‘Be bored, not boring,’ and other life lessons I learnt from my son this summer

Who would have imagined that motherhood would be like a reality TV show? Everyone watches every move, strangers believe they know enough to make comments, and everything could better handle this last emotional scene on the playground. You can never do more.

Yes, you can try to be Zen about it. You might even go ahead and tell him that the only notes that really count are the ones your child gives you. Imagine my horror when my 8 year old shared something very important this summer vacation, just a few hours later I removed the iPad: “Mom, I’m bored,” he said to himself. “I’m very, very bored.” I drop words. Mermaids passed through my head.

In a post-liberalized era, what excuse an Indian mother who has to let her kids get bored? It was different when we were kids, looking for mistakes on the sidewalk and sitting watching the beans grow on the cotton. We got lost all the time. I remembered being so bored one summer that I gave the owner of the local library a free cleaning service from the refinery. It was not Disneyland but ended up being satisfied.

Summer holidays are not recognizable today compared to them. This was a holiday abroad, individual enrichment activities, game dates and schedule an evening in various workshops of theater, art, dance, coding and robotics in the city. To some extent, there is an urban malaise at work: we live in small apartments in neighborhoods is still low when children do not play together as before. The evergreen cars and crushing publican traffic mean that children rarely walk alone.

The only place where they walk alone is not online. There is no 24-hour child care service, safer than the Internet. Children become like the lotus eaters of Homer in the Odyssey, they just want to stay where they are, do research on the iPad and forget all the thoughts of return. When you disconnect the iPad or the game set, you suddenly get bored.

What was it that had to respond to my son’s annoyance? We had already watched the last animated film. We had visited a mall and video game room. His friend was playing out of town. Without ideas, I spoke with the rigidity of the enigmatic Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda, and I said: “It would be boring, but it will not be boring to find something to do ..”

I could see the whites of his eyes. “You do not understand!” He said as he walked. A few hours later, I found him trying to make an origami gun. Does your bullets were for me? I will never know – the weapon has never materialized completely. In tears, he tried again. Then she cried again. It continued like this for a while, until finally it surrendered and lying in the canvas, looking at the ceiling. By the time I had dared to return, I was no longer in a fortress made of cushions, umbrellas and clean copies of The Economist.

That evening, the dive ritual was brief: “You’ve done a lot today,” I said. “It was very boring,” he yawned and turned to his side, sleeping in seconds. By the time I woke up the next morning, I had managed to create a version of a paper gun. In the afternoon, the sofa was given a free scrub with a small sponge and soap.

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