You know, being a mom is just such a surprise… For those of you who’ve never known me prior to my being MommaBean, it may be a bit surprising to know that most of my friends, colleagues, and family were truly befuddled that I love being a mom. Honest confessions now, I have NO mom skills. I mean it. I’m not exaggerating here. I can’t cook (okay I can cook but refuse to cook anything that takes longer than 15 minutes prep time), hate to clean, can’t sew… Are you beginning to get the picture here? I was just never the “mothering” type.
Now, don’t for a single instant think I’m down on myself. I’m perfectly content with who I am as a Mom. It’s just that mental picture of a mom most of us carry (you know the Norman Rockwell mom with perfectly coiffed hair, heels, and a pot roast) is just so far from me. MemeBean paid me a great compliment (she’s so much a Rockwell mom that she majored in home ec in college!) when she said to me “I never knew you could be a great mom and not do any mom things!” So, I’m happy with who I am as a mom, which would be one reason I recommend the book I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids. It’s all about coming to terms with what type of mom we are.
However, as much as I love being a Mom, I am still surprised at the simple joys life holds. It’s a revelation. Do you know what my favorite past time is these days? Playing Chutes and Ladders (Snakes and Ladders in the UK, thought why ANYONE would want to slide down snakes instead of slides I’ve got no clue). Through the games of my childhood, I’m finding ways to connect differently with each of the Beans. It helps me teach valuable lessons like playing well rather than focusing on winning. For us, we had a game-intensive Christmas. And, Chutes and Ladders has been so much fun. The first time we played, the Beans got bored and gave up quickly because they hit several chutes. The second time, I helped refocus them on how much fun each of those slides would be if we could experience them here in Jordan. Now, we are all excited to see if we can hit the longest slide that takes you from the top to the bottom of the board. What a difference perspective makes.
So, today is the TwinBeans‘ birthday. And, for their birthday they got two of my old favorites. Candyland and Perfection. I can’t wait to break out Candy Land tomorrow. When El 3atal and I were debating the possible gifts, I pointed out Perfection because I thought JuniorBean would particularly enjoy how the Board pops up and destroys everything you’ve been working on if you aren’t fast enough. El 3atal said, “It looks so easy, I can’t imagine it being a challenge to a kid over 3.” Obviously, he’s never played it. Here’s a picture for those who either don’t remember it or don’t know it.
It’s deceptively simple. The Board has like 20 shapes from mundane (square) to cute (asterisk) to decidedly odd (rainbow anyone?). You mix the shapes up off the board, press it down and set the timer for 60 seconds. You must put all of the shapes in before the timer finishes and the board pops up. Otherwise, it will pop up and toss all of the shapes out of their homes. I told El 3atal I remember loving the game and I’m positive I was a good bit older than the kids now (like 8 or 9). While we aren’t playing by the rules yet, it has been really fun. We played two games tonight and I’m sure more are on tap for tomorrow.
I’m thinking that Milton Bradley is onto something here with their new campaign to reinstitute family game night (or game afternoon for most of us with little kids). As for me, I’m enjoying the chance to climb ladders and slide down chutes again. And, I’m thinking that regaining childhood can help us all remember qualities we had then that we would like to reclaim now…