Thursday, October 9, 2008

Easily Entertained

Aaron (18 months old yesterday!!) can spend hours with a plastic bag (I know, DANGER) throwing it up in the air and watching it fall down and trying to catch it. He is also constantly walking around the house with a ball in his hands tossing it up and catching it over and over. It doesn't usually go up higher than a few inches, but he's never looking at the ball. He just walks around and looks at stuff while he bounces the ball in his hands. Good fun.

David spends his time outside, riding his bike (until recently when the chain broke and now he's been wearing black and moping around the house for the last few days--not really, but we think it's kind of a miracle that he doesn't, he loved that bike so much). Or he plays inside with Aaron, teaching him to be about 30 times louder than we'd like him to be. He also teaches him such important life skills as pretending to be shot(making a shocked face, freezing with his back arched and then suddenly dropping dramatically to the floor and always, always keeping his right foot up in the air. I'll try to get some video of this). Aaron still can't feed himself cold cereal or make an "m" sound, but he can throw up a ball and catch it and fake a western movie death.

Evie, however has issues. She's "always bored." If you've ever read her blog, you are aware that this is quite a theme with her. I think being bored means she needs something to complain about, but nothing hurts her, she's not hungry and nobody is beating her up. So boredom becomes the default dilemma. She's not "in the mood" for any of the 12,000 interesting activities you suggest to her.

Well, there is one thing she sometimes wants to do, which is to play games with me, but that usually means, wait for mom to get the dinner in the oven, change Aaron's diaper, and quickly finish hanging the laundry. Then we finally sit down for a rousing game of Mastermind and after the first round realize that the dinner will be coming out very soon and there's still a salad to be made. Fortunately Evie loves to make salad dressing. And she's dang good at it too. No recipe or anything. Just a little of this and a little of that. Once it was too sweet, but we just thought of it as candied lettuce. So after the salad is ready we set the table and Mastermind goes back on the floor in the playroom, where it belongs (all board games should be stored on the floor of the room in which they are most likely to be stepped upon, in case you didn't know).

I guess I shouldn't fault her for the frequency of her boredom. She obviously needs a great deal of mental stimulation. I know this because of the kinds of math she's learning at school. Just a sec, I'm gonna run up and grab her book and give you a sample. Are these the same kinds of things kids are learning in the 5th week of fourth grade in America? I don't remember at all:
[(7x6-15)x3-17] ÷2^3 or
(59+61)x[2^3-3x(41-39)]
Well, I'm impressed. It's no wonder she's bored when she's done homework for 3 hours and then read or watched TV for an hour. She needs MORE stimulation!! Or maybe we just need to be making more salads.

And, um, I'm really nervous about the prospect of trying to help her with her sixth grade math.

* I forgot to mention that Greg is really big on the whole, "intelligent people are never bored" thing, and reminds the kids of it often. I don't think they care a whole lot about being(or being considered) intelligent at this point. They just want something FUN to do!

23 comments:

Kazzy said...

Aaron still can't feed himself cold cereal or make an "m" sound, but he can throw up a ball and catch it and fake a western movie death. LOL You sound like a great mom who is enjoying her children. And bringing your daughter up to be a blogger... what more can I say? The boredom thing is always a struggle. I used to say "Burtons don't get bored", but that only lasted for a short season because, as you might have guessed, the kids got bored with that answer. Cute post. A glimpse into your life. :)

McEwens said...

I do NOT remember that math AT ALL!!!! Three hours of homework in the 5th grade, wow..... amazing. Maybe they are getting a better education over there, if she is bored there I would hate to see how she feels aftr school work HERE!

Heather of the EO said...

I wouldn't be able to do that math now. Or ever. I can admit it.

Sometimes I get bored, and I'm still very very intelligent :)

Except maybe not so much with the math...

Anne said...

That's it! I'm totally coming out there! Get that video of Aaron up!

Becky said...

I'm almost afraid to admit this, but I whipped out a pencil and did the math problems. Sometimes I feel like I don't get to use anything I learned in high school or college, so things like that make me excited. I could write a whole post on that, I think. In fact, I'm gonna! Gotta run. :)

KC said...

I suppose it doesn't help to tell Evie that one day she will wish she had the time to be bored? I wish she could come over to my house and play games with me--my nieces and nephews only want to do cool things like video games and doing flips on the trampoline. They only play games with Auntie as a last resort.

Melissa said...

My four-year-old spent most of yesterday telling me she was "boyed." Or "boid," or however you spell "bored" when you pronounce your Rs like Is. My grandmother always used to say that the only people who were bored were the ones who were too stupid to think of anything to do. Always made us feel special. (This is the same woman who was called "The Claw" because if you misbehaved, she'd come up behind you and grab you between your neck and your shoulder and sqeeze. Kind of the way that Vulcans can fell their enemies with the same techniqe. She taught third grade).

