Tonawanda News


January 7, 2013

Those long, dark, boring days of winter ... can be fun

Tonawanda News — It’s this time of year that makes me even more aware of just how much energy my children have. 

Summers can be crazy ... but they have nothing on winter. The holidays are over. School is back in session. It gets dark early enough that playing outside doesn’t have a very big window on the weekdays. The “shiny” has worn off from the array of Christmas goodies. 

Bring on the boredom.

I have seen the boys bounce off the walls this time of year. Literally. They can get enough hang time that bouncing on the bed nearly sends them ricocheting off the ceiling as well. There are races around the (small) living room, and up and down the stairs (until stopped as a safety hazard). Under the table. Into the kitchen. Around and around. Back and forth.

All that energy that can be diffused in the summer by bike rides and tearing around the backyard and anywhere else? Confined most of the time to one small suburban house. It’s enough to make me want to hide in the bathroom with a book, listening with trepidation for the sound of a crash. 

After a while, this wears off. Then the whining begins. “I”m boooored. I waaaaant to do thiiiiisssss. I waaaannnaaa do thaaaat. There’s nothing to dooooo.”

Then the races start again. Then the whining. Then ...

Yes, January and February and March can be the longest time of the year. But at the same time, this can be when the really cool things happen. 

There’s something utterly amazing when you see your kids actually playing together. Not harrassing each other (poke, poke, POKE) or tolerating each other, or even just co-existing side by side, but playing together, cooperatively and with imagination. It’s not impossible to see it in summer, but there are so many options once the weather brightens that it doesn’t seem quite as valuable.

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