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Not playing is hard work

From somewhere in the house, a voice cuts the quiet with a serrated edge…

“Mommy! Where are you? Mooooommeeeeeee!”

Don’t find me Don’t find me Don’t find me.

“MOMMY!”

Sigh. “I’m in the kitchen, honey.”

“Mommy. I want to play!”

Ugh. I really really don’t want to play. “I’m washing the dishes, baby.”

“Mommy! Come on! Pleeeeee e e ease.”

“How bout I set you up at the table and you can draw?”

A brief pause for consideration, followed by a fetching tilt of the head. “Will you draw with me?”

Sigh. “Maybe later. I’m washing the dishes right now.”

“But I wanna battle dragons and Skylanderrrs right nowww.”

I hate battling. Hate it. Hate it. “Why don’t you go play with your brothers in the basement?”

“They don’t want to play.”

Well, no duh. “You have to wait, honey. I’m busy. (Warning: Combination bribery and poor parenting ahead.) Hey, how bout I put on a show for you? Maybe get you some goldfish crackers while you watch?”

“No!” Followed by a drop to the floor and pulling on my pant leg, “I want to playyyyyyyy.”

Come oooon. Go a wa a a ay. “Seriously dude, find your brothers. That’s why you have brothers, so I don’t have to play.” Quizzical look of the 6 year-old followed by quick repositioning of the mother. “I mean, you and your brothers are kids. Kids are supposed to play. Mommy has work to do.”

Smug, happy little boy bouncing up and down. “You don’t work.”

Internal sneering, eye-twitching, but voice stays reasonable. “These dishes aren’t gonna wash themselves.”

Big manipulative, adorable smile, “How bout you play now and do dishes later?”

Sideways, raised brow – what-do-you-think-you’re-a first-kid – look. “How bout you go find your brothers.”

“They don’t want to play.”

“They do. Go ask them.”

“They’re playing one-on-one basketball.”

“Then you need to go play by yourself. Do your legos.”

“Will you do them with me?”

Time to fight fire with fire. “Will you wash dishes with me?”

Silence.

Whew. Finally, he’s going to play by himself.

Then he shrugs and starts dragging a chair over to the sink, smiling brightly. “Okay, and when we’re done we can battle dragons!”

I look left. I look right, but I am backed into a sink, I mean a corner.

Damn. I’ve been played.

 

Oh we're so doing this!

Oh, we’re so doing this!