I’m Bored

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One of the most dreaded two word sentences a parent will hear.
I’m bored!
Summertime is usually when these syllables slide out in a long groan from the mouth of a child slumped over the arm of an overstuffed chair, feet up, head hanging down.
You offer suggestions. None of them satisfy this pretzel twisted child.
Then you ask the question you’ve been holding back in hopes your other ideas would spark interest.
“What would you like to do?”

The litany begins:
Bonkers? (sunny and 80 degrees, who wants to be inside?)

Chuckie Cheese? (the name causes a cold sweat)
Laser Quest? (wear ear plugs if you’re a newbie)
Red Sox Game? (ticket prices WAY out of reach here!)
Pool Party? (maybe I can deal with this on a limited kid basis)

We live on the coast. A coast known for beautiful, pristine beaches, many kid friendly parks and scenic views that tourists flock to see every year.
But, my grandson has ‘seen all that stuff’, after all we live here!
What happend to the days when a kid just got out of bed in the mornign and couldn’t wait to greet the day, a mom usually insisting he or she at least guzzle a glass of juice before heading out. Bikes to ride, trees to climb, forts to build…all that creative, imaginative stuff that make for sweet dreams when his head hits the pillow, weary but happy.
I think parents have spent far too much time schlepping kids to every new attraction, theme park and event that they’ve forgotten the art of play.
Perhaps we need to reintroduce our children to simple, creative, imaginative play. Dust off the bike and go for a ride. Take a short hike in some nearby woods and collect pine cones, leaves. Lift rocks to see something squirmy slither out. Bring a picnic lunch and sit under a tree and just……listen.
Think I’ll go dig out the wicker picnic basket and upright that boy before the blood pools in his head.

Happy Monday!

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Is Summer Here Yet?

BeachI don’t know what the weather is in your part of the world but here in the Northeast USA the month of June (and the first part of July!) should have arrived with a “Build An Ark” theme! Twenty plus days of rain has certainly brought it’s share of gloom and dreariness. The long awaited days of summer fun at the beach, the pool, sitting on the deck after a long day’s work have been woefully few. Getting out of bed is a chore when the sky is gray and the rain pelts the windows. And once you’re up and about, who has much energy for anything? Something about rain calls out for naps, quilts, hot tea, a good book or a chick flick. My grandson has no interest in any of those. Go figure.

We were blessed with a glorious 4th of July weekend so I’m not going to complain..much. It’s just really difficult to keep kids interested in indoor activities when what they really want is to be outdoors after many months spent in classrooms. Video games, which are limited in our home, are only short lived diversions at best. Baking and cooking are fun but if your grandchild is like mine, he’s not interested in helping to make meatloaf; he wants to make cookies! Okay, that’s cool, except my thighs are not appreciative and my will power can only hold up for so long!

So what DO we do? A little of everything. I write or peruse Facebook while he has his allotted WII time. We read, separately and together.
We run a few errands and laugh about who can dash from car to store and be less wet than the other. We look for movies on Direct TV or rummage through DVDs we’ve seen over and over, and watch them yet again. He helps to get dinner ready by stirring or chopping or peeling whatever is needed. If I’m feeling REALLY brave, we’ll invite a friend over to play. Two boys indoors all afternoon can be a challenge for the most seasoned and creative parent! I prefer sunny day play dates, thank you. My creativity is maxed at offering a board game and when rambunctious boys can release that energy outdoors it’s make for a very happy Nana!
The weather man says the sun will come out by tomorrow afternoon. I’m banking on it because I’ve just promised the GP we could make cookies. Oy, my thighs!

Happy Wednesday!

Family Flix

Family movies, meaning G-rated, are hard to come by these days. And I for one am thankful that Disney-Pixar has filled the niche with some entertaining stuff that tickles the fancy of children and adults. The quality of storyline, animation and fun factor are superb and I believe if I had to choose a fav, I’d be hard press to do so.
If you’re a GRG (grandparent raising grandchild) give a click to this link
Pixar and check out the animated movies offered. Pixar is a Disney affiliate and going strong with incredilbe writers, animators and just plain fun flicks for families.
Ratatouilleratatouille2 and Finding Nemo are two we still replay and giggle ourselves silly over. Ratatouille is a tale of a French rat with a penchant for gourmet cooking and his trials in triumphs in becoming a renowned chef. Finding Nemo is an aquatic verison of the age old tale of an overprotective parent (a clownfish Dad) and an adventerous child, Nemo. Good stuff, both.
Take a trip to your local video store, or Redbox if there’s one nearby (a buck a DVD, can’t beat the price!) or if you’ve got a Netflix account zap those kid friendly movies into your queue and their delivered to your mailbox in just a couple days.
A massive bowl of buttered popcorn, blankets and pillows in front of the tube on a Friday night make for good family fun and laughs.
Compliments of Pixar. Enjoy.

