Here in the northeast, it’s supposed to be pretty snowy this weekend, and with no plans for us set in stone, we’re likely to be hunkering down inside as much as possible, watching the birds at the feeder in the backyard and likely a ton of PBS Kids programming. Maybe I’ll even make some popcorn.
That said, three kids inside all weekend long is a recipe for the “what can we dos?” or a case of the “I’m boreds.” Fortunately, we’ve found that one of the best tools in our arsenal is not a toy, or a show but a ream of paper. Well, and a box of crayons. Creativity can only go so far with a stack of blank paper and nothing to write on it.
Amid the drawings and makeshift storybooks that come out of the messy dining room table that doubles as an art studio is a fun littlegame our son enjoys that puts both of us to the creative test.
It was an activity we lifted from a magazine and recreated with just a blank piece of paper, folded into four sections, each with its own designation – head, body, legs, and feet. Whoever goes first, draws the head (of a monster, a robot, whatever) in the head section, leaving just a little bit of neck on the body section, then folds it over so the next person can’t see what’s drawn. The next person then uses what is exposed of the neck to draw a body and arms, leaving just a little bit onto the legs portion for a guide and again folds it over so the bulk of what’s been drawn so far can’t be seen. So on and so forth, until all four sections have been drawn.
Then, comes the big reveal, unfolding the paper to see what you two (or possibly even four if you wanted) have jointly, but blindly created.
Easy, fun and resulting some pretty wild stuff at times.
Give it a try. And if you do, drop an image or two in the comments and let’s see what you and your kids created!
Before our son was born, I never thought of how easily we would come and go from the house, run an errand here and there, pick up some groceries, or grab a bite to eat, without giving it a second thought.
Now, going to the grocery store is like planning the storming of Normandy.
A date night? Well, they don’t even really come into play, at least not this early in our little guy’s career as a being on Earth.
However, the exception was this past week when, for the first time since he was born, my wife and I actually got a chance to go out and have a night of our own. While the little one spent some quality time with one of his grandmas, we went out to dinner, and then caught a performance of “A Chorus Line” on its tour stop in town.
It seemed a little weird, the whole night. At dinner, while we both thoroughly enjoyed the meal (we both ordered steak, so this MUST have been a big night) there was the occasional “you think he’s okay?” sprinkled throughout our conversations, the glancing at the phones to make sure there were no messages.
After dinner, we went to the theatre, she checked in via phone and things were going all right except for the usual fussiness, and then we enjoyed the show.
I had never seen “A Chorus Line.” Meg had caught it in NYC some years ago, but it was all new to me. At first, I was sort of skeptical, finding the opening number just a tad too long for my liking and leaving me wondering if I was going to make it through the whole story.
I like when I’m pleasantly surprised, though. Once the characters started revealing themselves and the story took shape, I really ended up having a great time and enjoying the show. Don’t judge a book by its cover…or a show by its opening tune, I suppose.
When the curtain fell, we walked back to the car and hit the road, wondering the whole ride if we had been out too late, if he was okay the rest of the night, and if he had driven grandma to drink.
Upon our arrival, he was asleep in bed and all was well with the world.
Before we became parents, it was nothing to say ‘I’m just going to run to the store’ or ‘let’s go grab some dinner.’ Heck, if you go back to when we were dating, we went out without a thought all the time.
During all those periods of life, you never give a thought to the amount of leeway and freedom you have in the decisions you make and can choose at a split second. Honestly, why would you back then?
Now, there’s a lot more planning, a lot more shifting of the to-do lists.
But, it certainly makes you enjoy those rare date nights a lot more when the chance arises.