It’s something that’s been more than a little difficult for me, and I’ve got lots of excuses for not doing it.
I’m too tired.
I just got home from work.
Daddy has schoolwork to do.
Daddy has to do this, or that, or the other. Then he’ll play.
Lately I’ve been thinking of that Cat’s In The Cradle song, and that one day it will be too late to play. John is two now, and David is 8.
So what I’ve been trying to do lately is say screw my tiredness. If the baby hands me a toy or dead phone, I answer it. If he holds it up to his ear, I talk to him.
This past weekend, I joined an epic sword fight in the courtyard.
I plan to do the Baby Bop Hop with John when it comes on, and I usually sing the Kung Fu panda theme song when David watches it (he likes the part where Jack Black sings about Legends of awesomeness) because it makes the baby laugh and David squirm a little. I am also not above joining a Kinect dance party to try and make my sons laugh.
My point is that I don’t want my kids to remember me sitting on the couch and falling asleep. I don’t want them to think about Dad being Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. I want them to remember me clowning with them, and laughing with them, and rolling around on the floor ‘rassling.’
So even though I often (usually, even) don’t feel like doing anything but sitting on the couch until bedtime, it’s not OK to do that anymore.
I need to get off my butt and clown with my kids. Parenting is not about me, it’s about them. I need to do better.
What’s becoming more and more clear to me is how important it is to laugh with your kids. They’ll remember it.
If you don’t know the words to the songs they listen to, or what the shows they like are about, find out. You won’t regret it. To that end…