Friday, June 4, 2010

Imagination is Fun. Who Knew?

Today is the first official day of summer vacation for the kids. We have no toys at the apartment, which means nothing to do for a good two months. Let's think this through, people. Small apartment+five kids+no school+too hot to play outside-toys=way too tired Mommy.

Within hours of school being out and everyone being home, there was already weeping and whaling and gnashing of teeth. "Moooooooooom, she looked at me". "Mooooooooooom, she's breathing my oxygen. I was here first so it's my oxygen". "Moooooooooom, he farted near me and now the air is gross." "Moooooooooooooom, he is making me watch Sponge Bob, and I don't want Sponge Bob. I want iCarly." "Moooooooooom,......" And it goes on and on and on.

What is it about kids that makes them think that speaking ten times as loud at an octave that so high pitched that all dogs in a 50 mile radius are running and putting their paws in their ears will result in a positive outcome? At what point do they decide that screeching and stomping and acting like something requiring an excorcist is the way to get what they want?

Knowing that I was up against rough odds, I ventured out to Target while Byron stayed home with the little mean gifts from Heaven. I wanted something they could all enjoy, but wasn't expensive. I knew it had to be something they'd never seen before or it would lose their attention as fast as I brought it into the house.

I picked up three barrels of monkeys, five $.79 matchbox cars, a bucket of plastic army dudes, and a four-pack of play-doh. I was going out on a limb because these toys all required the children to *gasp!* use their imaginations and actually *double gasp* play together. There were no buttons to push to make them interactive toys, no tickets spit out of them, no loud sounds or flashing lights. They were just plain old toys.

I brought them home, put on my body armor, alerted local law enforcement that I was requiring my children to use their imaginations, and used a long stick to gently push the toys in their general direction. They were like tigers hunting their prey. They hunched down and gently walked circles around the toys, patted at them a little to see if the toys would fight back or be easy prey, sniffed them a bit, and finally went in for the kill.

To my surprise, the little humans are actually pleased with these very simple toys. They've played together WITHOUT ARGUING for a full hour. They've built full jungle war zones complete with army guys, monkeys hanging from trees, and fancy cars driving through to rescue fallen soldiers.

What does this story teach us? Well, I think it goes to show that contrary to popular belief, using one's imagination is actually fun. Who knew??

No comments: