How Playing House Revealed The Severity Of My Depression

I watched my daughter futz around in her “kitchen:” She was grabbing plates and cups. She put bananas in the oven and took eggs out of the microwave. While she wasn’t doing anything specific — she was just moving things, organizing things … disorganizing things — I could tell she was having a great time. We were sitting together, we were playing together, and she was having fun.

“Mommy. Tea?”

My daughter picked up her pink teapot and shook it violently. (She would probably refer to her actions as “enthusiastic” — if she knew the word, or its meaning — but since that plastic kettle nearly collided with my face, I’m going with “violent.”) The teapot began laughing and playing music but instead of exciting my daughter, it frustrated her.

Mommy! No working. No working!” she shouted.

I grabbed the Fisher Price pot from her hand, popped the lid open, and closed it. It began bubbling, boiling like water on a stove. My daughter smiled.

“See, it’s working,” I told her. “Here.”

I passed it back to her, and she immediately tilted it on it’s side to pour “tea” into a little lavender mug.

“Here, Mommy!”

“Oh, for me?” I asked, before taking a sip. “Thank you.”


“No, thank you,” I told her.

She filled my cup again. There. More.


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