Our Summer of Doing...Nothing!
Hello, folks and welcome to "Camp Nothing To Do This Summer!" I'll be your host...
Seriously though, this summer, we're doing a whole lot of nothin'. Thanks to a busy spring in which we took a lovely trip to Hawaii and moved homes all in the same month, we're laying low in a major way. With a 4.5 year old who yearns for activities on top of activities and is often heard saying (the minute I walk in to pick him up from preschool), "What are we going to do now?" To which I respond, "Go home... play..." Unsatisfied with the answer, he says, "No, I mean what are we going to do that's FUN."
I've found myself stuttering and stammering... Second-guessing an afternoon of relaxing play at home.... Desperately trying to come up with entertainment of sorts.... Being at home... that's so awful. What are we supposed to do? Just read? Do art. Cuddle. COME ON. BO-RING.
But this is ridiculous, I realize. I'm not an amusement park or fun factory producer. I'm a mom. Who works. And has obligations other than churning out endless segments of "we're going to Disneyland!" moments. In fact, the highly discussed book by Pamela Druckerman called Bringing Up Bebe about an American mother's discovery and observations of French parenting touches on just this: American mothers feel the need to entertain constantly... They never let their children be bored. Not French mamas et papas.... Non, non, non. They teach their children from an early age how to engage and entertain themselves. Boredom is good... it leads to curiosity and self-discoveries... blah, blah, blah…
In my house, boredom usually leads to meltdowns, whining and temper tantrums.
Honestly, for those 20 minutes, I'd much rather play concierge.
I know, I know. I'm 5 years in. I gotta work on it.
I AM working on it though, which is why I'm writing this post. Jeez, cut me some slack would ya?
Okay. SO in my attempt to make something out of nothing, I have decided that this summer will be the summer I turn "what's so special and different about right now" into something actually special and different. While the activity may not be out of this world, unbelievably impressive, or over the top, it will certainly create memories AND give me a chance to entirely dedicate my time and attention to my son.
First stop on our What Are We Going To Do This Summer de Force: Making a To Do List and DOING IT!
The other morning, my boy had just about had it with board games (and iPad games) and wasn't up for taking a walk/riding his bike, etc etc... SO I told him he was going to have to find something to do because it was time (for me) to clean. He insisted on helping me and said the only way we could get stuff done would be for him to create a list of what we needed to do. PERFECT. Hello, time suck.
First step: He sat down and made a "To Do List"
It was perfect. As I answered emails and caught up on work, I told him what we needed to do and helped him spell it out.... I taught him how to make a list with numbers and explained why you clean in a certain order.
Twenty minutes later, we moved on to step two: Washing the dishes.
This is probably my least favorite chore to involve a small child in because there's a whole lot of water and soap wasting that goes on.... AND I don't know that he's going to get the pasta out of the dish quite like I'd prefer.... BUT we came up with a great system and he really felt proud of his suds-ing action.
Next, we got folded laundry.
So, I don't know how or when this happened, but my kid can SERIOUSLY fold the crap out of anything. He's meticulous and exact and frankly, his pile making skills could get him a manager position at the Gap TOMORROW. This was a gem to see...
Finally, we wrapped up the "To Do List" Summer Spectacular with a good ol' fashioned sweeping and vacuuming. The entire event took about an hour and a half and had I not insisted that was enough cleaning for the day, he would have kept going. (Nothing like a 4.5 year old to remind you he still sees dust).
So, this will mark the beginning of our summer non-adventure adventures. I look forward to sharing our what we're doing as, again, we do NOTHING along the way.
What are YOU doing this summer????