Sometimes the Wee Man gets very, very silly. Rolling around, kicking and squealing, he’ll deliberately bash into things and jump up and down on my ankles, despite my increasingly loud and stern warnings.
I’ve come to realise that there are two ways that this scenario can pan out.
Number one involves escalating silliness and escalating screeching (on my part) until inevitably one or both children are wailing and I feel like my head is about to explode
Number two involves distraction and involvement in a fun and stimulating activity – removing the boredom and giving the attention which were generally the source reasons behind the frustrating ankle destroying behaviour of the Wee Man in the first place.
Just one problem with option number two – summoning the brain power whilst all the patience frazzling behaviour is going on to actually think of something fun, stimulating and not requiring too many ingredients, props or materials.
In other words, INSPIRATION… something that I imagine in my mind as a cheeky little pixie that likes to hide in secluded spots and peep out with a gleam in its eye, nimbly hopping from place to place as you stamp around the house chasing it whilst destruction and chaos ensues all around, creating every more nooks and crannies for it to squirrel itself away in…
Luckily for me, the answer to this somewhat frustrating imagining has come to me (as many things do in these modern times) in the form of a handy app. Not an app for the kids to play with (potentially leading to my iPhone being used to bash my ankles once the novelty wears off) – but an app with lots and lots of great ideas for activities to do with the kids, sorted according to age, location, time and type. Oh, and gender, if you require such things which we currently don’t – we’re happy mixing it up and doing whatever the stereotype thrown at us suggests.
It’s called Spit Spot, and no matter what the weather, preferred energy level (although I warn you now, there is no ‘sit on the sofa and snore’ option) and timescale required it has not yet failed to come up with something that we’ve all been able to get involved with and enjoy.
The other day, for example, I could sense some silliness starting to set in. ‘eee, eee, eee, eeeeeeeeeeeee’ the Wee Man started screeching, bounding around the room like his bottom was on fire.
Fearing for my poor, bruised limbs, I began to gently panic – and looking out of the window to see the desolate white wastes of the frost covered front garden and hearing the whistling of the bone-chillingly-cold wind as it whipped its way through the badly fitting front door, I concluded that our failsafe of ‘lets go for a walk and hunt for jungle vines’ was not a very appealing option.
Swiftly firing up the Spit Spot App, hitting the ‘any age’, ‘any duration’, ‘any activity’ and [most definitely] ‘indoors’ buttons, I was presented with three potential activity options…
…and ‘Rocky road’ immediately leapt out at me. We had chocolate, we had marshmallows, raisins and biscuits; and more importantly not only would this entertain the children but it would also result in something tasty to eat at the end. Genius.
Sitting the Wee Man and Bubby D down at the kitchen table, I presented them each with a bowl of biscuits and a ‘basher’ (a wooden spoon). They didn’t need telling twice, and soon enough bits of biscuit were flying all over the place, much to the dismay of the cat who quickly made herself scarce after nearly being hit by a biscuit bomb.
The Wee Man really enjoyed helping to weigh the raisins and marshmallows, and Bubby D added some challenge to the process by eating the raisins almost faster than the Wee Man could add them to the scales.
A bit more stirring, some pouring and patting, and the rocky road was assembled and ready to chill in the fridge.
And then we were on to the second suggested activity:
‘Cleaning: get your kids helping around the house’.
I think in our case it could possibly be renamed ‘broomstick riding’ – but whatever you call it, we still had fun. And no wailing. And no heads exploding.
Which is just what we were after 🙂