Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Play-doh Saga

I'm a mommy.  I play peek-a-boo games with my son and dress-up with my daughter. It's hard to do these things on days when Mommy is sick or not feeling well.  Today has been one of those days.  Every now and then, for some unknown reason, I have a spell of vertigo.  I get dizzy and nauseated at even the slightest movement.  Today it started at 10am and finally stopped after I decided to take a nap with the kids.  When I woke up at 2pm I wasn't dizzy or nauseated anymore (thankfully), but had instead (and still have) a headache and heart palpitations.  Nice.  Insert my daughter, H.

H has been asking me all day if she can play with play-doh.  Play-doh for me is one of the worst kids toy inventions ever.  I have a plastic drop cloth that the kids are supposed to sit on while they play with it.  They sit and play on the drop cloth for about five minutes, and then slowly the play-doh makes its way across the carpet (which is/was shag carpeting in our new place).  The play-doh then gets stepped on and sat on and squashed into the carpet and all over socks, pants, and - yes - hair.  Today of all days I do not feel like cleaning up this stuff.

So I tried to break it to her gently the first time she asked me today.  "Mommy isn't feeling well, Sweetie. Maybe we can play with the play-doh tomorrow."  Not good enough.  About an hour later, I got the same question, followed by a promise to help clean up the mess.  A valiant offer, indeed.  But unfortunately, her clean-up efforts always fall a bit short, leaving Mom to pick through the carpet. 

Nap time came and left, and I had briefly forgotten about the play-doh.  H hadn't.  Once again, she pleaded with me. "Mom, can I please play with play-doh now?  I'll be good, and I'll vacuum after.  I love to vacuum!" 


I felt sorry for her, really.  But I was not about to give in on this one.  "Not today.  I still don't feel well, Bug.  I'm sorry.  Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better and we can play with it then."  Apparently three no's to a five year old means "Ask me again later. I might say yes."  So she waited a few minutes and angrily bombarded me with questions of "Why" and "Why not?".  Instead of answering her questions, I asked her a question of my own.  "Don't you care that Mommy doesn't feel well?"  And she answered completely opposite from what I expected to hear. "Well, no. I don't."  WHAT?!  How is it possible that my sweet little angel doesn't care about my well-being?  She doesn't care?

After a little talk about feelings ("Well, how would you feel if So-and-so was sick?"), I realized that my daughter can empathize with others, she was just upset with me.  And after her outlash of anger on me, I decided she wouldn't be playing with play-doh for a week.  She cried for about two minutes, then began playing with her zhu-zhu pets. 

Ah, kids.

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