I was talking with a friend about entertainment tonight. Not the movie, concert, or sports entertainment, the 'occupy yourself' entertainment.

One child's constant refrain is "I'm bored." This is what is uttered from his mouth at least once every five minutes when he is denied his video games. It's the ultimate in CD skip-the same thing said the exact way every time. He hasn't figured out ways to occupy himself-no matter how many suggestions we as parents make, it doesn't click in his head that he could just read a book, play with legos or do something else. His brain is stuck in "must play games" mode.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm supposed to be the entertainment, come up with the fun things to do, places to go, people to see. Perhaps this is due to being the unofficial 'cruise director' for the gang when I lived in NY. Perhaps I used up all the good ideas back then. ;) It can be hard to hear that "I want to do *something*", but have to come up with what exactly that *something* will be.

Now that we live in Florida, there are more *somethings* to do, especially in winter. However, the plethora of things to do makes it harder, not easier to decide. There are TOO many things to occupy time that the brain chokes in choosing one. The only limits are time and money.

For the bargain price of 40 bucks a month, we've got three theme parks to choose from, though. We can barely see a movie for that amount, so to have unlimited access to those parks is pretty good. If you look at it that way, it's a hundred bucks a month for the family to have Disney AP's, however until they take a page from the Anheuser Busch corporation, we won't have that option. It's pretty cool to spend a day in a theme park for less than twenty bucks out of pocket-especially in winter.

Providing entertainment is tougher. If you've got a fresh audience that doesn't live nearby, you come off as the hero (zoo? aquarium? Sea World? Alligatorland? ) When someone's local and looking to you as a source of ideas and activities, then it gets tougher.

For that reason, I love asking people what they like to do with their free time. When I did the interviewing for my past two employers down here, one and all got asked "What activities would you tell someone new to the area about that you LOVE?"

After the year of recovery from the leg, I'm looking for more entertainment. More things to occupy, enrich and enjoy. No more sitting on my butt at home, wishing I could do things. We've hit a great age with the boys, it's easier to pick up and do. Ed wants to do, they want to go and finally, I'm at the point where I can, too(provided I've got the walker).

So, got any ideas? :) Who wants to share their ways to entertain themselves that doesn't involve video games or sitting around at home?


Jenipurr said…
No ideas beyond what you've noted, but I will tell you what my mom did to my sisters and I. If we dared to utter the words "I'm bored", she noted that she had plenty of things to keep us busy (vacuuming, taking out the trash, cleaning the floors, dusting, etc.). We learned very early on that it was a lot easier to find some method of entertaining ourselves then being saddled with some dreaded cleaning chore if we let slip to mom that we were bored. I suspect she did this for precisely the reason you've described in your blog entry - because she got sick of hearing "I'm bored!" from 3 little girls!

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