This morning my son, 11, initiated what proved to be an exceptional health promotion exercise: a water fight, in the house! It began with him asking me to come into his room where he’d been reading in bed. I said “no, I’m doing the dishes,” and he made a noise that made me realise that responding to his request for affection and attention would give me far more pleasure than doing the dishes, and that they could wait, whereas he may soon give up asking for affection, especially as he approaches puberty. I went into his room and cuddled him and then cheekily smeared my wet dish hands on his bare arms and neck. Next he was at the sink getting his hands wet and spraying me, then we graduated to whole glasses of water, and then I threatened him with the cats’ water!
We laughed, ran, hid, strategised.
Usually it’s a battle to get him to help clean the house, but with the floor wet and slippery, he grabbed the mop and dried the floors and said, “now we have clean floors!” It set the tone for a wonderful, connected day.