Welcome to the Dollhouse

A mid-morning meeting production session meant I could actually head to work a little late today. I imagined all the things I could get done in that rare extra half hour or so at home when I actually had a little energy–dishes needed to be done. Laundry put away. Posts edited. Emails checked. Travel booked. Bills paid. Taxes filed. Calls returned. Copy written.

But then, Sage asked me to play dollhouse with her.

I realized, in the three months since I helped put the darn thing together for her, it’s something we hadn’t done together. Not once.

I suddenly felt that flush of embarrassment and guilt. What kind of mom never plays dollhouse with a daughter who loves loves loves playing dollhouse?

I had to stop myself and make a mental list all the things we do do together in the limited time we do have together. We read books. We watch movies. We go to ballet. We play games. We draw. We have fashion shows (and oy, the last one nearly gave Nate a heart attack). We go out for pancakes. We build LEGOs. We eat dinner and sing silly songs and after, I poke her belly to “count” the number ravioli she’s eaten.

Okay phew. So I’m not a total parenting failure.

In a short half hour, I learned that the mouse family and the people family can’t live in the same house together. And that the mom and dad sleep in separate rooms because that’s where the pillows are. The stove is outside for easier access. The daughter sleeps on the couch because it’s pink. The brother was sick but is not sick any more. The kitchen is stocked with granola bars and fruit roll-ups and pizza with no sauce. There is a swimming pool outside, and a zoo and a trampoline in the backyard. The lamp is enchanted, so when you press a button it spins around and around and when you touch another button it freezes. And the daddy always likes to carry the children upstairs to bed.

Children live in such a magical world. I need to invite myself over more often.

{16 Comments}

16 thoughts on “Welcome to the Dollhouse”

  1. So sweet. I wish I had the patience for that kind of play. I do it sometimes to humor Fiona, but I don't enjoy it. I can't figure out why.

  2. How wonderful! We all need those reminders once in a while. also Playing with your child is also a great insight into how they think and how they are doing.

  3. It's true Crystal. It's so much preferable to real life, isn't it?

    And Selfish Mom, I don't tend to think of myself as having that kind of patience either. But really? Time stood still. Like yoga, only you're not as sore afterwards.

  4. They just rope us in just when we need the reminder the most. And hey – if you could get that to do list done in 30 minutes I need your secret! I may have been able to tackle 2 tops with any amount of success.

  5. I love how their little minds work and the worlds they can create. Even if I don't always have time to engage, I make time to watch and absorb. It's these little moments that make everything else worth it.

  6. Selfish Mom, I, too, have an extremely difficult time “playing.” When I do most times my mind is elsewhere, on the emails I need to return or a blog post I need to write. I feel as if I devote most of my life to my kids' needs that I crave the snatches of time I get to myself.

    That said, I wonder whether I'll regret someday the time I said no to a game of house, or, in our boy dominated household, Star Wars light saber battles.

  7. I love it! I love the way she solved any problem that came up with great ease. Maybe all our elected officials should be required to play dollhouse with smart kids like Sage – just to remember that it doesn't always have to be so difficult. We grown-ups are all so gifted at complicating things after all.

  8. Thanks Tonya and Liz. I like doing other things with her, just not pretend play. And it's so weird, because when I watch her do it, she plays exactly the same way I used to when I was her age, same little fantasy world. Maybe that's it. I'm so much of a control freak I don't want to be in HER fantasy world! Ha!

  9. All mine want me to do is shoot someone with a Star Wars Lego thing. I have trouble getting into it. Ah, for a girl to play dollhouse with….

  10. I too have a very difficult time just playing make believe. I'm much better at jumping on the trampoline, going to feed the ducks, seeing a show. But it's hard for me to just sit still and play. Today I will try! Because even a few minutes means so much to them.

  11. My daughter and I do make-believe a lot, and I'm pretty good at it. She loves it. I never realized we might be kinda different in that. . . .

  12. I was also like Sage when I was a little girl. I had the most vivid imagination and played with dolls for hours. But for some reason, my daughter isn't like me (not that she has to be), but I don't sit down on the floor and play with her dolls or dollhouse either. I always have something more important to do. After reading your post, it reminds me that time is short. My little girl turned 8 today. I would love to spend more time with her playing with her dollhouse, but I have a feeling I'm all talk and no action on this one, although I'll try to make a conscientious effort.

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