I have a brother three and a half years younger than me. When we were kids he always loved playing with action figures. It was one of his favourite games. He had a huge box filled with them. I didn’t. I liked building and creating. It caused many an argument between us when he would patiently sit and build a big creation out of Lego or Playmobile with me until it was finished and we could play with it, only for me to get bored of the playing bit within minutes and walk away onto something else.
Nookie loves action figures. They’re by far her favourite toys. She has figures from Scooby Doo, Toy Story, Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, and numerous miscellaneous ones that I’ve picked up in magazines and charity shops. She creates elaborate little games with them, talks to them about her day, brings them in the bath, car, everywhere. And guess what? I still find action figures intensely boring! Only now I can’t really walk away.
I guess as parents there are games and activities we’ll enjoy and those we won’t. I’d quite happily sit and draw, play Play Dough, build blocks or read to Nookie all day long. But as soon as she gets her action figures out I wanna roll my eyes and say “oh no they’re so boring!”.
Telling stories is something I really don’t like either. I’m terrible at it. But Nookie loves to hear made-up stories about the people she knows and at the minute keeps demanding I tell her “Wreck It Ralph story”… meaning I have to tell her the story of the film Wreck It Ralph from start to finish (it takes me 15 minutes!). Urgh. Every bed-time I secretly dread getting into bed and being asked to tell various stories again and again. Can’t we just read a book?!
Don’t worry. I suffer it. I’m the one who keeps buying her the action figures because I know how much she likes them. I’m the one who first told her a story with no idea she’d want me to do it all the time from then on. This is what being a mum is all about; the bit no one tells you about… Playing games you find mind-numbingly boring because it brings your child joy. And that’s the important thing.
Please tell me I’m not a terrible person! What games and activities don’t you particularly enjoy doing with your children?