Mommy, Play With Me

It happens almost every day.  I walk in the door with my 2 year old son after a long day at

Katrina Ostmeyer-Kountzman, PhD, BCBA

Katrina Ostmeyer-Kountzman, PhD, BCBA

work, and he turns around and says, “Mommy, pay with me.”  This is usually followed by a large arm gesture, and a “come on” to get me to come to the toy he has wanted to play with all day.  When this happens, many thoughts go through my head.  I think about how cute and special he is, but I also think about everything I need to do.  There’s unfinished housework, paperwork I brought home, dinner that needs to be cooked, and sleep that I desperately want.

Usually, one look at that sweet little face helps me forget about some of those things.  Other times, it’s knowing how important it is for my son (an only child) to be able to play with me.  I know that my son is learning important things such as social skills, creativity, and problem solving.  For example, when we play, we have the opportunity to practice taking turns, sharing toys, and dealing with the frustration when life doesn’t always go his way.  We pretend by acting out scenes in books and build castles and houses for his cars to drive through.  We learn how to match, that the smallest block just won’t work on the bottom of the tower, and how his toys work.  Most importantly, we have the chance to spend time together.  We tease, laugh, and have fun with each other.  In this home, we have work that’s not done, a messy house, and eat a lot of frozen dinners.  We also have one very loved and happy little boy who is learning and having fun through play with his one, and only Mommy.

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