RB40Jr recently turned five and it feels like my time as a stay at home dad is rapidly coming to a close. He will start kindergarten in 6 months and I will have a lot more time to myself then. I guess it’s not coming to a close as much as going to the next chapter. Kids still need a lot of time and attention at this age. RB40Jr loves spending time with his mom and dad. We have a lot of fun together and everyone enjoys each other’s company. He is such a happy and mischievous 5 year old. I would hate to see him turn into a sulky teenager, but I suppose it’s inevitable. Anyway, I haven’t written about the stay at home dad aspect of my life for a while. I do have one question for you today – how come parents don’t play with their kids?
Parents don’t play with their kids
Do you play with your kids? When I go to pick up RB40Jr at preschool, we usually stay and play at the playground for about 30 minutes. Most of his friends get rushed off, but there are a few kids who hang out for a while. The parents would sit down at the benches and poke at their phones. I’m the only one running around with the kids. This is partly because I want to run around a little bit and increase my step count, but I also like playing with the kids. They loved being chased and most of the games are a variation of tag. We’d play freeze tag, zombie tag, rocket tag, shark tag, and What time is it Mr. Fox. I usually ask them what game they want to play and try not to direct them much. If they want to play by themselves, then that’s fine with me. I’d just walk around the playground; however, they usually want me to play, too.
I rarely see other parents actively play with the kids this way. They would push the swing if asked; otherwise they mostly keep apart from the kids. Is there a reason why parents don’t play with kids? It’s fun to chase the little munchkins around. Actually, it’s getting much harder to catch them now. Last year, I could tag them easily. They are a lot faster this year.
While I like playing with our kid, it would be too much work to play with him all day. He demands a lot of attention, but he can entertain himself more now, too. I’d play a board game with him for a bit and then send him to play with his Lego. I’d try to involve him in hands-on activities like cooking as well. If I’m really worn out, I’d let him watch cartoons for a bit while I crash out for a little while.
Anyway, I did a little research online and opinions seem to vary. Some people say it’s good to play with your kids, but some says it’s better to let them explore the environment and learn by themselves. I guess you do whatever is right for you. Also, some people just don’t like playing with kids. Some kids aren’t as lucky as RB40Jr. 🙂
Mrs. RB40 mentions the book – Bringing Up Bebe (affiliate link to Amazon.) Apparently, parents don’t play with their kid in France. They prefer to enjoy the company of adults and don’t revolve their lives around the kids.
Not washing hands
Oh man, RB40Jr is developing a bad habit of not washing his hands after going to the bathroom. I don’t know how this filthy habit came about. He always washed his hands when he was younger. Now, everyone has to remind him to wash his hands whenever he goes to the restroom. Yes, his teachers caught on without us having to tell them.
At home, he’d turn the water on and off to try to fool us. We still know he didn’t wash his hands because he turned the faucet off too quickly. There is no way he could wash his hands that fast. Pretty soon, he will figure out how to trick us better. Oh, that’s another thing. Lately, he’s having a blast playing tricks on people. “Ha ha, tricked you!” This guy is going to be a class clown when he grows up.
I’m a little embarrassed to report that RB40Jr is the only kid I’ve seen with patches on his pants. The problem is that he is so hard on his long pants. He does knee slides on the hard wood floor and seems to fall down regularly. I guess he runs at full speed all the time so he has less control. We got him 5 new pairs of pants in September and they are all ragged already. Mrs. RB40 doesn’t like to sew, and I don’t want to buy new pairs because it is almost time for shorts. Once the weather warms up, he’ll refuse to wear long pants. Actually, he’s already wearing shorts a few days a week in 55 degrees weather. I also don’t want to buy new pants because they won’t fit anymore by next winter. Kids grow so fast at this age. I guess we’ll have to buy a few pairs extra next winter so they will last a big longer. Am I being too cheap?
Back to preschool
That’s it this week. We had a wet and soggy spring break and didn’t do much other than having a couple of play dates. RB40Jr is going back to preschool next week. It will be his last quarter there and that will be it for preschool. Starting kindergarten will be a big step for him, but I’m sure he will adjust quickly.
Did you have a good spring break? Do you play with your kids at the playground?
Image by WalkingGeek