Sunday, June 12, 2011

The clingy kid

Alright people, I am ready to make a confession.

I do not like to play.

I get painfully bored playing preschool games. I do not enjoy sitting on the floor. I can only change the 3" tall princesses' clothes so many times before I have a pounding headache. Play-Doh? Just makes me antsy about the mess.

I do not like to play.
Gasp! What a horrible mom.

I guess I should say, I do not like to play, but I do it anyway.

I am a busy work-from-home mom. I work for an advertising agency. I also blog, tweet, take care of the house, do laundry, run errands, and cook meals. I also take time out each day to play with Amelia.

Granted, it may not be for long. 30-45 minutes of undivided attention from me makes her day. I find a way to stop what I am doing and let her take the reins. During this time, she directs our play. Sometimes, if my schedule looks clear, we go out to a playground or indoor play center. I encourage her to venture out, to have confidence playing alone. I will also find moments to join her. To interact. To cheer her on as she climbs a tower or chase her as she runs and giggles. I admit, I do not love it. But the joy on her face breaks down my walls and forces a smile. Those moments are priceless.

Eight or nine times out of ten, do you know what happens?

We meet "the clingy kid". A kid, usually much older than my own, whom is so enamored by a mom in the mix of kids, he/she becomes my shadow. Many times, this kid will approach and ask,
     "Will you play with me?"
A question posed not to 3-year-old Amelia, but to 33-year-old me

Here is another confession...

I completely avoid this kid.
Gasp! How terrible!

I do not want the responsibility of entertaining someone else's child. I generally answer with, "I need to watch my daughter today." And the clingy kid? Usually follows me for a few minutes (or more) before finally turning away.

Maybe this is wrong of me... but I don't. like. playing.

I do what I can - as happily as possible - for my own child, but entertaining one I've never met? Just goes a step too far. However, the clingy kid tugs at my heartstrings. I wonder, why is this little guy/girl craving attention? Do they get undivided attention at home? Are they crying out for parental involvement? Trust me, I am not that cool. Why ask to play with me?

Maybe they are simply lacking social skills? 

Why does this happen so often?
Do you know the clingy kid?

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