A few weeks, or maybe months, ago, I pinned this idea (on my Playing with my kids board) of a dad who drew a car track on the back of a tshirt in order to scam a free back-rub.
And guess what internet...it works!! Thing 1 and Thing 2 snuck into my room and saw what I was doing, so I told them to go grab some cars. And they were back in a flash! Then, they spent a solid 45 minutes playing cars on my back (and my butt and legs. I was not excited that my butt was the "super huge mountain", but hey it felt so good they can call it whatever they want!).
But before you go judging my lazy parenting, I will tell you this, the unexpected benefit from this arrangement was that it forced me to just lay and listen to them play. Not do any parenting or instruction. Just listen to them be them. Not listen while cooking dinner. Not listen with one ear, while listening to the news with the other. Or listen intently for 3 minutes and then return to another task.
As a mother who works full time, I often find that I'm so busy juggling everything that my mental to do list is on constant scrolling in my brain (scoop the cat litter, feed the fish, make dinner, clean up from dinner, fold that laundry, put that laundry away, vacuum up that cereal, sew up the tear in that snow suit, etc. etc) which makes it hard to just focus on any one thing in the evenings. But thanks to this t-shirt, last night I spent 45 solid minutes just listening and taking joy in hearing how imaginative and creative my sons are. And hearing them bring in situations from their real life. I couldn't stop smiling, and not from the scammed back-rub (although that did feel good!).
It was definitely a great way to bring a close to a day that celebrates love.