“You take the blue one, and I’ll take this one,” my son shoves a little Hot Wheels in my hand and smiles expectedly.
I smile back and together we scoot the cars along the carpet for a good five minutes. I get ambitious and let my little wheels swerve off to the left.
“No Mommy, the car doesn’t do that,” my son chastises. And that’s the start of it; five minutes later we’re both frustrated, I want to stop playing, and he wants me to keep playing but play it his way.
I’m sorry son, but I suck at playing cars.
As much as I try to tap into the power of imagination I once had in my younger years, eventually, my attention wanders. While your dinosaur is passionately fighting off an evil crime lord I’m thinking about what I’ll pack in your lunchbox and how I’m falling dreadfully behind on my to-do list.
I just have such a hard time playing for an extended amount of time. While your unending energy lets you play for hours, my own drains to empty only seven minutes later. I’m just no good at blocks, pretend ninja warrior games and little action figures.
The mommy guilt hits hard when I just have no more patience left for playing after such a short window of time.
How awful of you.
Your poor son just wants to play.
Any other mom would be on the floor racing cars happily!
What kind of mom doesn’t love playing with her child?!
I feel terrible about it, especially when you look up with those hazel eyes and long lashes and realize my dinosaur hasn’t moved from its spot.
“Play with me Mommy,” and mommy guilt comes flooding into my heart.
But then I remember that while I might not be awesome at playing cars, or action figures, or fighting imaginary crime, we do have our special moments.
I enjoy when you plop into my bed early in the morning and snuggle up next to me, and our wild dance parties where I get to be your hype man. I love reading with you, even if it’s the same book every night for weeks straight.
I am good at finding places for us to explore and at making impromptu pit stops at new parks.
I might not have a whole bunch of patience for playing “hulk monster” for 20 minutes straight but I do have a bunch of patience for our messy kitchen experiments and cooking mishaps.
So, while it’s true I’m terrible at playing cars, I promise that I’ll keep trying anyway. And when I do get tired, and when you get frustrated with me, how about we stop and color instead?
And know that whatever we’re doing, I love you.