Each day after school, Roozle and I have a few hours together to be awesome. Though I really wanted to, I held back from signing her up for All The Classes so we have free time in the afternoons. We usually end up running errands, stopping by the library once a week, and spending a lot of time at home.
“I’m in charge of cooking! You’re in charge of playing!”
“Playing is boring? Nope. It rules.”
“I should watch a show instead!”
“No, Roozle, shows are boring. Playing rules.”
We have this conversation a few times a week around here. I don’t allow any shows in the afternoon, because I’m apparently the worst parent ever, if you ask Roozle. And because she watches a show in the morning before school these days, so she’s getting more screen time than I like already. So no, no shows. Playing.
Once she gets started, she’s off creating some kind of madness that takes over the living room and spills through the house, but that getting started part is sometimes hard. She’s tired. She’s hungry. She just can’t think of what to do. Yesterday she was in Montessori mode washing dishes and peeling carrots, but that’s not always the case. I usually give her three choices: a quiet thing, a physical thing, or an imagination thing. A puzzle, dancing to the Annie soundtrack, or playing trains. Coloring, setting up an obstacle course of furniture, or taking her dolls to a pretend school. And then there are days that I make an easy dinner and don’t have anything I need to do. Those days we read, play hide and seek, or play hospital. Those days rule and aren’t boring at all.
I remember telling my mom I was bored all the time as a kid. Her usual response was to turn off the TV and tell me to go play. So I did. With a bit of whining thrown in for dramatic effect, of course. But what’s childhood without a bit of whining drama? That would be so boring.