enter worlds of whimsy is a skill that seems to have passed me by.
Gimme a bucket of Duplo and I am entirely capable of creating something fabulous, but once it’s built, I seem lacking in skills to ‘play’ using that very fabulous creation as the centrepiece. I can do colouring and roll up coloured balls of playdough, occasionally shaping one into something not at all resembling a dog; but playing with adorable little Sylvanian families or pretending I am a fairy in the midst of a magical forest sipping rosewater tea from flower-petal tea cups is just not my thing. Sometimes I feel bad about it, other times I tell myself that I just am better at other things but inevitably I end up feeling bad about it all over again.
Mostly I feel bad about it because occasionally a sentence like this will spill out of my little man’s mouth from the back seat of the car as we pull up to our house ready to go inside “Mama, do you think you could play with me when we get inside, because you don’t ever really play with me that much do you?”
*LUMP IN MY THROAT // SORROW IN MY HEART*
Usually I preface the getting out of the car with “When we get inside Mama has to do XXXX, XXXX and XXXX”. I try explaining how when you’re a Mummy there are always so many things that need to be done. I rattle off the long list of chores, as much to remind myself of the things I need to accomplish before the end of the day and to reiterate that I have a lot to do so here’s why I can’t possibly play.
There are a couple of pieces of advice my Mama gave me – really just things I remember her saying – that will always stick with me. One was “Your body and your skin will never look as great as they do now so enjoy them in this moment!” Do you think I believed her? Oh how I wished I would have rocked that bikini when I could instead of looking back at pictures now and wondering why on earth I didn’t think I looked good. Thanks to my darling children and the awesome miracle of pregnancy, I will never don a bikini again. One piece – sure, but bikini… n e v e r ! And that, my friends, is for all our benefits! x
The other thing I always remember her saying is that her one regret from when her own children were young was that she was so concerned on making sure that her house was always tidy instead of getting down on the floor and playing more yet looking back, she wished she’d gotten on the floor more often. I hear these words every time I decline the invitation from my kids to do so, and I think every time how crazy I am because I am almost 100% certain I will repeat those very same words to my daughter when she becomes a Mummy herself.
Today my Mama is Nonna: the funnest, most craziest grandmother you will ever meet. She is more like their friend and less like a granny. She plays ridiculous games with them, she gets crazy imaginary on a regular basis and for this reason my kids love her beyond belief. I always look at them interacting together and think how wonderful she is at that interactive / role playing stuff. I feel like I couldn’t do that, but then I wonder if maybe it’s just that I am putting focus and energy on other pursuits – like making nutritious meals and trying to get through the everlasting mountain of laundry that lives on my second couch rather than nurturing that child-heart locked inside somewhere?
I haven’t worked through this yet, and haven’t found a way to feel at home on the floor playing make believe, so in the meantime, I do what I do best and find ways to bring my kids into my world to bond. We spend time together in the kitchen and during the holidays I let them each choose something they wanted to make with me on their own.
This is what Mr 3 chose.
- 180 grams white chocolate, chopped
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 3 cups rice bubbles
- 1/4 C coloured sprinkles
- Place the white chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water over low heat and melt (or melt in 20 second bursts in the microwave).
- Add the oil and mix to combine.
- Place the rice bubbles in a large bowl, add in the chocolate and oil mixture and stir well to combine, ensuring all the rice bubbles are covered in the chocolate mix. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add half the sprinkles and stir.
- Press the mixture into a lightly greased loaf tin or small 10 x 20cm tin lined with baking paper.
- Sprinkle the remaining sprinkles on top and press lightly to adhere to the slice.
- Place in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes until set.
- Remove from the tin carefully and cut into bars.
- You could use dark or milk chocolate instead.
- Add flavoured essences to create different flavours.
- Replace sprinkles with dessicated coconut and use dark instead of white chocolate.
Do you struggle with playing too? Share with me how you get down on the floor and play successfully.