This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Monday, June 2, 2008

I Am Bored

I am bored—

Before you haul out the standard answers...

Just a thought:

Roo sat down by me the Thursday and said, “Mom I’m bored.”

Now conventional wisdom says, “You’re bored? You. Are. BORED?? Have I got chores for you, buddy.”

But Roo is a good kid and this was only the fourth day of a vacation. This is part of the reason we school year round with smaller breaks (living well with a routine—more on that in another post).

I had to stop and think about what he was really saying. He had toys and games. I was not limiting video games this week. He really. Didn’t. Want. To play. The X-box. He had read several books!! He had played the piano.

What was not being said? What was he asking without knowing?

My decluttering project is taking the slow track this week, I’ll admit. I’ve been busy, but not that busy. And I was actually taking a moment to goof off when he said it.

So I offered the suggestion list: Outside? Computer? Television? LEGOs? No, no, no, no. Thank you.

Ummmm…would you like to play a game of Othello with me?

Now I had his attention. He wanted a few minutes of Mom time.

We actually ended up playing Phase 10 instead. I won. (But who’s gloating?) He tells me I humiliated him. Yeah? Well…I’m an awful mom.

But 30 minutes of one on one with Mom gave him a fresh look. I suggested that he read the rules to two new games we’ve not played yet afterwards so we could play them later. Which he did. He thoroughly enjoys reading directions for games. I am so proud. Because I totally hate reading directions and if he does it, I don’t have to I mean because I’ve done such a good job teaching him.

Shortly after (and totally expected) a curly headed Boo quietly insinuated himself into my lap (I was goofing off again.) “I heard you played a game with Roo.”

“Well, yes, Son I did.”

“Oh.” (Imagine a very neglected tone.)

I asked, “Would you have time to play a game with me?”

“REALLY??!!!”

So we played a couple games of checkers. And life was good.

Last week, their first week of vacation, I had them come up and offer to help when I was working on a project. I’ve had them seek me out just to chat. I had offers for serenading me with music. I had offers to join them in video pandemonium.

With summer vacation here for most families, and some parents are already yearning for fall, I just want to offer the thought that these moments are fleeting. It is annoying sometimes to hear the words, “I’m bored.” But before dismissing the child uttering those fateful words with chores, ultimatums, or a quick "Go play outside!" double check and make sure the statement doesn’t really translate into,

“Mom, can I spend a little time with you?”


Edited to add: I saw Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer's WFMW is about children being bored, so I am tossing it up on her Mr. Linky. Looks like it is a busy one. Check it out.

21 comments:

annie said...

I think they all need a little mom time, even the older ones. I offered to take Amanda to breakfast this morning, but she hasn't shown her face yet... I'm giving her until 10 and then canceling :)

Leah in Iowa said...

As a Mom, I sometimes get "bored", too! I mean, after the meals are done, the house is clean, it's not fit to be outside, and I don't feel like reading or playing the piano or doing anything else, I find I just need a little "people time". I never applied that same thought to my children, though. I'm a bright one, I am!!

luvmy4sons said...

Yes, and all too soon you will be the one begging for them to stop from their runing around with friends and stop to talk to you...and it will be like pulling teeth to get them to open up. Great advice. I needed to hear it becaude so often I get into let's work on the house mode...and feel as if we are lazy unless we are doing something once school is out. It is good to stop and just "BE" together playing.

Carrie said...

You are so wise, Julie! I had never thought of that, but that is what the kids want and need - Mom time.

Coach J said...

I'm glad you knew what they weren't saying!
My kids still want mom time, too--just on their own schedule. :)

Jennifer said...

Wow, Julie....what a great post! I needed to read that today. And I need to come back and re-read it every day this week. ;-)

Thanks for your sweet words on my blog last week. I am finally getting back into the swing of things, blog-wise, and it was good to know there was still someone out there that hadn't given up on my *eventually* posting again! :-) I always appreciate your sweet words of encouragement.

Jenileigh said...

Wonderful reminder!

sheryl said...

You are so right! Those precious moments are very fleeting.
And think what precious memories your guys will have of you spending. fun. time. with. them. !

DebD said...

Good words that I needed to hear today. Although, I myself can't wait to be a little bored this summer.

gemma said...

You are the bomb. OMG is that a really old expression? If so, I am really old.

Mother Hen said...

What a wonderful reminder! I would venture to add that maybe that is the common meaning of the dreaded phrase, and the dread is product of our feminist (read child hating)culture.

sunnymum said...

So true!

Karen said...

Great words of wisdom in there. :) So many times, we are quick to shush them outside without thinking that it might be us they want to spend a little time with. Thanks for the sweet, gentle reminder. :)

Mom24 said...

Wonderful post. Captured my thoughts exactly.

I struggle so much with what to do with the whole video games thing. My DS(7) would honestly play for hours and hours daily if I let him. I'm trying to figure out how much is enough, how much is too much. I need to figure it out fast! lol.

Audra Krell said...

This is so true. Honestly, I need to get off the blog carnival ride for a few minutes and spend time w/my 12 year old. Our drive thru Starbucks this morning just doesn't cut it. Thank you.

SAHMmy Says said...

Great outlook! Mommy time definitely wards off boredom!

freetofly said...

Julie I LOVE your posts! You make great wisdom clear in few words and much wry humor! I have missed you! I haven't been able to blog as much lately, but I always treasure my time here!

You. Are. A. Great. Mom!

You have terrific sons as well!

xoxo,
maria

Julie Stiles Mills said...

So very true! And time doesn't cost a dime. I taught my kids how to bake banana bread a few days ago - we all had a great time. Makin memories. Lots and LOTS of memories!

Heidi @ GGIP said...

What a great story! I love games and I love Phase 10. But I have to say, playing games with a toddler is not my bag of chips. I can't keep up with the rule changes:)

Lori said...

Great post! I appreciate your thoughts on this. There's nothing like a little Mom to kiddo time. Makes for some very special long term memories for any child (and Mama too. :)

Lori said...

Great post! I appreciate your thoughts on this. There's nothing like a little Mom to kiddo time. Makes for some very special long term memories for any child (and Mama too. :)