Sunday, February 28, 2010


My life would be good if I had a bowling alley in my basement. Or a children's library. Or wheelbarrows full of snow. Or a candy shop. Martin loves all these places. Excursions to these sites make for good days.

But excursions are special moments. Martin spends many more hours of his days in our house or at his school. And somehow, he often seems bored at our house. Or at least he makes demands that make me think he is bored. "Can I watch The Muppet Movie?" "Can I play Starfall on the computer?" "Can I watch the Veggie Tales Silly Songs?" You would never know we have a house full of books, puzzles, games, and toys - along with a set of parents and a sister willing to play with him. It's a bad pattern. The moment Martin tires of an activity he demands screen time.

The only release from the constant requests for screen time is an excursion. But the need to leave the house becomes its own kind of tyranny. I must admit I'm getting a little bitter about it. Why can't he spend time racing Matchbox cars down ramps or reading books or playing kitchen with his sister? This is a child who used to occupy himself for hours (I'm am not exaggerating) and now he can hardly manage ten minutes.

In my better moments, I try to figure out why he's struggling to occupy himself. I find new things to do under our own roof or take new trips out of here. On Saturday, we bowled in the antique lanes in the basement of the college's student center. Martin got a lane to himself and threw the ball 100 times (again, I'm not exaggerating). Martin takes his bowling techniques from shot-putters. He was, therefore, exhausted by the end of our time. It was great.

In my lesser moments, however, I just get frustrated and mad that a 5-year-old owns my life and seems completely ungrateful for anything less than a trip to the candy shop. Am I awful to want a "thank you" for the awesome chicken enchiladas I made or for the Matchbox car ramp I set up or for finding the lost pink octopus again? Maybe not awful, but unrealistic. Maybe not the parent I thought I would be, but a regular human being.


  1. Donnie and I identify soooo much! A great big AMEN!!!! I guess we have to wait until they are grown up to get the thank yous...sigh. Or remember the moments that they give us a big hug and tell us they love us for no reason at all. -Jeanine

  2. I've had some similar moments in the last few months myself. It's "normalizing" somehow to know that others have feelings like I do. Thanks for sharing honestly. I've found these times make me grateful beyond measure for my own parents and the crap they put up with from me.