This mom is done, folks. If I hear, “I’m bored!” “There’s nothing to do!” “My friends can’t come outside!” “Why can’t we stay inside?” ONE.MORE.FREAKING.TIME, I am going to duct tape myself inside a box and mail myself to Siberia. Or overseas. Or some place that doesn’t recognize me as, “Mom” so that maybe, just maybe, I can have a smidgen of peace instead of the constant sibling bickering and kids bemoaning how their life sucks because they’re bored.
Bored? Are they SERIOUS?
Finally, I had to sit all the kids down for one of ‘those’ old geezer-y talks earlier. Y’know, the ones where you have to lecture the kids about the way it was when we were kids? “We used to walk to school both ways barefoot, uphill, in the snow!” (And stuff of this sort that makes you feel eleventy-billion years old, y’know?) My talk sort-of went like this:
“Kids, you have toys. You have bikes. You have skateboards. You have a trampoline. You have a train table. You have action figures. You have blocks. You have a sprinkler. You have costumes. YOU HAVE YOUR FREAKING IMAGINATIONS IN THOSE BRAINS OF YOURS! Why on earth do we have to hear ‘I’m bored’ from you guys eleventy-billion times a day until we invent something for you to do ourselves or finally get sick and tired of the whining and let you stay in? Do you know, when we were kids, we’d be outside as soon as we were up and only come inside for bathroom breaks, drinks, meals, and when the streetlight came on - that was it! We were NEVER, EVER, inside! We L-I-V-E-D outside, played games, tag, chased fireflies, went on bike-ride adventures, built forts, climbed trees.. video games and watching cartoons wasn’t a thought on our minds, and we ALL knew better than to tell our moms that we were ‘bored’ or she’d give us chores to do. DO YOU WANT ME TO GIVE YOU MY CHORES TO DO? DO YOU?”
And the kids, in their shocked, who-pissed-in-mom’s-cornflakes kind-of way, as though someone’d just farted in church, they looked at me with their “Holy crap!” faces and simply shook their heads side to side, mouth agape. They couldn’t speak, they were so floored by the actual IDEAS flying from my lips at them.
“Alrighty then, now GO OUTSIDE. PLAY. USE YOUR IMAGINATIONS. Stop coming in here to complain/use the restroom/fidget with stuff every few seconds, or there will laundry, vacuuming, dusting, and many other not-so-pleasant parental-type things for you to do, ya got it?!”
I saw puffs of smoke where they once sat as they left my living room so fast. My older ones, though, I saw smidgens of atrocity blended with sincere disappointment in their faces as they left a little slower, a little more downtrodden and dejected. They knew I was onto their, I-need-a-drink-every-two-seconds acts, and they knew it didn’t take them an hour to use the restroom upstairs where their TV was.
My talk with them didn’t help me, though. Not like I’d hoped it would. I suddenly felt very old, very tired, despite summer lasting another 5+ weeks, I already feel beat-down and ready to snap. Or, perhaps I already did?
I just don’t get it - I used to love summer as a child. My children revel in their last days of school the same way I used to. What the heck has changed? How has society changed? And why do I feel like a bad parent for kicking my kids outside to play? What is wrong with this picture?