I wasn’t exactly sure what to title this, because I have a couple of ‘attention getters’ floating around in my head; but, one thing I have learned since my last contribution to the CheekyBlog—‘ Spicy Article Titles will get in you in trouble with the wife’ (see, ‘I’m a man and I have needs‘).

The other day I was my usual: overly-committed, can’t-see-straight-tired-and-stressed-with-all-of-my-obligations, rugged self.  The girls wanted me to play with them and I had been fully utilizing my $8.99 per month Netflix membership to appease them with movies while I worked.  On this night in particular I had one of those churnings in my stomach that said I should hang with the kids.

So, right then and there I quite possibly pulled off one of my all time favorite ‘Best Dad of The Year’ stunts….

Before I knew what I was doing I was saying things like. ‘Quick, girls, come with me—- to the living room—- fast!’…..I then proceeded to tell them how we were being chased by spies and the only way that we would know who was on our side was with our secret. handshake.  Before I even realized what I was doing, I was putting my thumb on my nose, wiggling my fingers, giving high fives and shaking my tushie in a rudimentary attempt to create an exchange so encrypted that even Frank Abagnale Jr. couldn’t crack. (you know, the infamous thief and master of disguise in the movie ‘Catch Me If You Can? yeah. him.  I left him in the dust.)

The best part was my girls were amazed at my knowledge of such high level espionage and all things ‘spy’ related.  Their eyes were bigger than their little heads could hold, and the giggles were non-stop!

We proceeded to build a hideout of pillows and blankets, and tried to accomplish different ‘missions’ of sneaking snacks before mom caught us.

It was an absolute blast.

Over the past few days I have reflected over that event.  I wasn’t their ‘Prince Charming’ (this time). I didn’t have to dance. I didn’t have to let them put make-up on me under the conditions of telling no-one (note to the editor: delete previous confession—way too embarrassing to admit).

I just had to be me…..

Did they want to play a game? Sure, whatever—- they play games together all of the time.  Did they want a secret handshake and something to prod their imaginations? They thought it was fun, but they didn’t approach me with anything except wanting to play with me.  That is ‘KidSpeak’ for ‘I want to enjoy you.’

I think often times we quickly forget the weight our roles as parents play in the lives of our children.  We forget that the kiddos don’t want to just ‘play’- instead they want to ‘play with dad.’  They don’t want to just ‘cook’- they want to spend time ‘with mom’ and enjoying what mom enjoys.  They don’t want to simply be ‘acknowledged’ in the ‘I am aware you exist sense’—– they want to spend time with you, learn about you, and most importantly- enjoy you….

Like I said, I wasn’t sure what exactly to name this post. I had thought about ‘Let them enjoy you’  — but, I decided to go with ‘Do you know the secret handshake?’ in hopes that even the title provokes you to want to play with your kids.

I do challenge you for this weekend:  Intentionally stay away from the computer, smart phone, and television for 2 hours solid and let your kids enjoy you…

Happy Friday CheekyBummers, have a great weekend!

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