Being a parent I often find myself in one of two states of mind. The first involves feeling like there is never enough time. Constant rushing to get to play dates, eat, do the laundry, or change a diaper. In this state of mind the day disappears. The children are alive and cared for, but probably feel like they are not getting any attention. Usually this is when I get frustrated with children and Y gets lots of time outs. The second state of mind is one of boredom. This happens when Y dawdles at an incredibly slow pace, wants to be pushed on the swing, read a book for the zillionth time, or when the baby wants to eat and I want to do something other than breastfeed. In this state of mind I generally rely on my iPhone. Then I can at least see what's happening on Facebook, read the news, check my email, or play a game. It treats the symptom of boredom but does not actually cure the problem.
So I am embarking on a journey to create or expand a third state of mind of parenting. I think it is just called being an engaged parent, or playing with your child. Perhaps it shouldn't be so hard, but most days it is, because I do not want to do the things that my toddler and baby want to do all day. I do not think reading Dora over and over again is entertainment, nor do I want to sit on the couch and hold and breastfeed my baby all day. I think every parent has an age that they most enjoy, and that is when they most enjoy parenting. I do not think that age for me is less than 4. But really I am looking to do more than just play with her, or have her "help" me with my chores. I do that all the time. I put aside whatever I am doing and build blocks that she knocks over, or give her a butter knife to cut up veggies with me. I want to find a way to participate in an activity that we are both enjoying, that we both value, and that we both get something out of.
Today seemed like as good a day as any to engage in this sort of play. At the beach Yemaya and I played together making fairy houses and gardens. During one of those bored moments of parenting I joined pinterest where I somehow came across some pictures of fairy gardens, and realized it was something we could do and enjoy together.