“Can I have a snack?”
Are you hearing these words on the regular?
On the regular would mean approximately 232 times for me, each day. Ok, so I exaggerate, ever so slightly. But according to my Math (which was my best subject–exaggerating again):
4 kids x 6 “I’m bored’s each” x 10 “Can I have a snack” each = Well you get the point!
I’m confident I don’t even need to ask, if you are hearing these things, too. If you are a mom and you have kids home on summer break, I’m certain your ears are buzzing with these same sentences.
And you are wondering . . .
“Should I be planning more activities?”
“Why are they so hungry?”
They are not hungry.
They are bored.
“So, I should be doing more. Planning more. Summer bucket listing more!”
No. Not necessarily.
Being bored is where the good stuff is. It’s where creativity begins.
Being bored is where made up games get going, pretend takes place, mud pies are made, new friends are found, memories are made.
Some of my best summer memories are because I was bored. One summer, my friend Ali and I were bored with our normal, Sandy and Shelly, mermaid swimming situation, so we tied our ankles together with tube socks (this was before the spectacular mermaid tales you can now purchase) and dumped my mom’s jewelry (real jewelry, that is,…oy!) in the pool as our sunken treasure. Tying our ankles together and looting my mom’s jewels–probably not the best idea. But, we survived (so did the jewelry, thanks to our stellar diving) and so did this story.
Our kids will survive the boredom and so will the someday stories that they will one day tell, because of it.
We have a pool and a trampoline and neighborhood friends and a street to ride bikes on and still, “I’m bored.”
Our days, look a little like this:
Sleep in. Wake up. Watch a Disney show. Eat breakfast. Peer out the window to see if the neighbors are out. Ring the neighbor’s doorbell. Play. Come inside. Say, “I’m bored.” Go back out. Come back in, “Can I have a snack.” Go back out. Get in disagreement with the other kids. Play inside, mindlessly with cars or coloring. Roll around on the rug reciting, “I’m bored.” Go back outside. Jump in the pool. “I’m hungry.” Run around front, jump on bikes. Motion to Mom through the window, “Can I have a snack?” Come inside when Mom pretends she doesn’t see you through the window. See the iPad on the desk. Get on the iPad, play some games, ask to download a new game (NO!). Look out the window. Outside calls again. Sit on the front porch with the neighbors. Mom yells, “It’s time to get ready for baseball.” “I don’t want to go.” “Can I have a snack?” Stuff a Fruit-by-the-Foot in your pocket when Mom isn’t looking. Rush out the door with Chlorine in your hair and dirt between your toes.
Our days look a little mine did when I was a kid in 1980 something (minus the iPad and the summer bucket list) and I’m quite alright with that.
I tell me kids two snacks a day. One before lunch and one after. But the house is a hallway and the pantry a vending machine that doesn’t require coins. So I stock it with what I’m ok with (for the most part) and say no, ten times a day and then let it go.
The kids were bored yesterday. It was hotter than hot and they couldn’t be bothered to even swim. I told them to invite the neighbors over and then I sat by the pool attempting to read a book but found I was far more interested in the plot playing out in the pool. Aquatic Veterinarians. Doctors and nurses and made up names like “Crystal” and one son saying, “pretend I have a six pack and I’m ripped.”
I got them through two “I need a snack’s” and then they swam until I yelled, “Time to get out! Luke has basketball.”
Who knows what they will make believe or build or blog (my oldest started a blog out of boredom last week) today?
P.S. Our playroom got a little update with this beautiful Crystal Mosaic Rug from The Land of Nod. It’s perfect for rolling around on reciting “I’m bored.” And just looking at it makes me feel like a mermaid (no tube sock tied tale or jewelry required) in 1980 something.