Mom? I'm Bored

originally in Abilene Families

I was in the shower. Alone, as tends to be my practice. So a child wandered into the bathroom, of course. Does anyone remember back before they had kids when a bathroom was a sanctuary instead of a thoroughfare? Me neither.

“Mom? I’m bored...”

This was the first day of spring, the last day of spring break. Yeah, the day it snowed? That one. When we had all had all the fun with each other we could stand and couldn’t go outside. I could understand the boredom, but did I mention I was in the shower?

Hmmmm.... I would have to think on this one. Since I didn’t bring my “Bag-o-Entertainment” into the shower with me, I called out ideas:

“You could fold the clothes in the dryer!”

“What about picking up all those things off the floor of your room?”

“I’ve got it! You could write a 500-word essay on how my mom made my spring break the awesomest ever!” (My kids are accustomed to their writer mom using invented words such as “ridonkulous” or “awesomest”. Do not attempt until your children know the difference).

I couldn’t see the accompanying eye roll, but the child did wander away. Hoping for less sarcasm, I presume, though I was perfectly serious with all of those options as something to do.

When the kids were younger I had an “I’m Bored” jar. It had slips of paper in it with different activities on each slip of paper. Some of the activities may be a fun idea: “Build a fort with the covers from your bed,” “Draw a picture for Nonna and Grandad,” or “Play hopscotch with Mom.”

However, some of the activities weren’t so fun: “Clean windows for 10 minutes,” “Give the dog a bath,” or “Clean out a dresser drawer”. So, it was a gamble to draw from the jar -- would it be something fun or not? A job or a joy? (A funny side note: in asking my kids about their memory of this jar, they did not believe that I had any fun things in the jar, only jobs).

I found out which of my children will lose their shirts in Vegas as an adult, and which of the two isn’t willing to risk anything. Oh, don’t act as if you don’t want to encourage gambling in your children. I’ve seen you at Gatti’s.

One of my children never tried. One of them tried a few times, though I kept the jar on a shelf for a year or two. If nothing else, it kept the complaints to a minimum. Rather than complain to me and be threatened with drawing from the jar that I now realize they thought only contained jobs, they went off and found something to do that entertained themselves. I guess in that regard it promoted creativity, as well.

Perhaps it’s time for a teen version of the “I’m Bored” jar. However, most of the jobs my kids are capable of doing, they already do. Some fall into the “you live here, eat my food, wear my clothes, and use my gasoline so I expect you to do that” category, and a few are the “I’ll pay you ‘x’ for doing this” category. For those that I’ll pay them to do, I can’t afford to have them draw out of the job jar every time they get bored.

But who really has time to be bored anyway? What with all the texting, Facebooking, and I-have-to-be-there-5-minutes-ago going on. And soon (oh, all too soon) it will be friends picking up in the car going here and there, hither and yon. I’m not sure I’m ready for that, either.

Perhaps I will make myself a prayer jar, full to overflowing, with the prayers of a momma who realizes that these babies were never really hers to keep anyway. And, eventually, perhaps I shall shower in peace, as well.


Roxanne said...

And thinking of you saying ridonkulous made me think of ASHLEY calling them her "Pocahonamus pajamas." Hilarious.

Roxanne said...

Excellent. . .glad I got to read it even though I am faaaaaaaar away from Abilene and their families. I can normally shower in peace (at 5:00 a.m.), but using the bathroom alone is still a stretch.

Design by Deluxe Designs