All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them – Erma Bombeck
Son, play away!
I built a kickass play area in our city apartment for my two year old. There are four sections and I had spent quality time sorting his worldly possessions into each of those sections.
Anything related to transportation were in the deep, low drawers, stuff he could build and interact with were in another section, musical instruments had their place, and all the brainy stuff – paint, markers, puzzles, books, mathematical instruments etc were in another.
Unfortunately the apple of my eye doesn’t play according to my elaborate rules, I mean, sensible and meaningful framework.
He would pull all his toys out and force them to mingle in one big orgy when I’m pretty sure each category of toy would rather better understand their own vertical.
Whenever my son did that, I’ll play my Trump hand i.e. foresee lots to tidy up in the near future, be mean and use tactics then that went against the grain of motherhood.
I would start tidying up the furthest corner from wherever he was. I couldn’t help my OCD impulses even though in these cases they weren’t exactly motherly and therefore Trump-like.
My son would sense that something was up and come over to accuse me of interrupting his little party.
“Still… want… to play”, he would insist, but gently because it was a weak argument within this context and he was powerless against the almighty I.
I would explain to him that I was merely doing him a favour and he didn’t really need those toys that were being returned to their neat rank and file…
The general outcome is, mom would prevail, but at the expense of my little man’s creativity, honesty, sense of fulfilment, basic child’s right to play and freedom to express.
I am ashamed to recall how dejected I made my son feel and how stupid that each time I did that it was a missed opportunity to have fun tidying up together and to teach him how to get organised.
Buying him new toys and other material possessions did not make me feel any better about what I did.
I resolved that each time out of the 5-10 times he played with those toys each day, I would limit playtime to half an hour. At the end of those 30 minutes he and I would tidy up everything.
He was free to play however he wanted within that timeframe and he had me to help him clear up his mess. This plan is ingenious.
Now this leaves only implementation.
I am determined to see my plan through, or if it fell apart I won’t go to pieces. If only Trump won’t take it out on the children too.