Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Lull

It is that time between Christmas and New Year's which can be deadly for parents of young kids, in particular when the holidays themselves fall on the weekend or close as they do this year. For lack of a better nickname, I'm terming it The Lull.

All the kids are home from school, and it is now a full five days since all the excitement of opening presents has passed.

Yes, it is only the middle of the week, kids are showing signs of restlessness, and what were new toys are probably sitting forlornly in the corner and now considered old news.

I have one bit of advice for you. My kids, three of which are technically adults now, will swear I don't know when to stop taking this advice to heart, myself, but it is every bit as valuable today as it was when I started living it.

Get goofy.

No, seriously. Get goofy. Get up from the couch and dash out of the room without a word, hiding around the corner. As soon as a kid gets curious to see what caused the burst of action, jump out and yell BOOO!

Go outside and start a spontaneous snowball fight, preferably out in front where passersby can leap in and play, too.

Hold a very-intently scored face-making contest, complete with the judges holding a pile of cardboard with numbers scrawled on them ("Oh, the Latvian judge gives only a 7! That's going to hurt her chances to make the finals!!"). Of course, the judges are replaced as each person gets a chance to compete. It is completely legal to offer bribes and issue veiled threats to the judges, and pay-backs are considered appropriate when a former judge comes on stage and that judge happened to grade you poorly.

Scary stories, contests to guess if a tale is true or fiction, board games where the rules are changed as each player takes a turn, impromptu rescripting of TV shows by turning down the sound and assigning each person a character to voice, making up entire histories of unknown presidents (Giggledly S. Chortle [the S is for Snort] was among the worst presidents at getting things done, but people loved his press conferences because he was the funniest guy on the planet), describing the scene at your own birth, writing a new song as each person contributes three words by going around the room with only five seconds each to add on...

That's only a few minutes of letting my inner child deal the cards.

You get the idea, right?

Get goofy. Fight back when The Lull seems about to take over!

Heck, get Bernie. Bernie DeKoven is a master funsmith with hundreds of ideas to help you if you run short on inspiration. He's the go-to guy, no doubt.


Rick Hamrick said...

OMG, you think like I do!!

Rick Hamrick said...

It's no surprise, Lyn. You are plenty smart enough to find the goofy in the grim, every day of the week!

I just dealt us both a hand in my new card game, HamDelight. Oops! I have a double McGillicutty, a lay-down winner. Better luck next hand, Lyn!

Rick Hamrick said...

Yes! All you parents out there--please take Rick's advice. Getting Goofy sounds like a great idea to me!

P.S. Do NOT turn your unattended, bored, grumpy, whiny children loose at the LIBRARY. That is a BAD idea.

Rick Hamrick said...

That's right! Listen to the professional, and take all your drapery-climbing monkeys to the library and disappear into the stacks as your kids wreak havoc.

(confession: I love to torment librarians)