“Most of us become parents long before we have stopped being children. “
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966
I’ve been so tired lately. While I haven’t been laying down as much, I have spent quite a lot of time in my chair in the corner the last couple weeks. Just being less mobile got me to remembering some of the things I’ve had to do with the kids while I really have had to lay around a lot more. Here’s some of them.
- Play catch with a soft ball or a balloon. I especially like the balloon option because it’s less catch and more a gentle nudge with any body part that gets it going.
- Play a game of “What is it?” Have the kid bring you an object hidden inside a bag or a blanket and make you feel it and figure out what it is. You can do this over and over and over all day long practically.
- Have them put on a show for you. Let them dress up and sing you a song or do a little dance or a magic show or whatever your kid likes to do. Mine are musical these days so that’s a lot of what I get now, but when they were little I got a lot of TA-DA’s! If you have a large costume chest this can go on forever, if you don’t, might I suggest the post-Halloween sales?
- Lie down somewhere different than your bed. Lie down in a fort under the table with your blankets and pillows and kids and books. Or in one of their beds so you can be in their room while they play. Or if you have another person around to help you could set up a tent and hang out in there in the living room or the backyard on a nice day. It’s so annoying to be sick and trapped inside in one location.
- Get out the laptop and watch home movies with the kids. Most of our videos are on the computer these days, with more and more of our old family videos being converted as the years go by. My kids love watching old movies of family. And if you don’t have videos, go to a folder of your more recent pictures and hit “slideshow” and put something bouncy on itunes in the background. My kids will watch just about anything that has them or old pictures of grandma or Aunt April in it.
- Or get out the laptop and watch silly youtube videos or look up cute animal pictures. Cute animal pictures will definitely make you feel better.
- We once saw a game advertised that was the storytelling game. It was sort of like MadLibs, but it had different cards of characters, places, things, etc to tell the story with. We never found a copy, but here’s the way I play the game with my kids: I start telling a story and when I stall out, I have them bring me three surprising things from somewhere else in the house that I have to put into the story. The kids act things out for me with the stuff they’ve brought and I get to giggle a lot. :)Sometimes we come up with great stories this way. Sometimes they’re awful, but they are always fun.
- Play pretend that you are the Queen that Never Leaves Her Room or the Foreign Ambassador in Hiding or Alien in the Cupboard. The kids have to bring you everything you want and everything they want. Sometimes it works. Sometimes they bring you really random stuff and you have to figure out how to make that fun instead.
- Let the kids play doctor or nurse or mama. Let them take care of you, however it works. My kids like going the doctor route, though they are quick to point out that the doctor and nurse share the job and each has fun perks that the other doesn’t. (Love kids!)
- Get out the laptop again & let the kids “paint” and then email their creations to family and friends. We do this under supervision with the younger two still, just because who knows who will have email sent to them otherwise.
- Have your kid “read” to you. Or really read to you, according to their age. I have two readers, one who reads stuff I’m reading along with and one that is reading the Magic Treehouse Books. The youngest will tell me his versions of stories, which sometimes are hysterical. I enjoy those a lot.
- Beauty Salon. Even though I have boys, they are addicted to scented lotions and won’t admit it that often. And since I’m a girl, we have several different scents. So they’ll put lotion on my hands or face or feet and brush my hair. One of them likes to do my toenails, but that is an iffy proposition outside of the bathroom. Sweet sweet boys.
- My youngest son plays “Mail Delivery.” He picks a treasured toy or object from elsewhere in the house and wraps it in tissue paper. (You could use plastic sacks or newspaper or whatever you have on hand. I have tons of used tissue paper.) Then he “addresses” the package to me and adds stickers just to be festive. Finally, he knocks on the door (or closest wall) of the room I’m in & yells “Delivery!” I open the package and make much of it. Then he does it all over again with something else (and someone else if others are at home).
- The older kids like to play this game they learned at church. They take turns writing something on my back and I have to figure out what they are writing. The youngest can’t write, so he’ll draw me pictures, which, again, is hysterical.
- Get under a really big blanket. Get everyone under with you. Pretend you are in a cave. Pretend something is coming. It doesn’t have to be scary. It could be a cute little bird, hiding out from the rain or the wind. It could be a girl coming to kiss you. It could be a big frightening spooky something. Whatever you’d like, really. But soon it’s in there with you and you hear it making noises and you have to be really quiet and curl up really close and listen…