Sometimes when my kids come up to me and say this sentence ‘Mummy will you play with me?’ I think – oh fucking hell please not again.
I realise that sounds a bit mean so when considering my reply I start having a bit of a moral panic…
Before you brand me a total bitch please rest assured that there are lots of things I do like doing with my kids but imaginative play ranks pretty fucking low. These are the reasons why:-
1. You always have to be the crappest toy.
At the beginning of the game you will be asked to pick what guy/girl/train/dinosaur you want to be. WARNING: this is just to give you the illusion of choice – the child is toying with you, there is only one real answer.
For example, say you are playing cars (a game where you push cars around on the floor going brmmm for hours on end, a personal favourite) which of the following cars you would like to be?
ME: Oh great I’ll choose green as that’s my favourite colour!
Child: No that is my favourite!
Me: Ok… red?
Me: The blue one then… please?
Child: NO MINE!!!!!!!
Me: Yellow? :(
Child: Yes great choice Mummy!
Let’s take another example where you are playing Barbies. In order to speed the process up a bit you should just choose the naked from the waist down doll, with biro on her arms who looks like she’s been on an all-night bender. And no I’m not sure what happened to her leg.
2. You don’t actually get to play.
If you try and contribute creatively in ANY WAY you will be shot down immediately. Your job is to listen very carefully, know your place and always remember – you are doing everything wrong!
3. You will be terrified by the contents of your young child’s mind.
Hmmm how to say this nicely… Children are sick in the head. I will bet my bottom dollar that at some point the game will take a nasty turn and involve the murder, torture, ridicule and humiliation of their own toys.
For example how about playing DEATH COPTER? A bunch of friends go out on a lovely helicopter ride that goes hideously wrong when one friend decides to throw the others out of the helicopter whilst laughing manically as he watches them die.
What about NAKED TEA PARTY? It is dolly’s birthday party and they are going out to celebrate with tea and cake, unfortunately the tea shop owner strips them naked and forces them drink increasingly bizarre and disgusting beverages for days on end.
4. It goes on FOREVER.
You might think that after a while the children will be bored of re-enacting the same scene of Pups Save a Pool Day from Paw Patrol again and again and again but you would be wrong as children NEVER get bored of holding their parents hostage.
You may be tempted to try and have a quick look at your phone for some escapism but be warned they will ALWAYS catch you…
Congratulations! You are a terrible human, proceed directly to the naughty step, do not pass go and do not collect £200.
**************P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)