So we've been on summer break for what… a week and a half now? It seems longer.
The first day off, the kids were bored to tears by 2 p.m. There were actual tears. Doodlebug in particular was crying because I'd kicked him off the Wii and told him to find something to do other than stare at a screen, because I wasn't going to have him turn into a vegetable just because it was summer break.
By 6 p.m. that day, they'd been grounded from the Wii for sneaking back onto it.
By 6 p.m. the next day, they'd had the power strip removed and all electronics banned for two weeks.
This means that since last Tuesday, my children have had no electronic stimulation whatsoever.
When I doled out that punishment, I knew - I just knew - that the person who was going to be punished most by this was myself.
My children, however, have surprised me.
Doodlebug has gotten out his whittling knife. He made a couple of wooden items before running out of usable wood, and then I let him carve my last block of Fels-Naptha. Over the weekend, Doodlebug and Oz went to the local woodworking store and bought a bunch of wood so he can use the real stuff again. He said soap was too easy. Yesterday Doodlebug got himself grounded after being in his sister's room for the fourth time in 24 hours (he's not allowed into her room at all EVER, but he has a hard time respecting privacy - he invades my room, Oz's office, and Boo's room whenever he wants, to say nothing of the pantry, and I've had it, so I lowered the boom), so he pulled out his K'Nex and Legos and started making robots. By dinnertime he had two built. He got up early this morning and, instead of going into his sister's room and waking her like he normally does, which results in a grumpy sister and an even grumpier mom to start the day, he built another two robots and a Ferris wheel.
Boo has been less obviously productive but equally busy. She's read several books - kid versions of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Oliver Twist, and Gulliver's Travels - and created a 'house' in the greenbelt across the creek.
They've both been in the kitchen at least once, and they both intend to do more cooking throughout summer. Yesterday Doodlebug made tuna salad, cucumbers & onions (omit the paprika… that's weird… really you don't need any of the parsley or dill, either, if you don't want them), and sweet potato fries. There was leftover tuna salad, so today the kids made a picnic lunch and walked down to Boo's house to eat.
They left for their picnic at noon. At 2:15, they came back up and informed me they'd been having a philosophical discussion about a tree falling in the woods and whether or not it makes a sound (Boo insists that logic states that it does; Doodlebug is having a blast playing Devil's advocate, though I suspect he rather agrees with her assessment) and by the way, Mom, can we spend the night outside?
I was on the phone at the time, so I nodded absently at them before processing the full scope of their rambling. By the time it all sank in, I heard the attic door close. Which means they'd gotten out the tent.
So far they're still up in the game room. I'm curious to see if they expect me or Oz to help them with their camping preparations.
Either way, they're amusing themselves.
And this makes me happy. Maybe I just… won't tell them when they can have electronics back. This is much nicer.