Parents wear many hats, they are many things to their children: driver, maid, cook, laundress, nurse, court jester, etc. I knew that these roles would be mine to play. What I didn’t know was that I would also be required to take on the role of Sonic, Tails, Dottie, Oso, Izzy and Dipper. Who are all these people? Half the time, I don’t even know.
From birth parents are the stars in their children’s worlds. We all know that there is no script that we can follow so most of the time we make it up as we go along, the script writers in the back of our heads work overtime each day to provide us with direction on how we want our stories to develop, hopefully bringing us to a happy ending (when our children are grown, having become self-sufficient adults who can write their own scripts!)
The famous saying goes, “Life is a play, and we are all actors” which, in the world of parenting, is all too apparent as children grow up and learn to use their imaginations.
As parents we spend hours upon hours watching our children play. The experts all agree that play is a child’s way of exploring their world, learning about their place in it and developing the fine and gross motor skills required to grow into functioning adults. The experts also say that, as parents, we should interact with our children during their play as much as possible.
When my boys were much younger I would watch them as they tried to grab, squeeze, chew, throw, or pound whatever toy was within their reach. This was not a terribly interesting form of play to observe (I couldn’t understand what they were trying to accomplish) but it was enjoyable because, in those ten seconds that the toys interested them, I was not needed and could actually take a child-free breath.
As they grew older I would watch them zoom cars around in circles, propel trains down the track or chase balls down the hallway. Again, enjoyable to be able to sit and drink a coffee without interruption, as well as being a form of play that I somewhat understood. (Cars drive down the road, trains go on tracks, etc. It made sense.)
I used to sit and laugh as I watched them act out scenes from their favourite Thomas movies with their trains. The commentary coming from then 3-year-old Big Boy was priceless as was the efforts on behalf of Little Man to keep up and play his part. I often wondered if I was stunting their growth in some way because neither of them seemed to have much of an imagination but now I’m pretty sure that I worried for nothing!
The last few days have been a whirlwind of different characters in our world. Two days ago Big Boy wouldn’t answer to any name other than Sonic. He carried his toy cell phone around calling it his “Sonic phone” and would take calls from various people in distress. Once the call was completed he would announce that he was off to save whomever from whatever disaster had befallen them. He would only address me as “Tails” while his brother was “Knuckles” (Little Man didn’t really understand so I had to speak to him using his real name which would prompt Big Boy to correct me.) Apparently we were all “Sonic Heroes” that day. It’s nice, as a mom, to be acknowledged as a hero but would be nicer if I actually knew who this particular hero really was.
The other night my parents and I took the boys to the movie theatre to see Planes: Fire and Rescue. We all really enjoyed the experience as well as the movie. When Thunderstruck started playing as the planes and helicopters were going to fight the fire I was nearly jumping out of my seat wanting to go with them! (Maybe it was because it was the first 3D movie I’ve ever seen, or maybe it was just a Disney movie playing AC/DC but I thought it was a fantastic film!)
Since then I’ve been subject to random shouts of “Fire! Fire!” After about the fiftieth time of hearing that “The new house is burning down!” I stopped actually jumping up to check for smoke and calmly sent my little firefighters off to deal with the blaze while I continued to sip my Piña Colada.
I’m truly glad that my children have finally acquired some imagination but it’s absolutely exhausting for me to try to keep up with it! It does add an element of the unknown to our relatively mundane existence (which is nice) but it makes it hard for me to know how to dress each day. Will I be a firefighter? Super hero? Special agent? Damsel in distress? Drill instructor? I guess I’ll just have to wait for my little script writer to give me my pages for today and see what happens.