When my fourth child was born I relished in my superb mothering skills that were, no doubt by now, of the highest caliber. She nursed well and slept well. She even laid by herself without fussing. I could go anywhere and do anything with her. I took her with me to several events where I was teaching and she was a dream. I took her on long road trips and I hardly knew she was there. I knew it was all because of me. I was pretty sure you could have put me on the cover of some Mommy & Baby magazine to show all the other mom’s how to do it.
Then, the fifth one arrived.
She has fussed for the first fifteen months of her life. Not the kind of fussing that normal babies do. She fusses like a cat with his tail tied to his ears. With her, all the delusions of my superior mothering skills got thrown out with the trash. My over confidence was replaced with feelings of total helplessness as a mother. I have had moments when I did not have it in me to figure out how to soothe this child. There were moments where I simply felt worthless.
A few days ago as I lamented to my husband he asked me how much time I spend playing with her. Play with her? Have I forgotten to play with her? I keep her fed, clean, and put her to bed when she’s tired, but have I forgotten to play? The last couple days I have been washed with truth- YES! I have forgotten play with her.
I have been so caught up with duties, church work, house work, and BLOGGING that I have neglected the most important appointment of the day – playtime.
This former preschool teacher and early childhood music educator has let the fundamentals slip. YIKES!!
“Deep meaning lies often in childish play.” Johann Friedrich von Schiller German poet (1759–1805)
“People tend to forget that play is serious.” David Hockney Contemporary British painter
“In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.” Ovid Roman poet (43 BC–17 or 18 AD)
So some of the things we did yesterday:
- filled plastic bowls full of water to scoop and splash in
- built and destroyed train tracks
- crawled through tunnels (well she did I just smiled and clapped at the end)
- went for a walk
- sang more songs
- read more books
- snuggled more
“…As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!” Psalm 113:9