Well, it’s finally happening. The “I’m bored” phase of winter break and not a moment too soon because they go back tomorrow. You know I’m really not surprised. My kids have been off school since December 20th and I have done absolutely nothing to stimulate their brains. Popular childrearing trends of the day state I should have been taking them a million and five places – museums, zoos, the soup kitchen to feed the poor, etc. Yet, here we are, lazing about the place in our pjs and watching a Hunger Games marathon. It hasn’t been all fun and games. I had to work several days over the break and each day I went to work they had a long list of chores but most of their day was spent looking at a screen. So, today when I came home from my job to hear “I’m bored”, I dug around on the interwebs until I found this old article by Jen Hatmaker on what a 1970’s mom would do in the summer and I read it aloud to my kids. I don’t know about you but that essay perfectly sums up my childhood and definitely summer at my Granny’s house. My Granny would throw us outside and threaten me and my cousins with death if we interrupted her “stories” (aka soap operas). She would sit a Tupperware picture of red Koolaid outside on the back porch along with a can of Planters cheese puffs and that would have to do until she yelled for us for lunch which was served whenever she was good and ready to fix it. God help you if you got injured or needed to go to the bathroom. I distinctly remember going next door to Ms. Holt’s house one time because I needed something and didn’t want to incur the wrath of Granny. I still ended up on Granny’s bad side because Mrs. Holt called my Granny to let her know I was at her house asking to use the restroom.
But, what about the lucky kids that get to go to camp? The preschool I work for offers winter break day camp not to mention camps for spring break and summer. And, what of stay away summer camp? I desperately wanted to go to summer camp as a child but we were too poor for that nonsense. I think I saw The Parent Trap one too many times and had these grand ideas of how it would be. A few years ago I got it in my head that we needed to go to a family summer camp. Holy Moses! I would have had to sell a kidney on the black market to afford that crap. Seriously, a week long Disney cruise in a veranda suite or a 10 day European vacation would cost less. And, seeing how I’m 45, I doubt I will ever realize the dream of summer camp unless it’s some sort of camp for elderly people in another 20 years. Hey, what about those group tours for old people. That’s kind of like summer camp, right? We can pretend it is. Anyway, back to this “I’m bored” business.
Look, I remember this phenomenon as a kid but it doesn’t make hearing my kids whine, “I’m bored” any better. I know they feel like they have exhausted all of their options for entertainment but I guarantee there is still plenty of fun to be had especially since we didn’t have Pinterest or Youtube back in the day. In the meantime, I’ve threatened to throw away all the snack food if they don’t go pick up the dog’s poop out of the back yard. And, here’s another thing, how are these children going to survive on breakfast, lunch and maybe a snack now that they’ve been free range grazing since December 20. They have been eating me, Aldi and Kroger out of house and home. We are talking about 15 mini meals a day. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating about 15 but at this rate, they are going to need summer jobs just to pay for the food bill around here.