I am not always a fun mom.
For all the times when I get a creative thought and decide to eschew the ever-present to-do list in favor of making a special memory with my children, there are even more times when I can't see past the end of my duty-calls-so-let-me-head-to-the-laundry-room-again nose and I miss opportunities for fun. I'm not saying laundry's not important, or that I should be playing with my kids all day long every day. But I am admitting that I get stuck in ruts, and ruts after a while get boring; but once in a while I get inspired to jump out of those ruts and do something different that puts a smile on my boys' faces.
Like two days ago...
What's a mom of four active boys to do when the weather has been so cold that playing outside is nearly impossible, but afternoon quiet time is over and several more hours need to pass before supper and the boys are going to ask if they can watch a movie but they've been watching too many recently anyway and she's desperate for another way for them to happily pass the time?
Play Winter Olympics! :)
During quiet time, I got the idea to get a whiteboard and list five "events" on it: a marathon or 1/2 marathon (26 or 13 laps around our kitchen/living room), a crab crawl (not sure how to describe this succinctly, but maybe you already know what I mean?), a line jump (hopping back and forth across a line on the floor...great leg exercise), archery (with a a cross-bow with soft-tipped arrows shooting at couch cushions), and an egg & spoon race (except being a mom who likes to have fun but DOESN'T want to make the floor any dirtier than it already was, I substituted small balls for eggs). :)
When the boys came downstairs, I explained the rules:
* This was not a timed competition. Prizes were given for participation, not who finished first.
* Good attitudes, cooperation, etc. were essential. When one person finished an activity, he was expected to wait and cheer on the rest before going on to the next thing.
* For Tobin and Shav, certain activities could be modified as needed. For example, Shav didn't need to even do 13 laps in the marathon event.
* And most excitingly, at the end of each event, all who participated would be given a prize of 3 M&Ms each, with a total of 15 given for those who participated in all of them.
Let the Games begin! :)
For the most part, it all went really, really well. I did need to supervise a little and instruct people to get out of each other's way during the crab crawl or remind everyone that it was really OK that Tobin and Shav weren't doing a full marathon, etc. ;-) But for the most part, they kept great attitudes and--best part--it was a lot of fun. We got to laugh ourselves silly sometimes, especially during the crab crawl and ball & spoon race. Speaking of which...
I didn't take a lot of pictures since I really just wanted to be in the moment and enjoy the time with my boys, but I did pull out the camera during the ball & spoon race. I let Shav and Tobin have bigger spoons and bigger, easier-to-carry balls to make it more enjoyable for them; but all of them were able to do it without too much trouble. Of course, the balls rolled off their spoons sometimes, which only added to the laughter. It reminded me of this day nearly five years ago when another egg & spoon race was played. :)
My beloved Olympians... :)
At that moment, I felt like I had just won a gold medal. :)