being a mom
6 Ways Not To Die Of Boredom While Playing With Your Toddler This Winter
A lot of the things I read about kids in the winter seem to be focused on ways to keep them entertained. As much as I feared these long, dark, indoor days, I’ve never been too worried about my toddler getting bored. I mean, that kid can turn a speck of dust into a toy and play peekaboo with himself in the mirror. No, I’m worried about myself. This has actually been my biggest fear since before I got pregnant, instilled in me by years of babysitting: Watching little kids play can be deadly boring. He gets a kick out of doing the same puzzle 50 times in a row, while my melted brain starts leaking out of my ears. Here are some of the coping strategies I’ve come up with. In the next few months, I’ll need more, though, so share yours in the comments. Together we can beat this thing!
1. Listen to audiobooks, news radio, and podcasts.
(Image: Serial Podcast)
I grew up on a steady diet of soap operas droning in the background while I played, and I don’t think that was terribly damaging. I’m hoping I’ve balanced out enough of the vampire novel audiobooks my kid hears with NPR, and there’s no “screen-time” guilt involved. If you ask him, he can probably help figure out who killed Hae Min Lee, too.
2. Memorize the lyrics to pop songs.
Hey, I love Free to Be You and Me as much as the next child of the ’70s or ’80s, but if you mix it up with actual Top 100 songs (or your contemporary genre of choice), you might feel like your pre-mommy self isn’t completely dead and buried. Spend those playroom hours committing the lyrics to memory like you once did when you were 13, and you’ll have something new to sing on long walks and car rides, too.
3. Become the Frank Gehry of Duplo blocks.
So, creating block masterpieces this might be frustrating if your kid enjoys knocking things over more than building them, but a good challenge is what you need to keep your mind active.
4. Learn how to draw and paint.
Even if you haven’t picked up a pencil or brush since fifth grade, there are plenty of tutorials online that will help you somehow approximate your kid’s favorite animals, vehicles or muppets. With enough practice (which you can get when your kid requests you to draw a new turtle every 30 seconds), this starts to feel personally fulfilling.
5. Read more magazines.
You may not have paid attention to this fact before, but even Wired and Atlantic Monthly have pretty ads to attract little ones’ attention. Sometimes, you can manage to read a few sentences of an article while the kid stares at the Geico gecko.
6. If all else fails, drink more wine.
(Main image: Shutterstock)