Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bored Isn't My Problem

The Teacher has interesting ideas on the subject of parenting.
One of the big ones is that 'bored isn't my problem'. I have come to consider the word bored as being up there with swear words. If you say it, you'll be really, really sorry. I have a reluctance to say 'I'm bored' that runs almost as deep as my bones. I have said it before. I was usually sorry.
The Teacher is emphatic on this one. She doesn't have a problem with suggesting games or activities when you run out of ideas. But she doesn't feel like trying to entertain people determined to be unentertained. If you've ever babysat (I avoid babysitting like the plague) then you've probably observed this: at a certain point, when they say that they're bored, nothing is going to please them. They've decided to be bored. You could turn cartwheels and they would still be bored.
So the Teacher decided not to just not bother, but to fight actively against boredness.
I can best illustrate this with a (true) story:
Once upon a time, long ago and far away (we've moved), there was a little girl. One day this little girl invited her friends over to come play. For the first hour, all went well. They played cops and robbers, built castles in the trees, played house, and then played feuding houses. (Think Romeo and Juliet without the plot.) But then- horror! Disaster struck!
The little girl's friends became... bored. The little girl was upset, and even a little scared. She knew, even with her little mind, where this was heading. She suggested games that should have made them jump for joy, crafts that could have kept them busy for hours, activities that would have saved them all from the impending disaster.
The little girl's friends were dissatisfied. They were bored; far be it from them to fix it themselves. So, they decided to call on a higher authority.
“Let's go ask your mom,” one of them said. “Maybe she'll have some good ideas.”
The little girl couldn't have been more upset if they had said “Let's launch a nuclear missile and see what happens.” (Mostly because she didn't know what nuclear missiles were back then.) She was struck nearly wordless by the sheer badness of this idea. It was a bad time to be wordless; the little girl's friends were not deterred by mere gesturing, jumping up and down, and wringing of hands.
So. They could not be stopped. The went, they asked, they launched the nuclear missle.
The Teacher was most understanding. They were bored; they needed something to do.
What a happy coincidence! The dishwasher needed to be loaded.
The little girl's friends, now that the deed was done, repented and tried to back out. The Teacher was not so lenient. They obviously needed something to do; they were bored; this could not be allowed to stand.
So it was that the little girl's friends and the little girl (she considered this unfair- she had been smart enough to not be bored) loaded the dishwasher. The little girl's friends muttered darkly, but not as darkly as the little girl. “I told you,” she muttered. “I told you so!”
The End.
Oh, and the epilogue of my story: those friends still didn't do a good job of listening to me, and they were still stricken with boredness from time to time, but at least they never told the Teacher so again.
The result (or moral) of my little story is that I am almost never bored. There are times when I could wish for a more stimulating and exciting environment, and times when I'm not enjoying myself, but I don't get bored.
Because even though I'm taller than she is, and much older than that little girl, the Teacher still rules with an iron ruler, and there are still plenty of chores to be done.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I bow to the penultimate wisdom of your mom. I need to be more like her . . . (:

    I look forward to many more entertaining posts on your blog! Welcome to the 21st century! Love ya!