"Mom, will you read to me while I take my bath?"
"Yes." (we read, and enjoyed the first chapter of Mary Poppins)
"Can I have dessert?"
"Will you read to me in bed for just five minutes?"
"Yes." (another half chapter and six minutes of reading)
It's not that hard. Why do I struggle against it so often?
On the way home from dinner, I had not only decided to say "yes," (in keeping with what I want to do this year anyway), but I went a step further.
"Amanda, when we get home, do you want to play Sleeping Queens?"
As she was getting the game out of the closet, she had her own idea, "Can we play that new Lego game with Kyle?"
After that game, not just waiting for her to ask, but inviting her:
"Do you want to try to play Lucky Ducks with Kyle?"
Being prepared is half the battle. This is what I want to do, but instead, oftentimes I answer her request for me to read to her for "just five minutes," with "Why don't you just read your own book?" or "No! It's already late." Playing games is a great way to spend that last hour before bed, but oftentimes I just let us all pile on the sofa, or let Amanda and Kyle run around and work each other up before bed. I want to play offense in creating the kind of family I want, not just play defense by deflecting attitude flare-ups and giving in to the past of least resistance.
I'm glad that I decided to say yes tonight. Here's hoping that tomorrow will bring more invitations (from her to me and from me to her) and many more yeses.
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If you didn't catch the great series on playing games at Callapidder Days, you should check it out. Katrina wrote very informational reviews on all sorts of games--for young children, couples, and varied age groups. I bought Sleeping Queens on her recommendation, and I agree that it's lots of fun. Another new Christmas game that Amanda has really been enjoying is Guess Where (which is a cross between Guess Who? and Battleship).