I was recently recruited/volunteered for a babysitting gig.
That sounds more official than it was. Really it was just a favour for friends to be a nanny for a couple of days so that both parents could continue to work without disruption while one parent got sent away for training.
I was hesitant. After all, I’m the child that needs an afternoon nap most days, and I can’t even get my own hubby and I dinner, let alone dream up what kids would like to eat and convince them to eat it! I haven’t changed a nappy since I was ten and my baby sister was two, and my stamina for game playing or activity of most kinds tends to be non existent.
But I’ve been having a good run lately. Some days without naps, some mornings without exhaustion, some periods of up to days with no tiredness. Almost like it used to be before I got sick. Almost like an adult human, almost like I could live life without every move being an effort. It mostly has to do with my psychiatrist changing the time I take my tablets. Seem like such a small deal. As a pharmacist I never even thought of it, because I didn’t think it would change much. But it has changed a lot, so I said yes!
And it was exciting! To say yes. To say yes to responsibility, to effort, to what you know will require work and stamina and endurance, even though you don’t know if you have what it takes. So I packed my bags and went.
This isn’t about that, but it’s something of a progress report as an introduction. What it’s about is kids, and the things that make them happy. Watching them play and the kind of things that satisfy them is fascinating! And poignant, because it reminds me of all those things that I enjoyed as a child, and would probably still enjoy, that I haven’t done in years, but maybe should give a go.
Here’s the list from the three days we had together:
*drawing pictures with textas with great abandon, letting the mood take you and drawing everything that comes to mind, not hesitating in case it doesn’t turn out, but drawing free
*riding bikes up and down the drive way and through the puddles, and setting the intention to ride all the way to the end of the road, regardless of how far that might be
*Walking around, then toeing into then walking and stomping through puddles because its satisfying to make things splash and jump out of place like you’re a giant
*making tents that you can crawl into with your dress-ups and fake food supplies and torch and teddies, and sleep all night in the loungeroom because its better than your bed
*reading the same book over and over and over and over just because you like it, and you like how it goes and how it ends and you want to hear it again and again
*drinking anything out of a sippy cup because it tastes better!
*playing with the kitten, getting scratched and bitten while you learn how to hold it gently then playing games with it all day
*filling up the plastic pool and splashing around for hours so that water gets everywhere but it doesn’t matter cos you’re outside, and pretending you’re swimming on your back and your tummy and blowing bubbles underwater and wetting everything within cooee
*playing dress-ups with tutus and tiaras and Mum’s shoes and pretty things that sparkle and shimmer
So its time.
Time to get in touch with having fun like a kid.
Riding my bike, splashing through puddles, playing with pets, dressing up, and I think I might just have to go buy a sippy cup! It’s time to let go just a bit and have fun with abandon like kids know how. Drawing, pools, swimming, playing. I think I would have less stress and more satisfaction in life if I thought and played a bit more like a child.
Of course I’m not going to actually become a child, or do things that are unbecomingly childish. I just want to get into the spirit of childish play, and away from adult structure and rules of play for a while. So hopefully, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be biking, drawing, swimming or wearing my prettiest clothes just because!!