“Mommy, will you play with my superheroes with me?”
I should relish this moment, I know. It’s important to have uninterrupted time with your children, I know. My mom played with me when I was a kid, and I loved it. It’s important to show an interest in your child’s interest to create a bond and a stronger relationship, I know.
I realize that my little girl will not always choose me to play with her, so maybe I should just do it.
But you know what? I really don’t like playing with the superhero dolls.
It’s not fun for me. There’s no direction in the play. What, exactly, are these superheroes doing? What’s the end goal here? Nothing. There is no end goal.
When I play superheroes with my girl, I am granted all of the villains in the group. I usually attempt to create some type of situation that the heroes must get themselves out of and as a result, the heroes beat up my guys (a.k.a. my daughter bruises my hands during her hero’s attempts to beat up my villains).
In addition, my five year old likes to dictate what I do with the figurines. I don’t give Gorilla Grodd the right voice. Or I’m told, “No, that’s not what they do.”
You guys. I need to express my creativity with these supers and my five year old is stifling me! Playing superheroes with my girl is not fun for me.
Over and over… “Mommy, will you play with my superheroes with me?”
No, I want to say, I really don’t. It’s really not fun, I want to say. And BTdubs little lady, my Gorilla Grodd voice is on point.
Instead of saying those things, I have offered these excuses in the past:
- “Oh, I really need to clean [fill in the blank].”
- “Oh man, I have to write this grocery list.”
- “I can’t, I have to do [fill in the blank].”
In other words, I blew my five year old off. Sure, sometimes I did have to do the laundry, but usually my excuses stemmed from the fact that I just didn’t want to play with Batman and Cyborg! But by the third or fourth day of being asked to play superheroes, mom guilt usually took over. I would break down and halfheartedly play.
It wasn’t until recently that I thought, If I was a kid and I didn’t want to play superheroes, I’d just suggest something else for us to play together instead of blowing her off.
I decided to make a list of things I like to do with my girls (because lists are the best!). The next time they asked, I was prepared to offer alternatives to Superman’s punches:
- Play with play-dough
- Color in the same coloring book
- Play Spot IT
- Play Monopoly Jr.
- Read a picture or chapter book aloud
- Build with blocks or Legos
- Draw with chalk outside
- Go on a walk
- Play at the park
- Have a race outside
- Ride bikes
- Make a road with tape and play with cars
- Watch a TV show together
- Set up the Shopkins store
- Blow bubbles
- Watch my girl play whatever she wants
I had to remind myself that playing on the floor with my girl will not be something she will want to do with me forever. I had to find activities that my girl and I both enjoy doing to completely enjoy and appreciate these moments. When we are doing something we both enjoy together, I’m completely present. There are times that my girl wants me to be in the room with them while she plays. My girl just wants my presence, and that feels pretty cool.