Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Mind of a Child

dog princessLook at this photo.

As I tidied up the house tonight, I found this in my daughter's room. I looked at it and wondered how that little stuffed Siberian Husky got all wrapped up in a baby blanket, with earrings and a tiara, and bundled into a basket. What pretend play was going on? What were the character's names? What was the story? Was she a princess?

My mind began to wander further on this same topic: Did my daughter really have THAT developed of an imagination to come up with enough details about pretend play for this doggie to develop a personality, a name, and a place of residence?

Certainly, she must have had help. I mean, didn't she? Probably my husband played with her today while I was out. Probably he made up the story and dressed up the dog and she just played along. Right?

I wondered. And I thought about my own imagination. And I considered if *I* would have come up with a princess dog who lives in a tower and needs her Prince Charming Doberman to rescue her. I just don't know. I can't remember at what age I lost that part of my brain that culls up imaginitive play, but that part just doesn't exist anymore. It's been taken over by grocery lists and mortgage payments.

IMG_8446That makes me so sad. Is it crazy to say, I want the mind of a child? I want to be able to quickly shake off my adult responsibilites at the mere mention of a game of hide-and-seek. I want to be able to tell my sons and daughters bedtime stories that I can make up as I go along (and that last more than 45 seconds!) I want to say YES when my daughter asks if she can jump in a mud puddle? color with the good markers? help me measure the flour? wear our pajamas all day long? I feel like being responsible is so boring, and being freed of the shackles of responsibility is FUN. Being a kid is all about having fun. To some extent, it's about learning responsibility, but a 3-year-old shouldn't have to hear, on a daily basis, "No, I can't play with you now. I have to do ironing." and "No, you'll have to paint by yourself because I have to call the insurance company." and "No, I can't push you on the swing because I have to sweep out the garage." She has forever to do chores. She has the rest of her life to be a contributing member of society. She will learn more than she ever wanted to know about responsibility all too soon.

I want to find that balance between being responsible and being fun. I know it's in there somewhere.

Texan Mama


That Janie Girl said...

It's there, I promise. It comes out in your writing, so I know it's there!

Gigi said...

It's there - it's just buried under all the adult responsibilities you have to shoulder. It's hard to do - but you can find it if you look for it; I know you can.

Jennifer said...

I struggle with this too... with needing to take care of the necessities, but at the same time, wanting to give them memories of me actually playing with them. It's a hard balance.

Lanita said...

I am finally getting there, but I first had to realize I was too stressed. But the therapy and pharmaceuticals didn't hurt either. My children were so used to hearing me say, "no," they still aren't used to me when I spray them with silly string. Then they cry. I guess I need to keep working on it.

Jennifer said...

I have this same problem. I was setting up Bud's trains and that was so easy because it was like a problem that I had to work out, but then Baby Girl wanted me to sit and "play dolls" with her and I just couldn't do it. I don't know how to "play dolls" anymore. I think that is kind of sad.