Last night was a quiet night here at our house. The Mister was with a buddy testing out new outdoor Christmas gifts, and Chloe and I were watching Toy Story 2 (by watching I mean she was playing in her room, I was on Facebook, and Toy Story 2 was playing a little too loudly on the living room TV).
I finished reading my updates, talked to my mom for a bit, then took my bath. When I got out I peeked into Chloe's room. She was playing with her new "critter" house she got from Santa. Chloe and I do things together. We color, we play games, we watch movies, and we go places. However, she's never really been interested in me "playing" with her, as in making up stories and talking with dolls. She likes to do that alone with her door shut so no one can hear her.
So when she said, "Mama, will you play critters with me?" I was surprised. I told her I would. I had a Calico Critters house when I was little, and the little things intrigue me still. I sat on the floor and she instructed me, "You are over here. Mister and Misses Bunny are baby-sitting Judy, the mouse baby." I took my place and began playing.
We played for probably half an hour, and I noticed it was already after 8:30 (usually we do bath at eight). I said, "I hate to tell you this, sweetie, but it's time to pick up." I was not prepared for the level of disappointment. Usually she says something like, "Oh man!" then picks up her toys and heads for the bathroom. Last night she looked up at me with her big brown eyes, tears brimming.
"No, Mommy! Please, no!" Tears began to fall.
"What's wrong baby girl?" I asked her, trying not to dismiss her feelings over clean-up time.
"Dat was so much fun playin' critters wif you! I never have dat much fun playin' my games! I don't want it to be over, Mommy please!" It broke my heart, yet made it swell all at once. I admit. I had played half-heartedly. I wasn't "into" the story, and even sometimes started fusses between the bunnies just to see what she'd say or do.
"Don't be sad, sweetie. I'll play with you again tomorrow if you want. We had a fun time playing together today (we also played Cootie and rode her new bike), you should be happy. I'm happy."
"Dat's because I was havin' more fun dan you were. You're happy because you don't mind pickin' up. But I do!"
I hugged her and started picking up with her, since I played, too ;) I reminded her she had Puppy Swim School Barbie waiting for her in the tub, and she decided to take her bath after all. She made me promise to take her on a wagon ride today and play critters again, which I will definitely do. And I might not even make them fuss today.