As I sit down to write today, all around me I see signs of the New Year. I have blankets and fleece socks piled in the corner (why do people never believe me when I tell them my normal body temperature is 97.3? In my world, 98.6 is borderline feverish.). My husband has a few days off work, and can't sit still for 10 minutes without remodeling a room in our house. (You think I'm kidding? Three seconds after I poured the coffee this morning, he walked around the house with a screwdriver in his hand until he found something to take apart. Now, he is removing lightswitches from the wall and muttering something about "ground wires." I see a trip to the ER in our future.) And what about my son, you ask? Well, he is perched right alongside me, saying "I'm BORED."
This is why some brilliant person came up with the whole "Take a Deep Breath and Count to 10" rule. Because what almost comes out of my mouth is this:
"Bored? Did you just say bored? Didn't you just get an obscene amount of Christmas gifts? Like, so many we may have to move just to accommodate your spoiled-ness? You are FIVE YEARS OLD. There is no such thing as bored. In my day, [I know. Who let my grandma in here?] there was no Nintendo DS. Or Wii. In fact, Super Mario was in black and white. So remove yourself from my arm and go play one of your snazzy electronics. In fact, you have my blessing to watch TV."
Oh, wait. Even after a 10-second meditation, my filter-less mouth can't control itself, and I actually say all this out loud. No, I am not proud of myself. And I'm even less thrilled that I am using electronics as a form of bribery. But it's either that or the bag of Dum-Dums, and those are for public bribery only. (The one time I tried to use electronics over Dum-Dums in the waiting room of a doctor's office? My son, who was making ridiculously loud Mario noises along with his DS, happened to look up at the smiling lady across from him and said: "What are YOU looking at?" Charming.)
My immediate reaction to his "boredom" was to say, "I will smack your hand if you can't get it away from my laptop. Now find something to do or I take away the Wii remote." (And not just because it bears a strong resemblance to a microphone and I enjoy pretending I am Beyonce on occasion. Hello, Nintendo? I am patiently waiting for Just Karaoke.) Apparently they teach kids subterfuge in preschool these days, because this is what my son started telling people: "I can't play my Wii anymore. Mommy will break my hand."
Bottom line? Now when my kid says he's BORED, I grab that Wii remote and make him watch my (amazing) rendition of Single Ladies. And a punishment that involves Beyonce? Everybody's a winner.