I do. I love hanging out with my daughter, running errands, talking to her, reading books with her and going swimming together. But when I hear her sweet little high-pitched voice cry, “Wanna color with me?,” I cringe. I don’t know what it is about coloring that irks me so much. I used to love coloring, but now that it’s become a team sport, I like it less and less. Is it that I’m not allowed to color on my own page? Call me obsessive, but I want My Little Pony to be completed with a cohesive color scheme. I mean, it’s called My Little Pony, not Our Little Pony, for chrissakes. When we color in tandem, I hear myself saying ridiculous things just to avoid bruising my daughter’s fragile four-year-old ego. “Yes, purple goes with orange, baby. That looks… pretty.” Do I want to color with you? Yes, I’d like nothing more than to decorate Hello Kitty’s beauty parlor together. I love ramming into your broken, nubby crayons with my bloody knuckles as we secretly fight over who gets to fill in the open spaces. Parenting is fun!
If you think playing dolls is tedious, or if making Thomas the Tank Engine chug down the track has you thinking you’d rather be chugging beers, you’re not alone. One-third of parents think playing with their kids is BO-RING.
A survey of 4,000 parents and children conducted by Professor Tanya Byron of Edge Hill University in the U.K. discovered that “although children still enjoy the same pursuits as their parents did when they were growing up, there was a widening gulf between what children wanted to do and what their parents thought they wanted to do.” Meaning, kids still want to play old-fashioned games like hide and seek and tag. They want to build towers with blocks and play pretend. Sounds simple and perhaps best of all, free, right?
The sticky part is, the study was commissioned by Disneyland Paris, “which has just opened a new Toy Story themed ‘Playland’.” Looks like free play might not be so free after all. The cost of admission, theme park food and a Buzz Lightyear talking doll make coloring seem a lot more appealing.
Photo: gemsling via Flickr