There are times when it comes to entertaining kids that I get to the end of my rope. Just this week we’ve done a handful of crafts, played at least a dozen board games and we’re on book 20. I’ve read three chapters of Matilda and have planned two special lunches.
So, when I hear “I’m bored”, it grates on my soul. Really? You’re bored. Get your snowsuit on and make a snowman. Play with the mountain of toys that Santa delivered for Christmas. Play with your freakin’ dollhouse. Grab a board game. go organize your random collections. make me some donuts. color, paint, draw something. Put glitter on something. play with some stickers. get out in the back yard and build something out of snow.
Sighing, she went upstairs, and pulled out the Cloud Cuckoo Lego set she received for Christmas. That’s something she can do solo. She doesn’t need help. She has been doing Lego for three years and has the ability to look through the instruction book, find the right pieces and assemble Lego as well as I could do it myself.
Despite the fact that she can do it. She wanted to watch me do it.
breathhhheee. serenity now. four hours until we head to the swimming pool… four more hours…
“I will play with you, but I need some time to finish things before we go swimming this afternoon. You need to go and play with your sister, or find something to do. I cannot entertain you all day”.
Today, the Lego set broke my entertaining quota – because she wanted to assemble it on the first Wednesday of the month. On the first Wednesday of the month, there’s no Kindergarten in the morning. I guess I’ve become spoiled with a low-maintenance, tag-along and entertains-herself two year old at-home during those productive mornings while she’s in Kindergarten.
What amount of time is the right amount of time to ‘entertain’ your child? Multiple hours is enough, right? They should be expected to play alone, yes? Sometimes? I am of the opinion that they need to learn to play alone. They need to learn to play together – and they need to learn without me directing their play. They’ve got the tools – no go and do it. Was it not for the Lego set, it would have been “go to the basement and play until the timer goes off, find something to do and do not come back up here until you have played” – because that’s the kind of reactions that come from hearing “I’m bored”, from a kid.
Today, the constant need for entertainment, the Wednesday no-school and the fact that I just want to eat spicy chocolate in the pantry make me reach the end, remember to ‘smell the flowers’ like Olivia is prompted to do in school when she needs to find zen.
Oh. high maintenance five year olds, how you challenge me so. Likely I’ll be missing your requests for entertainment in about seven years.
Until then, go play something my friend – embrace that limitless imagination.