I pick the boys up from school and hang out at the school while the kids play tether ball and run around. I play tag on the playground before gather all the lunch boxes, coats, and school work to head home. At home I play Angry birds and Mouse Trap, both high setup games before making breakfast for dinner. We chat about school and soccer and goofy faces over bacon, eggs, and hash browns. After dinner I sit down with Primo and help him read a book before reading another book that Segundo picked out. Needing to get back to some work I put on hold to spend some quality time with my kids I told them that I needed to finish up work. Immediately both kids started whining and complaining that I ALWAYS work and that I never PLAY with them. I stood there slack jawed just staring at them. Really? Really? I mean Seriously?
This makes me question the idea of playing and engaging with my kids at all. I’m not sure it’s as important as everyone makes out to be if they forget about it seconds after you stop playing. I mean if kids have such short term memories then maybe I’m wasting my time playing with them. This might be a better time to teach them to find their own way by ignoring them completely. If I focus on what I need to do instead of spending so much learning the animals of each Power Ranger or perfecting fort construction in the living room than I might be more successful at work. I could be moving my way up the corporate ladder with the extra time I would have to focus on finding the right silly voice for Skippy John Jones. I’m doing them a disservice by not teaching them that people will really disappoint you and you need to look out for yourself.
All this research on parent engagement is a crock. Kids don’t remember the times you played, only the times you did not. So I think that by never playing with the kids I will help them learn at an early age how to take care of themselves. I will be preparing them better for the world as it is instead of wasting their time with frivolity. I might be on to something here, I’ll need some more time to suss it out.