Thursday, November 4, 2010

Boredom, a Boy, and a Roll of Foil

Yesterday I went to pick up the kids for another marathon afternoon of soccer, karate, PTA functions, etc. When I arrived, I hustled T2 to change into soccer clothes, and T1 started in with the whining.  "Where's my DS? I want to play DS?  Why, Mommy? Why can't I play DS  Whhhhaaaaaaa."  This is a battle we have every week when T2 has soccer practice.  T1 rushes through his homework (that he does sitting on the bleachers) and then begs to play with some screen--the DS, his "Pokewalker," my Droid.  We're in a park, for God's sake!  Short of having two broken legs, he should be playing.  PLAYING.  Isn't that what little boys are supposed to do in the park?

Last week, he started in with the "I'm bored..." bull-sh*^%.  Oh no you didn't.  You did NOT just tell me you were bored?!  Boy, you don't know what bored is.  I showed him the perfectly climbable tree right. next. to. him.  I wanted to start with the, "When I was a kid, we found our own fun in mud pies and sticks. Blah, blah, blah," but I caught myself.  Didn't want to let on how OLD I am.  He did end up climbing that tree, and he had fun.  Lo and behold--no longer bored.

Yesterday, once he realized that I wasn't going to go back on my original command about staring at a video game in the park, he knew he had to come up with something else.  Enter this:

 This is a foil ball that T1 made in art class with some leftover foil.  Notice the little indentations for a face?  Eyes, nose, mouth?  It's a guy screaming for a body.  I suggested that we go to the store and buy some more foil.  He could make body parts and put them together.  Toothpicks become the "bones."  He said, "you can glue it for me," to which I replied, "Yeah, and the glue can be like the joints, muscle, and skin."

Then, Foil Guy together.  

T1 decided the foil man needed a "toy" and he started constructing this: 

Cut to home.  Here I am singeing my fingers with a hot glue gun to get the "muscles and joints" on the foil guy. Fortunately, the toothpicks are providing excellent structural integrity.

And then, it was done. 

 This little project is a wonderful testament to what kids can do with a little imagination.  T1 is so proud of his creation.  I can tell because at 10 pm and he came out from bed to ask me if it was finished.  He played with it for a minute, making it totter awkwardly across the kitchen counter.  The smile on his face said it all.  He made it--from nothing more than $3 worth of household products.  And he wasn't bored.

I don't want to sound like I never let him play video games or watch TV.  That's just not me.  God knows the TV has a sacred place in our house.  Like everything else, I am in charge of creating the balance.  There's a time and place for video games: when Mom's getting her hair done, at the bank during the signing of house loan documents, or when I'm engrossed in Real Housewives of New Jersey (okay, just kidding on that last one).  The park is not one of those places.  And I can't help but think that he's silently thanking me somewhere in his subconscious for this little respite from the technological age. Long live Foil Guy!


mischief management said...

you're too nice. Whenever I said the B word, some chore appeared.

me: I'm bored.

Dad: great. You can remove the snails from the garden, then sweep the garage.

To this day I don't say the B word for fear I will have to clean the basement, organize my office, attack the endless laundry.

Aging Mommy said...

Good for you! I think your son will one day thank you. It is so very easy, with boys especially I think, to let them just play endless video games etc but childhood is about discovery and play and is all over way too fast.