First PlayTime report

2010 January 5
by Evan Lenz

This afternoon, I had my first PlayTime session with my oldest son (9). He really wanted to make it happen today, so even though we were home alone with his younger brother (3), he made sure we’d be able to do it by getting the little one occupied with a cartoon on the computer and then sneaking out with me.

He quickly came up with an idea for some role-playing. We both found ourselves stuck inside a massive labyrinth with all sorts of nooks and crannies and walls and hidden doors and chutes and stairways. We had to be careful not to step on any floor tiles that released arrows or trap doors. Our task was to find our way out. Along the way, we came across strange creatures (played by our kittens) that looked benign but actually secreted dangerous green slime. We also came across a room full of treasure, and we almost met our doom when the treasure became so alluring as to make us mad with greed, losing our minds. In one case, I saved him; then it was my turn to be weak, and he saved me. We also changed size several times, whirled our way across dimensions in a magic elevator, and narrowly escaped being eaten by a 10-headed monster with 40,000 arms.

At one point, I had him laughing hysterically, and, in accordance with Cohen’s advice in Chapter 5 (“Follow the Giggles”), I tried to see how long I could sustain it. After cracking up and saying, “That was hysterical,” my son told me, “Okay, let’s get back to the game.” Heh, I was making him laugh, yes, but I was getting off task. I’m clearly still learning.

We started at 3:49pm, so I thought to myself, “We’ll wrap it up at 4:20,” rounding up to the nearest 10. But I was so exhausted by the time 4:18 came around, I was thinking 4:19 would be a good stopping point after all. As it happens, when he saw it was just about time to finish, we extended it slightly and wrapped things up nicely at 4:23pm. We made ourselves wake up from our dream and found ourselves lying on the floor, grateful to be safe and at home.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. January 6, 2010

    Wow – what fun! Such imagination. Love it.

  2. January 6, 2010

    Great share Evan. Provided me with a wide grin smile. We can relearn so much from our children! Rumi says, “Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.” Bravo to you for sharing such a valuable asset with your kids…yourself. Peace my friend!

  3. January 6, 2010

    Wow, what an amazing adventure! I am often astounded at the imaginations of children. It sounds like a movie I’d pay to see. :) I love this PlayTime concept and I can’t wait to hear more about your experiences with it.

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