You Hate “pretending” and You Know It

When my son was about four years old, he loved to play the same game with me. Well, not really a game; more like the scene he liked to act out. I was just about to describe this to you when I remembered that I had actually complained about it here in the past:

We would make a house, train, and ticket office out of LEGO Duplo blocks. The guide came into the house, took the guy and his Dalmatian and took them to the dinosaur museum, where the real dinosaurs actually lived, and it looked pretty intimidating, except that the dinosaurs were always pretty reassuring that they weren’t going to eat the guy or his dog. …

I played with the voice of a dog, of course. So everything I said was before and after the “ruff-ruff”. Like, “Ruff, oh no, I think it’s a Giganotosaurus, ruff!”

That day I treated you condescendingly – I didn’t even understand how we would get back on the train to go home, where we would find (ruff!) That our house was on fire! We had to call the fire department, they came and put out the fire, and we went to bed, tired of our day. Ruff.

I don’t know how many times I have acted this scene, but six years have passed and I could sit on the floor right now and play it according to his taste, so I think it’s fair to say that I played it. Once. No one else could act it out with him, because no one else could act out the scene (or infuriate with the right tone of piercing concern) the way I could.

Do you know how when kids grow up you miss out on so many little things? Things that you never thought you would miss, such as carrying them around the world when they were fully capable of walking; or the way they stamped their feet and looked at you when they were angry; or how they will form a complete watery mess when they bathe, even if you beg them not to. Well, a scene in a dinosaur museum? I don’t miss that. It can stay where it should – firmly and forever in the past. Because pretending that playing with young children is the worst thing, damn it.

And you know it. And you can say it.

I recently came across this post on Reddit from u / avlynn91 and it completely stunned me:

I hate to pretend and play on the floor, but still be a normal parent, right?

I absolutely hate pretending and faking emotions, conversations and voices. I try to do this for at least 15 minutes a day, and it really is the longest 15 minutes of my day.

I feel terrible when I say no, but I just can’t bring myself to force it effectively, and my six-year-old might say I’m not into it.

What are you talking about, u / avlynn91? Of course you hate it. We all hate this. Of course, this is the longest 15 minutes of your day; 15 minutes of RPG actually takes three hours – just ask physics. There are so many things that you could legitimately feel guilty about; why are you wasting precious guilt on this?

And don’t tell me that you are one of those people who really enjoy it; I will know that you are lying, otherwise you will no longer be helped, or you are lying.

The only person I ever come close to believing is whether to really enjoy pretending to play with young children, my mother and my son even carried her down. She never had to go to a dinosaur museum; no, with her, the scene was like a pool birthday party that never ended. I really don’t know what was going on at the party – as soon as I saw him pulling out a blue bilibo (that’s what served as a swimming pool), I got the hell out of there . From the next room, I could hear the muffled sounds of his protests as she tried to change the storyline even slightly .

So, of course, she liked to pretend that she was playing on her own terms, maybe from time to time she changed her position a little; but a small child doesn’t want you to pretend to play with them on your terms. You are here for them and only for them. And it’s great for them! They learn to be creative, become little storytellers, and find solace in routine; this does not mean that it is not tiresome for us. It’s like a playground. This is what we do when we can gather the energy for it, but it is not like, “Uh-huh, I can’t wait to stand for an hour with coffee and try to keep my child from falling.” ! “

Anyway, since this is a Lifehacker, let me end on a memo to all of you perfectly sane and normal people who would rather have their eyes gouged out than playing dinosaur museum plus house fire; this is courtesy of u / I_luv_breakfast who commented on a Reddit post:

The only thing I have that works (and only sometimes) is that I suggest you shoot a movie on my phone. I tell him that he guides me and has to tell me where to stand and when to start / stop shooting.

I wish I had thought about that six years ago.

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