I Don’t Like Playing With My Kid


Ever since my kid started going to “kiddie college” at the park district, he’s been wanting to play more. Actually, ALL OF THE TIME.

Gone is my semi-independent four-year old.

Now he wants all of his figurines and magnets and game pieces to talk and play out bizarre scenarios of falling and crashing, flying, hiding and whatever else his one-note imagination has in mind.

I hate it.

To counteract this, I bought board games, hoping an actual objective, strategy, POINT of something would make things bearable.

For a moment it worked. Until he realized the mice in Mouse Trap would make excellent characters in his fictional world of hide and seek.

Arts and crafts? Sure. KiwiCo projects? Cool. Activities where we leave the house and I have minimal participation? Bring it on.

Tonight I’m going to pick up a “gender neutral” used Melissa & Doug dollhouse I found on Craigslist once again hoping he will either play by himself with it, or that acting out wooden dolls like they’re in a family will be more linear and tolerable.

Am I killing my kids imagination? Perhaps. I mean, I’m not trying to, I just don’t want to imagine alongside him. Mostly because he spends the majority of the time bossing me around on what to say and do though to be fair, it’s probably because I don’t provide a lot of original content.

Thankfully, his dad is more game to go along with this, but everyone has their limits.

When we tell him we need a break or that time is up, he bursts into tears, “I want someone to PLAY WITH ME”, and while it’s truly a sad sight, I can only sometimes muster the enthusiasm to put in another five minutes.

Lately I’ve been trying to remind myself that this is just a phase. Soon there will be school and friends and outside activities and eventually a complete disengagement from us.

In the meantime, I’m looking for ways to spend time with this kid without wanting to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.

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