I just played my ninth game of Candy Land today. And.I.have.had.enough.
I'm one of those moms who does not sugarcoat motherhood. You'll never catch me touting the life of the SAHM, gushing with joy about how delightful my time with my son is. Half of the time, when I voice my true feelings in this regard, I get various degrees of disapproving looks from most SAHMs. So, if you're one of those moms right now with that "Man, this chick is screwed up" look on your face who's super relieved I can't see you at this very moment through the blogosphere, it's OK; I've witnessed it hundreds of times before and have become downright thick-skinned about it. Don't get me wrong, though; I love my son beyond words and cherish (most of) my time with him. However, I'm honest about my feelings about being a mom. For me, it's not always the greatest thing in the world. Frankly, I think working full time, although draining, would be easier on the mind for me. I miss my full time work. I was an educator for 12 years teaching high school German. Now, I still do work part time as an adjunct instructor at a local community college and I LOVE it. But I miss being an important and daily part in the lives of young people. I miss eating lunch with my colleagues and sharing countless laughs about our daily struggles and triumphs as teachers. Most of all, I miss the way my mind was completely, 100% occupied with the intellectual stimulation of work throughout the work day.
So, I'm sorry, but Candy Land just does not cut it. And sometimes when I play it with my son, I think I'm going to keel over at any time. Cause of death: Boredom Beyond Belief.
Perhaps you're thinking, "Well, come on, as a mostly SAHM, you ARE an important and daily part in the life of the most important young person in your little circle, your son!" And I fully agree with that. However - believe it or not - I actually find working with teenagers a lot easier than the "work" I've done raising my son since his birth four years ago.
To keep myself motivated as a parent, I have an article that I cut out of a magazine stuck to my refrigerator for me to glance at every day and remind me of my important presence in my son' life. It's entitled, "Sacred Time with Children" by Thomas Moore. Moore writes that "being a parent is a spiritual office...when you are giving so much, you are becoming a vaster, more enlightened being." And I agree with him 100 percent. I do believe, as Moore states, that on a daily basis during all of those countless daily necessities of "cleaning, teaching, picking up, driving, paying for school and lessons, guiding, counseling, feeding, clothing, and entertaining" that I am "ministering" my son in order to "transform [him] into a thoughtful, engaged adult."
Seeing that article everyday is a great way for me to begin my day motivated to live in the present and to smile and laugh with my son as much as I can. Except that is, when my brother-in-law pays us a visit. He sees the article and calls it, "SCARED Time with Children." And, to some extent, I just can't argue with that, frankly.
So now that I've revealed my true feelings about motherhood to the entire blogosphere, I do think this post comes down to one thing: I need a new game. Board game, that is.
I'm wondering if any of you have any suggestions for fun games for preschool-age children. I'll share my son's favorites in our family's collection (and I won't mention Candy Land, because, as I'm sure you've figured out by now, if we're playing it nine times in a day, it's gotta be a given):
1) Captain Hook's Shipwreck by Tomy: This game is so cool! The game is an actual pirate ship which can pitch back and forth and all around. The goal is to move a weighted ghost of Captain Hook around the ship and knock your fellow players overboard before they can get to the pirate treasure on the ship before you do.
2) Cariboo by Cranium: This is also a treasure hunt type of game but it's played in a more educational manner. Also a fun game!
3) Diggity Dog, by International Playthings Inc.: Love this game; it's just too cute! You move little doggies around a game board and try to find your doggy color's corresponding color bone. The dogs have magnetic noses and can "sniff" the bones to look at the colors underneath them.
So, what are your suggestions? I'm hopeful for as many responses as possible.
Because if I have to play another game of Candy Land today, I may do something drastic...