Happy Sunday!

Wrinkles indicate where the smiles have been!

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One thing I hear a lot when acquaintances and friends are told we’ve adopted our 7 yr old grandson is “oh well he’ll keep you young, that’s for sure!” I’ve always been one to feel age is a state of mind, a number, an attitude. Having to keep up with a 7 yr old boy doesn’t change that, though I admit when the Grand Prince needs lessons on his new bicycle this Spring, sans training wheels, it won’t be Nana who’s running along side; my knees will protest.

Our society is so obsessed with the aging process or better yet keeping it at bay for as long as possible. I figure at 56 I’ve earned every crease, creak, groan, sag,  gray hair -the ones not professionally colored- and age spot that graces my face and body. Gravity is what it is, said Mr. Newton, why fight it?  Our faces and bodies will never look as they did at 25. Have you seen women who’s cosmetic surgery  leaves them looking  like a cartoon character  because they are desperate to dive into the fountain of youth over and over? Oy! Not a pretty picture.

It’s called midlife for a reason. Our youth is gone, but our living is not and there’s lots more to come. In fact the wisdom garnered over the years far outweighs the fleeting  pleasures of youth. My Dad always said, “oh to be 22 and know what I do now!” Of course I didn’t ‘get’ it until I was much older but truer words were never spoken. However, if we could have that we’d miss out on learning to live, making the necessary mistakes and gaining the wisdom over the years that ushers us into the magnificent creatures we are at 50 or 60 or 70 and beyond.

Could you, at 25 or 35 wear crazy hats or stripes and plaids or sweat pants to the supermarket and not bat an eye or cause eyebrows to raise? Could you at 25 or 35 wile away the day just reading, sipping tea, take a long walk, paint a watercolor, play with the cats all while the laundry was piled high and the dust bunnies were running rampant? Could you, at 25 or 35 have a second helping of dessert just because or relive memories of those wild escapades and travels in your younger days? I’d say the latter was unlikely since you’d probably have had those experiences as a child…with your parents overseeing them all!

Bette Davis is quoted as saying “Old age is no place for sissies”.  If we’re spending time trying to recapture what once was we’ll never enjoy the experience of that which seasons us for the second half of  life.  I know I’m going to enjoy the next phase in life’s journey without a care for or a look back  toward the ‘old days’. I’m too busy living life in the ‘not so fast lane’. And it suits me just fine.

Happy Tuesday, all you Big Girls!

Creature Comforts


Winter days are short. Winter nights are long. Even though the days grow longer now that we’re beyond the winter solstice, I’m not convinced summer is all that close just because it’s no longer getting dark at 4:30PM. Why is this of importance? I equate dark, cold and winter with keeping warm and cozy. Warm and cozy means comfort food. Comfort food means anything that immediately bypasses the digestive system and settles right into the thighs and hips with a resounding “I’m home!”
Stews, casseroles, apple pies, toll house cookies, mac and cheese..well, anything with melted cheese. The aromas that permeate our house on a cold winter’s evening are enough to bring a content audible sigh and send me running for my Snuggie. Yes, I bought one..two in fact.
The Grand Prince is a creature of comfort too. He devours carbs like a starving man, strokes fleece and flannel like a well loved feline and has his own Snuggie! So sue me, I bought the second one for him. Give him a bowl of mac and cheese, a fresh from the dryer pair of pj’s and permission to snuggle down in the living room with both and he’s in heaven.
I guess I’m taking the long road to simply say that we sometimes overlook the small things in every day living that give us that warm belly feeling that children revel in so easily. Life with my grandson has taught me to pause and relish the first sip of morning coffee on a frosty morning. To laugh and enjoy the lengthy process of cooking anything with a seven year old. To count blessings when it’s far easier to complain. To remember how quickly a child grows and the regret we feel when we ‘wish we had’. To cherish the love of family and friends and to never take either for granted. To be thankful for a warm house, a secure job and money to pay the bills.

And yes, to buy a Snuggie or two just because we want it.