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My Kid's a Game-Playing Broken Record

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Please. Make it stop. My 3-year-old is hooked on one game and it's driving me insane. 

woman pointing hand in head
Momlogic's Momstrosity: My life is one big deja vu. "Groundhog Day" on an endless loop.  Every day, my daughter wants to play school. Every day. Over and over again. She calls our home office Room 2 (her classroom at preschool) and I continue, day after day, to reprise my role as "Teacher."

The game always starts the same:

Lily: Mommy, you be the teacher and pretend it's nap time.

Me: OK, it's nap time. Everybody asleep.

Lily then proceeds to make up her "cot," using a blanket, and lies down on the floor. She screws her eyes shut and starts to snore. I always attempt to harness this opportunity and sneak out of the room and get some chores done. It never works.

Lily: TEACHER!!!! Where are you?!!

Me: (calling from the other room) I'm right here.

Lily: Teacher, tell your students they're doing a good job napping.

I reluctantly reenter Room 2.

Me: (by rote) Wow, look at all my students. They are such good nappers.

Lily: Noooooo!!! Use a quiet, sleepy voice.

Damn, I thought my voice WAS sleepy. I'm completely worn out trying to keep up with a preschooler after 9 hours at work.

Me: (in requested sleepy voice) Wow, look at all my students. They are such good nappers. I like the way Mikey and Elly are napping.

Lily bolts upright.

Lily: (incredulous) Teacher, am I napping nicely?

Me: No. Not now you're not. You're talking to me.

Lily immediately lies down again. Eyes shut.

Me: Oh, I like the way Lily is napping.

Then, and you could set your watch to this, Lily gets up, fully satisfied, folds up her blanket/cot, and says:

Lily: Teacher, let's do it again!!!

Um, let's not and say we did.

I get that kids like repetition, but this is getting ridiculous.

Just once, can we play a version of the game where "Teacher" leaves Room 2 during naptime and goes and downs a few drinks at the corner bar?

Is your kid hooked on the same game?

next: Kitchen Floor: Out, Out, Damn Spot!
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Bryan October 16, 2009, 8:11 AM

I’m just curious why you’re letting her have so much control over you.

Pretend you’re the adult for a little while and grow a spine. I understand wanting to please and spend time but just giving her what she wants all the time is only going to result in society dealing with yet another little brat that thinks they get whatever they want when they want it.

You’re the parent so start acting like it and set some boundaries and limits.

evee October 16, 2009, 8:19 AM

I had a much more annoying game when i was a kid
and my grandmother would play it with me for literally six hours straight
but she was stoned so I’m sure it was fun for her too

Alex October 16, 2009, 11:11 AM

Every child does this. It’s normal. I used to make my mom do stuff and play games with me all the time and I know it wasn’t always fun for her, but she’s my mom….that’s her job. I work with children and some want me to do the same things over and over with them for 5 mins to 2 hours if they’re there that long. Sometimes you just have to give in and sometimes you have to say no, maybe later. Try giving her something else to do. I used to help my mom with her work and she made it fun.

Briellis October 16, 2009, 12:36 PM

The article, well, it’s irrelevant. The picture, however, is very offensive. I know I am hypersensitive, but come on! Symbolizing a gun to the head with children in the background is very tasteless.

dcardona October 16, 2009, 6:47 PM

How about suggesting she play the teacher and you lay down? Or her toys are the children? Or she “reads” a story to the class? This doesn’t get you out of playing, but it does teach her that there is more than one way to play. How about, “In this Room 2, teacher reads while the kids nap.” Or, “After nap time the kids in Room 2 are going to build a fort to hide in.” Or, “Whoever talks during nap time will get tickled!” I know you’re tired, but your daughter WANTS to play with you… that won’t be there forever. Really weigh whether what your are otherwise going to be doing is worth it in the long run.

Jenny October 17, 2009, 10:48 AM

Or you could choose to be grateful. Many parents have children that due to a medical condition are not able to play imaginatively or physically cannot get around to play. I understand your frustration, really I do but this is a phase and before you know it it is going to be over, one day she won’t want to play with you at all, she will want to be with her friends.

Why don’t you make a daily schedule for the two of you and schedule an hour at the same time every day to play. She will be reassured that each day you will play together and recognize the other activities leading up to play.

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