Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wired for Trouble

That is the real question, isn't it?  In my house, at least, I feel as though I am constantly ushering my kids outside, or downstairs or simply out of the kitchen to go "play".  But for whatever reason, my kids weren't blessed with the "auto-play" gene.  Pretend doesn't come easily to them, and they can't scan the room and see in it a world of possibilities made of toys and games and colors.

Instead, my boys tend to see a different kind of potential.  For example, when they look at their bookshelf, they see dozens of books that, when placed end to end, create a believable and architecturally challenging paved surface on which to drive cars, wrestle, or quite possibly pee, if the mood strikes.

When they enter my bedroom, they don't see a place for Joel and me to rest.  Instead, they see enough linens to create the mother of all blanket forts, in which they could drive cars, wrestle, or quite possibly pee, if the mood strikes.

Even in the kitchen, where cabinet locks bar the contents of the pantry, Cael and Graham don't see ingredients for family dinners, they see late night snacks that are best consumed in a late night heist.  And it is then, at two o'clock in the morning and on top of a layer of crumbs and melted chocolate, that they will finally decide to play, driving cars, wrestling, or quite possibly peeing, if the mood strikes.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  Repeat in every room.  Repeat until you don't have the energy to fight it anymore.  Give up and drive the cars yourself.  Eat some crumbs off of the floor.  You probably won't have time to cook for yourself anyway after you're done cleaning up the mess.

But what do other mothers do to combat the innate desire for destruction?  The way I see it, I only have a few available options. 

- I could hire in full-time help to monitor them every moment I have my head turned, despite the fact that I've already sacrificed any career I might have had so that I could monitor them myself.  But this no good because any disposable income I have is already committed to replacing the home goods they've demolished.

- I could simply throw away anything in my house that isn't virtually indestructible and made of hard plastic or metal.  As appealing as that idea is, however, I don't think that my boys would sleep too well with plastic tarps for sheets.  Plus, the pee would just pool on the floor, and that's just gross.

- The only remaining option is to buy an outdoor playset with swings and a slide, so that Cael and Graham can work out their superfluous energy in our big open backyard rather than on Graham's dresser.  Right?  I think so.  Thanks for your input.

In a completely unrelated and non-solicitous or sarcastic note, I'm now taking donations for Cael and Graham's birthdays!  Donations may be made in increments of $500.00 and applied toward this.  Thanks so much for your support!


  1. We actually have that playset. We were so excited and visioned our boys spending all day in their secret clubhouse. In real life they hardly play on it. Unless other kids come over and they are so excited about it that my boys will play on it with them. Oh- except the swings. My boys love the swings....but only if I am standing there for hours pushing them!!! I don't get it!!

  2. Wow, are you really getting that play set? If so, your backyard will be the envy of the neighborhood! I apologize now if my kids sneak over to play on it. I doubt I'll be able to keep them away when they see it. Shirley


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.