Every day while I’m at home with the kids, they bug me to do “actibuhdees” with them. I’m not great on the activities front: I’m artsy but not craftsy. I can put crayons and paper in front of them, have them help me cook something – I’ve even enlisted their assistance in the making of homemade beer – but it’s hard to hit on stuff that we all enjoy doing together.
I’m guessing you moms out there who have it figured out have two big things going for you:
I’ve got a lot of work to do on both. When I have a bad day, my wife reminds me, with good reason, that I need to put myself last, and the kids’ needs first. I completely agree in theory, but then I find myself knee deep in blog posts, article ideas, and what have you, only to discover that the living room floor is strewn with blankets and cheerios, the baby has removed his diaper, and the Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD is looping on the menu screen.
Suffice it to say, I still haven’t gotten the hang of this.
When I do come up with activities, they tend to be things that allow me to do the things I enjoy – writing, photography, etc. – while offering the kids a fun experience that gives them something to hold on to at the end of the project that will last longer than those cute little pictures all over my fridge. Earlier this year, I made a cool storybook for my three-year-old son, Ivan, in which he got to be the superhero. Even had it printed in hardcover so it could sit on the shelves with the other books.
Yesterday, I got all three toddlers in on a video production of Goldilocks & The Three Bears. We wrote a script (“this is boring, dad!”), filmed (“do we have to do this again?”) and edited it (“why do you keep playing the same thing OVER AND OVER?!?”) together. Kind of. Like with the storybook, which I spent way too much time on, I wound up spending a lot of alone time fleshing out the details of the video and tweaking things, even though I tried to keep the tots involved in the process.
What can I say? I’m a work in progress. The good thing is, I’m getting faster. The bad thing is, I should probably just pick up a box of crayons and color with them. At any rate, I present the final product of our “actibuhdee” for your entertainment:[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGd3c2yEFEs&feature=player_embedded 635×355]