Part of modern parenting is the pressure to create and/or partake in constant fun activities with your kids. This is exacerbated by Curated Parenting! (brought to you by social media). The extent to which that pressure affects each parent is individual, of course.
But I do wonder from time to time: what and to what extent am I supposed to be activity director for my children, to what extent should we let them be bored (read: tear the house to pieces), to what extent do we let them just veg and watch television, especially if a part of their day is them fully engaged in camp/learning activities?
See, my kids are part sloth and care very little for excessive amounts of physical activity or adventure. This is not to say they don’t go on adventures. They also all do sports, but if given the choice between, say, a second adventure involving walking or even to the beach, usually they prefer to curl up with a book. If we DO convince them to go, often the kids want to leave after about thirty minutes, unless there is ice cream involved.
To which I say, Genetics. QED.
Frankly, I would love an entire summer of one activity for a few hours in the morning, then twelve hours of action-packed page turning. Add snacks, and we’re talking the GOAT vacay.
This perplexes my husband, who is almost always up for activities, always on the go go go.
“You’re tired? You’re kids!” he says frequently. He believes that all children are high energy by dint of how many times they’ve hitched a ride on Earth’s trips around the sun.
Our kids aren’t lazy, they don’t thrive on constant stimulation and activity 14 hours a day, although I believe many more kids are good with lots of activity than aren’t.
Still, I feel the need to peel the offspring off the couch every so often, just so they remember that I’m not just the one who slings hash (the food, not the…oh, never mind) and makes them brush their teeth what they would consider an oppressive number of times.
I keep it simple. Library. Park. Arcade. Pool. This past week I took the fruit of my loins to Dairy Queen. We ate giant Blizzards (size: small) and went into comas, but not before I gave my unsolicited opinion that Dairy Queens always look like the location for 1970s illicit drug transactions.
One day this past week, all three kids had various playdates that overlapped, so my husband and I had 90 whole minutes to ourselves. So we watched Seabiscuit. Not sure we’re doing this alone time right. But that was a damn scrappy horse.
My favorite hobby other than reading is cooking. I always think that I’ll be an adventurous chef in the summer and will engage the children in many more meal prep steps than I ever do — it’s bonding and I don’t have to leave the house. I’m still under the profoundly incorrect assumption that I’ll have time in the summer…that it’s “easier” despite having 400000% more kids-at-home-time. So we had pasta like 70 times this week. So far no complaints, but I’d better ease off before they become giant balls of glutenous parmesan and tomato bombs.
I needn’t worry about the kids becoming couch zombies. Their new favorite game, which they play for HOURS is “Hot Podoggo” — it’s a game of keep away they play with our dog (But every 5th or 6th toss they let the dog get the toy so he feels part of things.)
I suppose I should just take a picture of Hot Podoggo and post it, but honestly, when they’re playing, I’m usually reading a book.
Summer is exhausting, I tells ya.