Kids are boring! Playing with kids is super boring! This is according to a survey commissioned by Disneyland Paris and reported in The Independent. Apparently, they surveyed 2,000 parents and 2,000 kids, and 30% of mothers and fathers found playing with their children boring. To add to these depressing results, 16% of children could tell that their parents found them boring and 55% want more quality playtime with their parents. I decided to take a page out of Jennifer Wright’s book and start looking through the comments section. That’s where this article just got a little ridiculous. Some gems:
“Given this article – coupled with the reality that within days of their offspring being born, parents are working out how they can get rid of them in order to go out hunting for money and resume the child-free life-style to which they’ve become accustomed – one wonders why they have children at all: discontinue child benefit payments, and they probably wouldn’t bother – which, when you think about it, might ultimately be the best solution.”
“This is a terrible indictment on such parents who are too engrossed in chasing the “money god” by being slaves to banks via their mortgages and debts to get their dream home and fill their lives with nothing but empty material possessions when the most important job these parents should be doing is raising and nurturing the future of the human race and providing according to their means in a proper way.”
“Seems that alot of the people who took part in this survey shouldn’t have had kids. There is nothing more rewarding than playing with your children. There is no sound better than the laughter of a child.”
My first reaction to surveys like this one sounds a lot like the third comment. Playing with my daughter is wonderful and rewarding. I love hearing how much she’s learning and seeing the way she tries to work through problems on her own. My best memories over the past couple of years involve quality time that I spend with my daughter. These statements are all true. I love playing with my daughter. And while all this righteous indignation at those awful 30% of parents who don’t appreciate their children sounds wonderful and passionate, I’m not sure it’s fair.
In some ways, I’m amazed that those parents were so honest. Because some nights, after a 10 hour workday, cooking and cleaning up after dinner and folding laundry, I don’t want to play hide and seek for an hour. As adorable as my daughter is every time she giggles before I even find her, there are nights that I say, “Sorry honey, not right now. “ When my husband and I are having the first conversation in days that lasts more than 15 minutes and my daughter wants to sing Old McDonald for the twentieth time, I say, “How about you sit down and color? We’ll sing in a little bit.” And my daughter has grown to hate my cell phone, because she doesn’t like when I pick her up from daycare and call someone instead of talking to her about her day. I’m sure all of those perfect parent commenters would say, “If you didn’t want to talk to your children, why would you have one?” Well, random people on the internet, it’s not that I don’t want to talk to my daughter; it’s that I need to know if I need to pick up something for dinner. Or maybe I need to make sure that my grandmother doesn’t need anything before I head home to the opposite end of town.
I love my daughter. I love playing princess and dancing around our house. I love impromptu soccer games, where we all cheer whether my daughter makes a goal or misses by a mile. But sometimes, every once in a while, I don’t want to hide under the blanket and pop out fifty times. And maybe, just maybe, dressing and undressing Barbie dolls for an hour isn’t what I want to do on a Saturday night. I don’t think that makes my daughter boring. It just means that I need more than playtime. I should, I’m an adult.