The kids are bored today. They were bored yesterday, and will probably be bored tomorrow. I stupidly got sucked in and made a few reasonable suggestions which is in all likelihood what is causing this deafening sound in my ears and throbbing in my head. If anyone is interested in how test your limits before you stroke out, this is one way.
Suggest reading a book.
The automatic response to this is usually “huh?” I reply, “You know, those square things that open up like a money card. We have lots of them up in what we like to call the bookcase. Some even have pictures.” Then I itemize the books I have purchased specifically for them by title and author. I walk them upstairs and show them seven shelves stuffed with a variety of books for all interests that I have collected over the years. The middle child goes in her room and slams the door. The little guy is somewhat interested in “On the Brink”, until I say he might like it. He says he has to go to the bathroom.
Suggest writing a letter on actual paper with an actual pen, or even a crayon.
I know immediately where this is going. I don’t even know why I bothered to suggest it. The first comeback is “Why?” I explain that contrary to popular belief, people actually like to receive a hand written letter. Some people even keep them. “Why?” Well, unlike email which is deleted after a while, a letter can be kept for years. You just asked me why you never received any mail. You need to write a letter to someone and then they will write one back to you. “No they won’t. They’ll email me and ask why I bothered to write when I can email or IM them.”
Suggest going outside.
It’s summer for crying out loud. I remind them that winter isn’t far away. The little guy says “Good. It’s too hot out and I could use some snow.” The middle child can’t go out because her hair will fuzz. No one is on the street today. They want to know why they couldn’t have gone to camp. “Because you didn’t want to go when I asked you,” I say. “Well, can we go now?” I’m thinking , “Are these kids really going to become world leaders?”
Suggest planting something.
I was reminded of my recent attempts to plant flowers. I tell them to plant a watermelon seed. That sounds interesting to the little guy, but Miss No Frizz can’t go outside, didn’t I hear what she said? I told her to supervise from the door. A few minutes later they are fighting. I can’t figure out how they can fight when one is inside and one is outside, fifty feet apart, but they can. The middle child has a hose and is squirting the little guy, to keep him cool she says. He’s screaming bloody murder because he wiped the water from his eyes with a hand covered with mud.
Suggest taking the dog for a walk.
EEEEEWWW! They’re not going to pick up dog poop. That’s sick! I lie and say the dog just pooped, go look in the dog pen if you don’t believe me. (I really am going to hell) Of course the little guy does, and guess what he steps in. I’m ticked at the dog now, because the kid has to come in to the living room to tell me I was right.
Suggest learning to play chess.
This ends the conversation. It seems they have decided to go next door to be bored.
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