Get Thee to a Playground!
Ahhh, summer vacation, that lovely time of year when your offspring loll around on your couch, your floors, their beds, your beds and any other semi-horizontal surface in the house and moan: “I’m boooooorrreeeddddd. Can I watch tv?”
No, my dearies, you may not watch tv. Not that I think tv is all bad and I know that my sibling and I watched hour upon hour of animated drivel as youngsters and still graduated with honors. What concerns me as a parent about tv is that, after watching tv for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 2 hours–the time is immaterial–they turn into little monsters. It is as if watching tv connects them to some sort of infantile hive mind and their manners, their speech patters, and their general civility are drained away and replaced by shrill demands for instant gratification. So, no, dearies, we will not watch tv in the middle of a lovely day. You will go outside and play. For play is what children do.
Getting them to head to the park required a bit of barking on my part, and a willingness to be cast in the role of Ogre Parent. So be it. Once they were convinced that no amount of wheedling and whining would result in their staying here and slothing about, they set about preparing for their outing to the park. I had imagined they would grab their scooters and hit the pavement, but noooo. They said: “Let’s pack snacks,” and 30 minutes later had amassed a small backpack full of: pretzels, cheetos, granola bars, celery sticks, peanut butter, raisins, crackers, cheese, and yogurt. They did all of this menu planning and packing while I uploaded some pics to Flickr. I was not involved at all and tried to tune them out after I heard the word “cheetos.” So I was totally impressed when they packed the ingredients to make “hand-dipped” ants on a log and cheese and crackers. A nutritious, snacky little lunch is now on its way to the park with the little darlings.
And if I see them within the next hour, I’m locking the doors 🙂