“Mom, you’re always so tired, why don’t you just go to bed when we go to bed? Then you won’t be so tired anymore…” A simple solution offered up to me by my 8 year old. I could hear the voice of his father (and my father) echoing through his little vocal chords.
“I would… and I probably should. But I don’t, because…
It’s that little bit of treasured space in the day where my husband and I have a little bit of time with just the two of us. It’s about the only time all day when the house is quiet and still. Everything is usually clean and orderly and all of the boys are sleeping peacefully behind their closed door.
You get to pick exactly what you want to do with your time, the only rule is, you’re not allowed to leave the house.
Some evenings we just watch TV.
Some evenings we just talk, like those hearty conversations we used to have back when we were dating. The ones where you swap stories and belly laugh, but quietly enough to not wake up the kids.
A lot of evenings we just make popcorn and set the fire alarm off 3 times by accident in the process… because shared snacks in a quiet house without little hands digging into your bowl is groundwork for memorable moments.
Then there was one evening where the boys left their LEGO out all over the house.
“They always ask us what we do after they go to bed, like they think we’re having a party or something out here…”
“Want to make a video of us playing with their toys?”
“Yes. I do want that.” Was my instant reply.
So for the next few nights, a series of videos were created.
There were interviews with Mom and Dad using the voice changer megaphone.
There were fidget spinner competitions demonstrating our spinning agility.
There was an epic battle at Yoda’s LEGO hut complete with phrases like, “I’m going to get you rebel scum!”
And I obviously swaddled the LEGO ATST in a blanket and documented me feeding him a bottle of milk.
That first morning we showed the kids the video they were like, “Huh? Why are you playing with our stuffffff?!”
By the third morning, they popped out of their bedroom asking, “What video did you make last night?” or, “Do you want to use this toy in your video tonight?”
We’ve still got a lot left to work on. There’s still the Nerf guns, train tracks, and the storm-trooper alarm clock.
I’ll tell you what though… it added an element of FUN and silliness to our peaceful evenings. And it added a funny connection point between parents and kids.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily cycle of feeding, cleaning, clothing, schooling, correcting… that I feel like the ‘having fun’ part of the cycle is often the first to go, if I don’t make a conscious effort to add it in.
I showed my mom one of the videos and she laughed and looked at my 8 year old and said, “You have a fun mom and dad you know?!” He nodded in agreement.
I’m not going to lie, I beamed a little on the inside, because I fully remember and appreciate my mom and dad being FUN when I was a kid. I still enjoy a good belly laugh with my parents now, and I want that to be something my kids will one day remember too.
So on the long and weary days… where you’re so consumed with being an adult and tending to all of your children and your responsibilities… don’t forget to make room for some fun, even if it only looks like a bowl of popcorn, a frantic fanning of the fire alarm, and a homemade video of you and your best friend playing with your kid’s stuff.