Posted by: Jamie Stamm | October 9, 2008

Growing up is hard to do

This afternoon, I accidentally decapitated one of Cera’s Littlest Pet Shop characters. And though I quickly apologized and promised to buy her a new one if it can’t be fixed (although I suspect a little super glue will do the trick), deep down inside I felt a sick sense of satisfaction as I looked down upon that tiny owl lying broken on the carpet.

Because – oh yeah, I’m gonna say it – I hate the Littlest Pet Shop.

In fact, I’m not a big fan of any type of character play, from Barbie to My Little Pony to plain old dinosaurs. That’s not to say that I don’t like interacting with my kids. I enjoy playing sports and board games with them, and somedays, we’ll sit and read together for hours. I love taking Cera and Ant to the park, working together in the kitchen or simply snuggling up on a rainy day to watch a movie.

But I absolutely detest characters.

And the thing is, I know how great character play is for my kids because it requires communication and cooperation and imagination, which are all important for their growth and development.

So what is it about playing characters with Cera that drives me bonkers?

First of all, I don’t understand why we can’t just use the seven (oops … I guess I mean six) Littlest Pet Shop figurines that we have – that would be three characters each, which is still quite a few. But, no, we have to add in two dragons, Baby Jaguar from “Go Diego Go” and some type of “bad guy” (usually a lion), which Cera herself portrays (oftentimes to the abandonment of her other characters, which means I’m supposed to add them to my already too-large menagerie). Maybe it’s just too much to wrap my mind around as I’m getting older, but I honestly can’t keep track of all the characters and who’s playing whom.

But that’s not the main problem. I think the biggest stumbling block is that my daughter and I are too much alike.

When my mom talks about playing with me when I was Cera’s age, she always notes how bossy I was.

“You told me who I had to be and what I had to say, and if I deviated from the script, you corrected me,” she says.

And that’s exactly what gets to me. Some days I want to be the turtle and the rabbit, not the dog and the monkey. I’d like – just once – to be able to craft my own lines, not repeatedly get yelled at for failing to repeat back to Cera – verbatim – what she has told me to say. And I wouldn’t mind having a little bit of say in the direction the story line is heading.

Wow, reading over what I’ve just typed, I sound more like the “drama” than the “mama.” Guess it’s time to surrender my Little Miss Bossy title to my daughter and play characters with a smile like my mom always did for me.

That said, I’m off to find the super glue …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: