So Boy8 gets home today after a lively afternoon of playing with friends and announces a full 50 seconds after walking in the door, that he’s bored. Wow. Don’t tell me kids have short attention spans. 50 seconds, people. That’s a lot of seconds. I’m so proud.
I couldn’t help him. I spent 109 hours yesterday afternoon trying to take family portraits of a good natured dad, sweet mom, happy first daughter, engaged second daughter…and an 18 month old third daughter. If you’ve ever tried to do that then you’ll understand that I’m Wiped Out. My legs are aching from all the running around, squatting, lying down and jumping back up that had to be done. 18 month olds absolutely do NOT want their pictures taken. Ever. Ever, ever. Boy8 and Boy11 even came by later as reinforcements to stand behind me and dance about. She loves them and they always make her laugh.
And yup. They did make her laugh. She was grinning and chortling and having a grand old time…about 4 minutes after I tidied up my lighting gear and camera. Argh!
But bored Boy8 was not about to let his weary old mother rest. While I was busily employed bringing all the fruit to the bottom and clearing out all the jelly Boy8 kept hanging on to me and reminding me that he was still bored.
I spied the glass bunnies that I used to play with when I was a child and told him in my Storyteller voice, “Way back in the olden days when I was a young girl and everything was in black and white, I used to play for hours and hours with those glass bunnies. Yes, those very same ones you see there! Would you like to play with them? You’re old enough now.”
“Don’t you have any matchbox cars? When I was a little girl, I used to line them all up in a big traffic jam. The first car would move forward an inch. Then the second car would move forward an inch. Then the third car would move forward an inch. I could fill days and days playing Traffic Jam.” Boy8 stared at me incredulously and said, “Did you really play that? Really?” I could hear Darling Husband snorting from the other room. Hey. I was an only child and had a very boring childhood. You gotta do what you gotta do to fill the time. Yes I played Traffic Jam.
Boy8 politely declined playing Traffic Jam.
“You could read a book. I have hundreds of children’s books I’ve collected just for sweet little you.”
No. He claims he hates reading. Oh, just break your mother’s heart in two why don’t you?
He wanted to do something physical he said.
“Make an obstacle course out of couch pillows and whatever else you can find and run through it.” Surely he’ll do this. He loves doing this and it makes a ghastly mess.
Sigh. “Then how about we put this lazy boy chair back and you massage my scalp while I fall asleep.”
And he did. Honestly. He really did. I just woke up about 20 minutes ago.
And that is how you do it people. If your child is bored I’ve just given you The Answer. Don’t give me your silly excuses that it’ll never work with your children. That’s not my problem. I’m busy. I still have all that fruit and jelly to clear out.