“I AM SO BORED!” wailed my six year old. “I didn’t have any fun at all today.”
“You didn’t have fun at school?”
“No! I had to be good so I was bored at school too. Now I’m bored at home. We never do anything fun!” (Well excuse me for all those times I sweated through Disney pushing your stroller, the summer treks to the zoo, and the three Sundays in a row of birthday parties. I didn’t realize those times didn’t meet your definition of six year old fun.)
“Well, maybe you should go sort your toys and decide what to donate. Santa is really old. If he sees all those toys, he’ll think that he already stopped here and you won’t get anything at all.”
I tried to go the good citizen route by explaining to my children that some kids don’t have a lot of toys so we have to share the toys they no longer enjoy with them by donating them. They calmly informed me that Santa will remember them if they are good. If they don’t get anything then it means that they were naughty. They did not buy in to the donating toys for Christmas. I had to resort to fear tactics.
What?! He said okay?
“Okay. I’ll donate some toys.”
I shouldn’t be surprised. Pork chop is a sorter. He actually enjoys separating laundry. (Not that I would ever take advantage of his sorting abilities….) My messy child is the sorter. I have bins in a storage bench for shoes by the door. He never actually puts his shoes in them until he’s been told to do so at least three times…but, if he looks in one of the three bins and sees the shoes mixed up he empties them and puts all of them in the correct person’s bin.
Pea on the other hand, was blessed with my habit of putting random things in totes and bags…and leaving them there. Or in socks… I found a mitten full of play jewelry and Disney charms today too.
She hates to sort. However, each day she holds up traffic in the entryway while she slowly takes off her shoes and puts them in the bin. She always puts her shoes away. Always. It’s kind of strange how that worked out.
She HATES to give up anything, especially her toys. She has contributed one item to the donation bin. It is a start. It is also the toy I currently detest the most, so I am okay with it.
I loved this hopper thing when I, I mean Santa, bought it for her two years ago. Each time I trip over it, have to yell at one of them to stop throwing it, pray that she doesn’t fall off of it on the cement and hurt herself outside, or I hear the rhythmic bounce bounce bounce throughout the house I remind myself how the hubs and I whooped with joy when we found it and put it in the shopping cart.
It breaks my heart a little to see that the toys I want them to keep aren’t necessarily the ones they want to keep. Andy intended to bring Woody to college. Yet Pork Chop’s Woody lies forlornly spread eagle in the donate bin. (I almost always donate the toys to our daycare…now I feel bad so I will send them to Goodwill.)
Thirty minutes after he poured the toys on the floor, I hear my little Eeyore moan, “I’m bored of this.”
No time like the present to get a little “finish what you started” reinforcement.
And who taught this kid what being “bored” means anyway? Was this in the Kindergarten lesson plan?! He’s got a ton of toys, a tv, and a messy room. How is he bored?
And it’s the week before Thanksgiving vacation, so why does his homework folder contain a note that says “Happy Thanksgiving! No Homework this week!”
Dear kids, I do hereby solemnly swear that I will meet each declaration of “I’m bored” with a task of my choosing for as long as we both shall live.
How do you combat child boredom? Do you have your kids donate toys before Christmas?