After a very long, restless night, I need some positive reinforcements. Mama Loves is my weekly exercise in perspective. The good always outweighs the bad. After a night full of trips upstairs for bad dreams, drinks of water, talking in their sleep and then a wet bed, I’m happy to focus on the better aspects of parenting, to remember why I love being a mama. I’d love to hear your positive side of things, too! If you want to participate, just link up at the bottom. Grab full details and a button HERE. For a perfect example, read Heidi’s post. Every time I visit her blog I am encouraged and challenged! This time she offers very clearly a Godly perspective on a really crappy experience.
As for me, my Mama Loves is about playing games.
Within the past six months or so the kids have reached the stage where they can play games for real. We’ve tried before, but with my obsessive compulsive, control freakish tendencies — remember the Christmas decorations? and the cookies? — well, attempting to play board games or card games drove me crazy, and their imaginative “games” never made any sense to me (kind of like their jokes, but lasting much, much longer). However, we’ve reached a developmental milestone, and I’m loving it! Being three and a half and almost five, they’ve developed imaginations advanced enough to create their own games and include me in them. They know how to follow rules and understand the value in that, thereby creating their own rules (that make sense) and enforcing them. It’s so much fun! Not just the games, but all the little quirks and conversations that come with it. These kids are SO funny!
The favorite games around here are definitely Uno and Candy Land. As an aside, let me make a plug for Uno here. This game is PERFECT for young kids! It encourages color recognition, number recognition, matching and rules of exception. Our kids love it, especially the “tricky cards” like Skip and Draw Two. Let’s see, other games we play include Go Fish, Chutes & Ladders, Checkers and Memory. Ellie is also extremely interested in Chess for some reason. Probably the whole royal feel of it strikes a resonant chord with my princess.
Once while we were playing Candy Land, my piece caught up with Rick’s piece. With our two little plastic gingerbread people on the same spot, I couldn’t resist: I made my little person kiss his little person. Now, every single time anyone’s piece catch up to another, Ellie yells out: “You gotta kiss ’em!” I didn’t realize I was setting such a strong precident. Zach, though, prefers to “good-five” the other players. Apparently, he’s just not as affectionate as I am. (By the way, this Candy Land photo was taken by BlueSleepy. Also, for future reference, when googling for “candy land” be aware you’ll face some not-so-sweet links. Wow.)
I mentioned imagination games. In addition to Mousy and Dennis, their shared imaginary friends — Have I told you about Mousy and Dennis? I’ll have to do that one of these days. Anyway, in addition to Mousy and Dennis, the kids have created a game called “Bad Guys.” In it we all pretend to be bad guys who have to capture the “good people” and lock them in cages. Last week we raided a hospital and stole all the babies before wrapping “the good people” in blankets and tickling them silly. I try not to get too analytical about why my children want to take innocents captive; I just like that they’ve deemed me their leader: Bad Guy Number 1. Zach is Number 2 and Ellie is Number 3. Those are our names. It’s consistent, which I find amusing. It feels slightly reflective of Austin Powers or another such terrible spy movie, but it’s fun.
So that’s my delight for the week: playing games with my kids. I love it.
Your turn! What positive aspect of life overshadows the negative?