My son wears headphones around the house sometimes, listening to his mp3 player. They completely block all external sound (or so he says). When I need to talk to him, call him, ask him a question – whatever – I can’t get his attention.
So I flash the lights on and off.
After an entire afternoon of this, he responded with, “STOP needing me!”
Yeah. Welcome to MY world, kiddo.
Today, I had a client call at 9:00 a.m. Just a quick little scheduling confirmation. First time on the phone with a client since school got out on May 23rd. The call lasted about 7 or 8 minutes. Think I could do it alone? ALL by myself? To quote PinkGirl, “Yeahhhhhhhhhh.NO.” PinkGirl HAD to talk to me. RIGHT THEN. I had to do the finger to the lips thing about 10 to 15 times. In less than 8 minutes.
I had another call at 10:19 a.m. from another client. Remember, I’ve had no client calls (or even WORK) for over a week. This time BOTH FavoriteSon and PinkGirl HAVE to talk to me. He said, she said. He did, she did. Bicker. Bicker. Bicker.
For the kids, this is boredom at its finest.
What to do, what to do? Last year we threw money at this problem. We bought an above ground swimming pool, which I affectionately refer to as a “redneck” pool. (Trust me when I tell you. I am SO allowed to use that term.) We’ve heard from friends that older kids lose interest in swimming pools, leaving empty nesters with the task of caring (and paying) for their big screened-in, built-in pools. So we opted for an above ground pool that we can get rid of when our kids grow up.
But for now? It’s a hit.
I’m one of those moms who is compelled to be with their kids while they are swimming. I need to see. I need to hear. Often, I can sit on my back porch, under the ceiling fan, reading, working on the laptop computer, blogging, talking on the phone. When I need to make lunch or dinner, I can see the pool through the kitchen window. When it gets too miserably hot, I can sit in my family room – in the air conditioning – and watch them through the sliding door. (I leave the door open a little so I can hear. FirstHusband complains a little about the air conditioning, but he understands.) We invite friends over to swim a LOT. We run the dryer a little more – to dry and warm towels and bathing suits, and we are spending a little more on food for lunch and snacks, but over all – our redneck pool is a hit!
So what happened this morning? The kids don’t often swim in the morning. Something about the water being too cold. wimps. It appears I need to let voice mail pick up morning phone calls and return calls in the afternoon, during swimming.
Except for the weeks they are in day “camps.” Basketball camp, “podcasting” camp, drama camp. Gotta love camp.
We’re also nicking away at learning a little guitar and piano.
(Disclaimer: My kids are 7 and 12 (almost 13) years old. When they were preschoolers, fighting “summer” boredom was a year round challenge. MOPS? You have my utmost respect.)