>Regaining Childhood

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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…
Happy Gaming!
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10 thoughts on “>Regaining Childhood

  1. >MashAllah. I agree about not being mom material, though I can cook and sew. I was such a “me” person before and it is amazing to see how you can totally transform yourself into putting others first. I just love my kids and my mother is amazed how much my kids are totally attached to me. I am amazed too. MashAllah.

  2. >Great story!!! What an encouragement to those of us ‘non-moms’. I need to work on finding the joy in board games. For me, it is a form of torture where I REALLY have to watch my attitude. Except Battle Ship, love that one.My favorite motherhood gleaning from you is the tantrum-slaying-tickle. It works for the middle two, esp Project Boy when he gets all passive-aggressive.

  3. >Nicole, I know what you mean. I think on of God’s greatest gifts is a child’s love.Kinzi, You know, I think it’s about finding your board games. Me, I hate battleship ;). So, I always guide the Beans toward the games and things I like top play. That way, we’re all happier. Ad, when I can’t guide them, I try to grin and bear it… (Barbies again… that would by my form of torture).

  4. >Barbies are torturous.Happy Birthday to the Beans! They are right behind my #3 (hers was on Feb. 1). Playing games with the kids is so important. I think you made good choices. We like “Trouble” in this house, and Scattergories for the older ones. I made the mistake of buying a Chinese-made RISK game, and we couldn’t understand the directions. You know, RISK, the game for “CONTROL ON THE WORLD, with 24 Peisces of SOLGERS.” I took that verbatim from the box’s top. 🙂

  5. >I think I need to read that book. You sound very similar to me. I hate cooking. I can do it but I dont want to. And when I am doing it had better be really quick and easy or we are not eating lol!It’s Snakes and Ladders in Canada too. I hated perfection and Operation because Im jumpy as it is, so when the thing would pop or the buzzer went off in operation, I would almost have a heart attack!! But playing games as a family is definitely a good thing.

  6. >I didn’t know candyland and perfection. In my days it was Risk and Cluedo and Monopoly and ofcourse Pictionary. I used to like any radio controlled car, my obsession!Happy birthday to the twins

  7. >Umm F, hope yours had a great birthday as well. Ours was awesome (both the actual day and the party, more about that later). I saw on-line an ad for Sorry and thought the Beans will love that in a year or two. And your choices are nice, but I suspect still a bit old for mine. After all, they’re just beginning to get the concept of rules in games…Khadra, get the book. Definitely. It is AWESOME. I posted about it before (including some excerpts). I’d post the link but I should have been in bed 30 minutes ago already… But I SOOO recommend it.Ali, Risk, Clue (as we call it in America), and Monopolgy are great games, but really for older kids. We have Junior Monopoly that is kind of fun, but honestly I don’t have the patience for it (or the adult version). Risk and Clue are games I remember starting at maybe age 8-10. I LOVE pictionary, but again not something for the kids yet. They are unlikely to have the idiomatic vocabulary required… Oh, and the art skills… I should look around for a Junior Pictionary…

  8. >Andy, sounds exciting!Ali, for my kids, we don’t really do that type of game (even when they’re older…). The only on-lne games they have are Cars (you know form the Disney movie) and their own educational games on the V Smile (these would be like Winnie the Pooh and Princess games ;). CandyLand and Chutes and Ladders are actually just perfect age-wise for the kids…

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