Me plus 3 Hecks said...

Math--gross.

I am pretty much never bored, so apparently I am BRILLIANT!

But really, I am always confused by other moms who ask what I do all day. Huh? Um, lots of nose wiping and laundry and monotonous chores...but there are always 100 other things I would RATHER be doing that pile up until I can get a free minute to try one: reading the 3 books I'm in, of course blogging, scrap booking, playing my guitar/piano, learning how to sew, BAKING, shopping... Tell Evie to get started on these things now, so she can be bored later. :)

Me plus 3 Hecks said...

And Melissa, you are HILARIOUS!

kitchenditcher said...

Dang I hate math! That equation just looked like a bunch of garbledy gook to me.

Sounds like things are lively around your place. I love it!

Melissa Bastow said...

That was like alegebra, or actually was alegebra and not just like it. HOLY COW. If my kids were going to be learning that kind of math at that young of an age, it really wouldn't take long for them to realize what a doofus I am when it comes to math. But then again, your daughter is going to come over to the states and blow the kids here away with her brain power and math skills. Which would be pretty cool, and probably boring.

Erin said...

Sounds like Aaron is more coordinated than my kindergartner. I wish I could get my kids to play games with me. Lydia hates games because she might lose. Are there any good games that Evie and David can play together?

-oLiViA said...

HOLY SNAP CRACKLE POP!!! That's like the math I"M doing!!! woah. And I don't even do my homework. I'm going to a specail thing for Evie, Tell her to look at my blog the next time she gets on the computer, I'm gonna do a "Just for Evie" Post. By the way, I came across a song that you might really like. My parents and I love it. It is called Fidelity-Regina Spektor. I hope you like it, if you decide to listen to it...

Natalie said...

We have a child in 4th grade too and I'm REALLY struggling to help him with his homework. I've kinda wondered about that whole intelligient people not getting bored thing. My child who is the most school smart is the biggest whiner about being bored. I find this odd since it seems like you get smarter by being a naturally inquisitive person and should therefore be easily entertained. I dunno...

Moody said...

I need a salad dressing maker at my house! I'm jealous! But letting your kids play with plastic bags and storing board games on the floor---yeah, you and I would get along juuuuust fine!

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

It's so fun to get a sneak peek at your life with the kids. David sounds like such a great big brother and teaching little Aaron the essential skills of boyhood such as faking a western movie death! I love it!

And Evie, she definitely is getting a good education. That Math looks hard even beyond 4th grade. I love that she loves to hang out with you even if it's just to complain that she's bored. I checked out her blog and she is a talented blogger like her Mom!

And, hey, you can always leave long comments on my blog. I enjoy reading them. Everyone for some reason did on my last post and I love it!

Melanie J said...

I think my older son learned to fake shoot before he learned to anything else, including feed himself.

Kate said...

um, having a fourth grader this year who just brought home homework that looked like this:

draw a money combination that would make up $2.12

I am going to say we are definitely behind the eight-ball here in America:)

And I just have to say, I almost peed my pants (granted, that is easier to do now that I've had three kids, but still...) when I was reading "Or he plays inside with Aaron, teaching him to be about 30 times louder than we'd like him to be...Aaron still can't feed himself cold cereal or make an "m" sound, but he can throw up a ball and catch it and fake a western movie death." I have two boys-- and I SO hear you on this one!

Jen said...

Just to make you feel better:

I am a substitute teacher. I spend a LOT of time around middle school/high school aged girls. Between "toys" and "boys" boredom is the name of the game, and they ALL specialize in the boredom thing. When they aren't bored, they're giggling with other usually-bored girls practicing for the boy-thing.

So be grateful it isn't "boys" yet, and enjoy the non-scary boredom while you have it:)

charrette said...

My 4th-grader's math looks nothing like this. Oh, and did I mention he's bored to tears? Scored 100% on nearly all of the standardized tests. The school system is not meeting his needs.

I love the way your kids spend their days...except for the nasty homework. I wish we were a bit more European in our approach to interweaving life, work, and play.

Kimberly said...

Math is a four letter word. Enough said.

gramalee said...

THANKS LU! How coordinated is that Aaron tossing and catching that ball without looking!? I remember being bored like Ewie. And David is a great teacher to his little brother. xoxoxoxoxo

Jenni said...

Uh, yeah, we don't do math like that here until like High School!!! I remember being in church there once(in a classroom) and I learned that the trigonometry on the board was indeed for fourth graders...NICE!

And I have an 8 year old daughter who is always B-O-R-E-D with a capital B! Even with the 10,000 other things to do. I am trying to figure out what she REALLY means by that.