Monday, June 27, 2011

"Pretend things aren't as important as things that are real."

The other day I was trying to get little blonde person and her towhead brother out the door.  Little blonde person kept insisting I wait until she finished having tea with her friend Rabuco (no idea who or what Rabuco is or where little blonde person came up with the name).  We were already late and the mercury was about to blow out the top of my frustration meter.  I said to little blonde person, "Little blonde person, we have to go right now.  We're already late." "But Mommy," she insisted. "I have to finish having tea with Rabuco.  We're playing pretend."  I snapped back, "Pretend things aren't as important as things that are real. Now let's go."

Instantly I felt like an enormous hypocrite.  Because, folks, there are days when what's going on in the world I'm creating in that oft-visited Word document on my laptop is just as, if not more important to me than the diaper changing and meal preparing and house cleaning and goodnight kisses.  In fact, there are days when I can't wait to escape my mommy duties and plunge into that world.

I thought about that as I tugged a crying little blonde person through the house and out to the car.  After stowing her little brother in his seat, I knelt and took her by the shoulders.  I apologized for being sharp with her and told her I was sorry we didn't have time for her to finish having tea with Rabuco.  I told her Rabuco was welcome to come with us.  Her tears switched off and were replaced by a grin as she shouted for Rabuco to hurry and get in the car because we were late.

I'm just wondering if any of you sometimes neglect a sinkful of dishes or let your child nap way longer than is good for you or send your husband and children off without you just so you can finish having tea with Rabuco, so to speak.


Talli Roland said...

Oh, allll thheeeee timeeee. If you could see the state of my flat! Did you ever find out exactly who Rabuco was? :)

Jen Daiker said...

Oh my gosh that was too funny. I hate when you turn around and realize your a hypocrite for saying it. I think as parents that's bound to happen.

Umm, yea, things are neglected. I'm a neat freak like my husband so nothing is visably a mess. However I don't cook. Cleaning rarely happens. If it weren't for my husband the garbage would never go out!!!

I love the Rabuco. That little blonde person already has a future!

Charcoal Renderings said...

That little blonde person sounds exactly like this big(ger) blonde person! I was definitely that child, which is probably why I grew up to play pretend for a living. When I was younger, the unlimited bounds of the imaginary were what kept me going so often. Even then, when I didn't understand what real responsibilities were, just the thought of stealing away from the dinner table so I could hide out in my room with my best friend who, incidentally, could ride a flying bicycle, and fly away into the city in the clouds. So I very much appreciate that you took the time to communicate to this next great writer/performer/actress/dreamer that even though you were running late, the pretending part was perfectly okay.

Lydia K said...

Rabuco is always getting in the way at my house. :) I just loved this post, because I've done or said similar things, and as a writer, you cringe hearing anything (including yourself) squashing down imagination.

Joanne said...

Oh yes, that's how drawn we are to the power of our words! But I like your thinking, to change your daughter's attitude by changing the situation, and including Rabuco on your journey. Good thinking!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Mom your are.