I don’t know if this is a kid-thing or a J-thing, but once he gets into something he can play it over and over and over and over….. Good thing I like Mad-Libs! He had to go to bed 1/2 an hour early last night due to a consequence system we have*, so our time was limited. Dad joined in on the fun, but he mostly entertained E with her coloring book.
Day 15 Stats: More Mad-Libs, 20 minutes, Dad with E, H asleep, a little rushed but still fun.
*This system has been helpful, so I will share. (I took it directly from James Dobson.): We have a two-columned chart on the wall. One side says, “Awake by 6:30am,” and the other lists his before-school responsibilities (breakfast, teeth brushed, etc.) “….by 7:40am.” If he checks “no” on either column, he has to go to bed a half an hour early. If he checks them both “no” then he goes to bed an hour early. (That has never happened.) We let him stay in bed and silently read books during that time since his bedtime is so early anyway. I like the idea. It helps teach him responsibility, which is right on cue for him developmentally.
Wednesday’s are tough to find play time since J has football practice. This is another good challenge for me in this experiment, because half the time we forego showers and spelling words on our busy Wednesday nights–I would never insist on play time! Recently someone in my life emphasized that “our children define who they are by how their parents see them.” This is the second wise person who has taught me this concept. I hope that my eyes aren’t reflecting the fleeting importance of “Operation Play” to J in these moments, but that they say to him how important he is to me. (This fine line is also where Rule #5 comes into play.)
So when J arrived home (with Dad and Aunt) 15 minutes past bedtime, we all sat in the living room and played Mad-Libs for 20 minutes. J has at least 10 different books to choose from, so we mixed it up. Unless you are Sam the Eagle, it is impossible to play Mad-Libs without laughing. Seriously, is there anything better than laughter?
A thought: Proverbs say “a cheerful heart is good medicine” and modern science proves the same point about laughter. That said, I think I may start a new way for our family to flesh out our value of self-care: after a bad or stressful day, take a minute to play Mad-Libs.
Day 14 Stats: Mad-Libs, 20 minutes, girls asleep, fun with Dad and Aunt, laughter, Playtime: 1 Busyness: 0
I’m feeling borderline flu-ish so tonight I requested something we could play while I stayed laying down. I broke my reading rule again by suggesting it along with a few other suggestions. As I suspected, he was very excited to read more Sideways Stories from Wayside School. What’s even better? We finished the book.
Day 9 stats: Finished Sideways Stories, 25 minutes, girls asleep, feeling flu-ish
I will have all of you know that even though I am posting Day 7 on the 8th of October, I did not miss playtime. I was pulled away from blogging by other, more pressing matters. (I was watching Twilight.)
Before those pressing matters came into play, the play of the day was Star Wars Mad-Libs. J’s aunt was also in on the fun, and the girls were already asleep. We did four or five pages and I was laughing so hard I was unable to read coherently. Confession: I allow potty words such as “butt.” I’ve learned that you never outgrow the inability to stifle giggles at butt and poop jokes. (Do you doubt me? Just try not laughing at this.) We had a hard time calming the laughter down before bedtime, but it was certainly worth it.
And if you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and stock up on a Mad-Libs book or two.
Day 7 stats: Star Wars Mad-Libs, 20 minutes, girls asleep, J’s aunt, laughter at potty jokes