Monday, February 20, 2012

Stop the madness...let us play! I have had two back to back 14 hour days. Invariably during times like this, I find fun is an impossibility. After all, I spend my entire day inside a high school helping maintain order and further our mission and vision of preparing students to be successful adults. It is a daunting task and as students pick their classes for the next school year (yes, that does happen in February!), it seems fun is not within the realm of possibility because it truly is one miniature crisis after another.

The consequence of these two long, and incredibly exhausting days, did not allow me much time for actual fun, but it did allow me a few moments here and there to read about it. There is a plethora of information out there about play and its importance. There is some fascinating reading, but my eye was caught by a silly little story out of LA. It was discussing how between Memorial Day and Labor Day is has been banned "to cast, toss, throw, kick, or roll" any ball other than a volleyball or beach ball.

I am sorry - I don't understand LA Beaches. Why are you robbing people of one of the reasons they go to the beach. Is this small amount of play worth the the time and effort the 37-page ordinance took to develop and print? Is it really a problem worth legislating against? And if this play has become such a problem, will surfing, boogie boarding, kite flying, and little kids chasing each other into the water also be banned?

If there is one thing this has done, it is keep me from ever planning to go to an LA beach. I want my kids to have the option of throwing a football or frisbee around without getting arrested. So weigh LA stealing our opportunities to play?

Me time...

I will admit, this weekend I did something totally for myself. It was fun. It was...nothing! That is right ladies and gentlemen. For about half of the day, I did nothing. It was glorious because I wasn't sick, I wasn't hurt, I was able to enjoy the nothing.

My husband took our three year old out to give me some quiet time, and I just relaxed. I did watch a couple of shows on the DVR, but I gave myself permission to not do the dishes, not vacuum the main level, not mop the floor, not clean the bathroom, not...well, you get the picture. It was spectacular. And it was amazingly appreciated.

As I reflect on this time of fun for me, I all fun a little selfish? We do, in fact, have fun simply because we like it - right? Is it accurate to admit that fun is something we do simply because we want to do it? I think it is selfish, but also necessary.  Your thoughts?

Planning fun with three year old?

My three year old is amazing. She can have fun doing just about anything. Give her some blocks - she is building amazing towers. Give her markers - she is making a masterpiece. Give her some miniature bowls and spoons and she is making chili, soup, chocolate milk, cupcakes, Mom. So why, oh why, when I try to take her somewhere to have fun does it sometimes turn in to a giant nightmare?

There was a day when I would look at mom's with their small children and think, "What is wrong with that mother? Get your child under control. Do not allow her to throw herself on the ground and scream!" Ah, how the perspective changes when it is your child is exhibiting that exact behavior.

So, here is how it began. I thought we would go out on a short "date." What kid doesn't want to go out for cupcakes or cookies with mom - right? Well, all was going well until we got there. The entire car ride was wonderful, and I was thanked for going to get such delicious treats. I was very impressed with myself.  That of course was exactly when I should have known, it would all go wrong...

As we walked through the door a greedy little monster erupted from this child. (I don't even know what set her off - the wrong cupcake color? The cookie wasn't red?) I love my daughter, but it is a bit embarrassing when the completely fabulous moment turns into a moment of embarrassment.  The couple trying to enjoy their cupcakes were giving us sheepish looks, and it would appear I was subjecting my child to some type of torture.

Thankfully, we made it out of the cupcake shop with two cupcakes to attempt to eat at home. Ahh...I love the little munchkin, but goodness, she can make a fun situation quickly turn into a moment of true parenting frustration. I hope our next "date" goes a bit better.


So, I issued the challenge...the question is: How did I have fun the day I issued the challenge - right? Well, I will tell you what - I talked to one of my dear friends, Becky, who always makes me laugh. The two of us can talk and talk and talk, but we also laugh and laugh and laugh when we actually connect on the phone. It is certainly not often enough, but I always know when we connect, we will have a great conversation about what is going on in life, how ridiculous being a grown up can be, and the amusement of life not turing out quite as we hoped! Here is the impressive news: We planned some fun! Now that is exciting...planning good times is truly making progress! I think this is a sign I might be able to turn it around after all! And what I mean by that is, I am sure I used to have fun almost every day. I worked hard and played hard all through college, but somehow lost the play part of the phrase after getting my first job and realizing that balancing life, relationships, friendships, finances, and work was just incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, the focus became the "incredibly difficult" instead of anything else! In closing for today, what a great success! I have planned some fun which includes a quick over-night girls' night trip! I can not wait to hang out and just enjoy being in my old college town with old friends! did you have fun today?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Recess Required...where fun is a necessity

fun - noun - something that provides mirth or amusement As a working mom who tries to play wife, mom, friend, and so many other roles, I often forget about that one little I make the mistake of telling myself that there will be time for fun when the work is over. When the house is clean. When my tasks for work are done. When my daughter is finally clean and in bed. When the bathroom is scrubbed. When the dinner is cooked. When the dishes are done. When the bed is made. When the emails are returned. When the meeting is over. When everything is in its place.

I hope that resonates with someone else - or I will have to admit that I have lost my mind and no one else feels like this. I don't think that is true, but I have been wrong on a few others things...we can talk about that later. The point is this: I have a three year old and she is constantly having fun. She gets excited showing me how she can spin around on one foot. I don't want to give her the obligatory, "That is awesome, honey," I want to actually enjoy it and have FUN WITH her!

 In conclusion today, here is the challenge. Have fun. Everyday. Take note of what provides you mirth or amusement and share it. I look forward to sharing what has been fun in my day...I hope you will share yours as well!