"Mmooooommmmmm, I'm SO bored."
It's like nails on a chalkboard for me.
Yesterday was day ohmygahIlostcountIhavenoidea off from school due to snow, ice, cold and stupid winter, and we are all pretty over it, as is the rest of America, if my Twitter feed is any indication.
I can deal with most of it just fine. I can deal with the little boys with too much pent up energy. I can deal with the disrupted schedule. I can deal with the running, the yelling, the fighting, the trapped inside business. I can deal with the near-constant requests for snacks and drinks.
But "bored" is my Achilles' heel. I don't do bored.
See, here's the thing (which may call my parenting abilities into question - don't worry, it won't be the first time). I will read stories, watch movies, play board games and build things with my kids all day long, but when they start up with the "I'm SOOOOO bored" business, Mama playtime shuts right down.
I think it's good for them to get bored, because I think it's good for them to figure out - on their own - how to get un-bored.
It's a life skill that many adults don't seem to possess - this ability to keep yourself amused, motivated and happy without someone else pulling the strings.
So I think it's good to let my kids get bored sometimes, and I think it's good for them to have to figure a way out of that feeling on their own. Once they manage to get past the initial shock, there is usually some grumbling, maybe a little bit of whining. But once they realize Mama means business - "Go find something to do. I don't want to hear about how bored you are," they wander off.
Sometimes they find a game to play on their own, without me. Sometimes they ask to watch tv or play a video game, and I let them. But sometimes, well sometimes something magical happens.
When they are just so bored they can't stand it and none of the usual distractions will do, they start to use their imaginations. They begin to create things. They dress up, play pretend, act out scenes, make art, write words.
They use their own brains and feelings and actions to move themselves from "bored" to "amused."
It's an amazing thing to watch.
And it's a skill they will use the rest of their lives.
So yeah - I don't do bored. There is too much to see and do and experience in this vast and wonderful world to let "bored" eat away at the finite time I have. And as this skill and ability grows for them, neither will my kids. And that is a beautiful thing.