Our evening routine usually goes something like this:
After dinner, I start cleaning up the kitchen (dishes, counters, etc.). Hubby usually entertains S and C while I do that. They often end up going downstairs to the basement or somewhere other than the kitchen so I can work.
Then, when I’m done I either join in the play or pick up the house. (By the time the kids are in bed, we are so pooped that it’s nice to have the house tidy beforehand so we can just relax.) Hubby is usually still with the kids, sometimes outside. Then it’s usually time for C to go down – I warm up a sippy of milk for him and go fetch him to take up to his room. Hubby then usually spends some time with S (bath or play) until it’s her bedtime.
Today, S said to me “mama can you and I play until you have to put C to bed?” My first answer was “no, you should go play with daddy, mama has to clean up.” But I quickly took that back. I said, “sure!” and she was shocked.
So we played. We did magna tiles. We played with a little horse/vet lego set she had just finished building. We colored. All the way until I had to put C to bed.
And you know what? We still had to clean up after. We still had to do the dishes. But it wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, I felt like I had a more fulfilled evening. I actually spent the end of the day with my kids instead of picking up from the end of our long day.
So yes, S (and C) – I vow to do that more often. Play. And let the dishes/kitchen/house sit and wait for me. It’s time well spent.