My daughter is an only child. I always assigned this as the reason that she wants my husband or I to be part of all of her activities. If she’s making a sock puppet, one of us is asked to participate so she doesn’t have to do it alone. When she learned how to crochet, she asked me to sit with her while she did it–just to have someone near her. While outside riding her bike, one of us has to be present to watch her circle the cul-de-sac. Any task, craft, activity or job that she is involved in, has to be accompanied by one of us. Whether adult supervision is necessary or not. Again, I thought it was just a peril of having one child.
That is why this year, we decided to bring along a cousin (with two siblings of his own) who is close to her in age with us on vacation. We really felt that this would be a good idea, as well as the key for us to sit by the pool and actually get to enjoy some relaxation time while the kids frolicked and played together. We planned ahead and thought we covered all bases for the two of them to be aptly occupied. What we didn’t plan for, was that now we had two children making requests for us to come and play!!
What?! What happened?!
We provided them both with floatation devices, snorkel masks, water tasers, and alligator shaped rafts. The pool had three water slides, multiple waterfalls and grotto hot tubs. Not to mention there were numerous other kids in the pool they could have easily asked to join them in any kind of made up game. But, no. After the first trip to the pool, after only a mere fifteen minutes, both kids approached the edge to ask when either my husband or I were going to come into the water to play.
Hiding our annoyance, my husband kindly explained that the two of them were to entertain each other. This “revelation” was met with sighs and whines.
The funny thing I noticed, was that a few lounge chairs away, a mom was trying to relax and have a conversation on her cell phone. She, too, had provided her two daughters with inner tubes rented from the resort to help with their entertainment. The girls started off fine, floating together in the tubes, trying to flip each other off, when their cries for her to join them mingled in with my kids’ cries!
I was shocked to see that these two sisters continued to ask for their mom to join them–the same behavior I see from my only child! The same behavior I experienced with her and her cousin! I must say that I am astounded at this because this is not the way my sister and I acted when we were young. And we didn’t have floatation devices or goggles or any such fun equipment given to us. We were shown the pool and told to make due. And that is what we did. We made up contests, played ‘telephone’ underwater, saw who could hold their breath the longest, baptized each other, did handstands, made dance routines, flipped somersaults, swam like mermaids, played freeze tag, tried to stand on each other’s shoulders. And all of this was done before we invited other kids in the pool to join us. Then we did it all over again and again until our parents told us it was time to go. (Suggesting these activities to them was again met with sighs and whines!)
So, why isn’t this the case with kids now-a-days? It makes you wonder why kids aren’t as imaginative anymore? Is it the electronics? Too much tv watching? Over-stimulation?
I’m not sure we’ll ever know. I just hope I can gain some patience to deal with it as long as it lasts!