Today I actually played with my kids. I don't mean sat by them and zoned out waiting for Zizza to tell me what to say ("Mama. Mama. MAMA! Now you say 'Thank you for inviting me to the ball' and then you start to dance") I mean actually taking an active role in the play.
We gathered the toy animals and built a zoo for them to live in. I learned that it is just as bothersome to me as it is to Zizza when Enzo knocks over the block building I'm working on. Enz was a bit torn, delighted with the idea of building homes for the animals but unable to resist resting his feet on top of the structures. He got more into the decorative part of things. Putting green blocks (hay) into the horses pen, giving the monkey something to climb and putting steps on the outside of the fences so the children who would patronize the zoo would be able to see over the edges of the enclosures. Meanwhile Ziz was arranging and re-arranging the odd melange of toy cows we rounded up into a family.
When that was all done we had a tea party. I've apparently never actually played tea party with them before. We took turns pouring out. My turn was last. I asked them if they took cream or sugar and if they'd prefer cake or bread and butter. They were fascinated, the game took on a whole new life.
Zizza preformed perfectly on her next turn. At least if you consider it appropriate to stir the imaginary tea of your guests with a plump pointer finger rather than with a clean imaginary spoon. If that checks out, then her performance was perfect. When it was Enzo's turn he even paused in his ritual of pouring and sipping and pouring and sipping to pour for the rest of us. That's something I tell you.
I should do that again sometime. Play with them, that is. It made for quite an enjoyable morning, and you know? My kids are really great.