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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


“I’m bored!”

Of all the things a kid can do or say, “I’m bored” is the one thing that chaffs my butt the most.

It is a parent’s duty to feed and clothe their offspring.  It is a parent’s duty to keep a roof over his family’s head.  It is not a parent’s duty to constantly entertain or provide entertainment for their children.  

Children have an imagination; give them a ball of string and a piece of wood and they will find something to play with for hours.  A large box to a toddler is a multipurpose toy with endless possibilities.   How is a child ever bored?

They are not bored, they just want attention.  When you have the time, give them attention, hell, that is fun, but often you don’t have time.  That is when, “I’m bored” will throw you over the edge.

I may not handle the “I’m bored” issue very well.

“You’re bored?  I’ll show you bored; how about I send you to Pakistan to work in a sneaker factory for twelve hours a day…those kids are never bored!”

This warning never worked.  My kids knew I couldn’t afford to send them to Pakistan.  

My mom handled the issue much better.

Mom always had a garden.  She grew tomatoes and flowers.  The garden always needed weeding.  We had a lot of grass.  We had a lot of dandelions.  The lawn always needed weeding.  

I don’t remember ever having garden fresh tomatoes for dinner, or fresh cut roses to make the house look and smell pretty. I do remember the garden and the lawn always needed weeding.   Mom weeded a lot.  I think she found it therapeutic, at least more so then cooking, washing, or cleaning.

I hated weeding the garden and the lawn.  We couldn’t use weed killer, I don’t know why.  We never mulched or put down that weed stopping paper, I don’t know why, and we didn’t have any fancy weed eater machines or tools I see advertised on TV.  Hell, they might even have been fun to use.  No, we had a hunk of “V” shaped metal on the end of a rod for which to pry out dandelions and assorted garden weeds.

This tool required you to work from your knees.  We had no knee pads, I don’t know why.   We had no garden gloves, I don’t know why.  I hated weeding, I do know why.  I hated those dandelions whose roots grew to China.  I especially hated those hairy stemmed weeds that made you itch like hell.   I hated weeding.

I learned not to tell my mom “I’m bored.”

Whenever I told my mom I was bored, she always had the same answer.

“The yard needs weeding.” 


  1. I understand completely. I learned to hate yard work at a young age. My dad used me as the designated family yard guy. I'm sure there was some law against it, but I didn't know to use it as a threat.


  2. My reaction to those words, "I'm Bored" is the same as yours! However, my kids would say in a scathing voice: "Boring..." in that certain way they have of broadening a word out while at the same time rolling their eyes!

  3. my mother weeded a lot - huge vegetable garden, a few small flower beds. she found it therapeutic, too. she'd pray and worry and talk to herself about her prayers and worries. :)

  4. The answer to "I am bored" is "No, you are boring!"

  5. I was raised on a dairy farm. I was never bored either because I was always doing chores of some sort.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  6. We have one of those. It's a left over from the previous owner, who it just so happened was my late father-in-law. (Bought the property from the Estate)
    It's been used so much that it's actually dull, with one part of the "V" busted off.
    Might be time to splurge for a new one.
    Back when I was a kid, there was no "yard work". We had sheep. Dad would run a fence across the front and let them have at it. They did a good job on the "lawn". Had to watch where you walked though....

  7. Can't remember ever saying I was bored as a kid. We relied on our imagination and usually we only came home from playing when we got hungry.
    If we ever hung around the house listlessly, Mom would pack us in the car and declare it was time to tidy up our ancestors cemetery lots. Yes that involved weeding but with a creepy atmosphere. We were quite careful not to ever look bored.

  8. My grand children may have come to love weeding, too. I don't know, I just send them out to do it.

  9. Like Sandee, I was raised on a dairy farm. My parents made us kids do tons of work (some of it was really unnecessary busy work without any realistic purpose) just to keep us occupied. We all grew up hating farming and nobody wanted to take over the family farm.

    I remember hoping for rainy days so that I could stay inside and read books.

  10. My mum's answer to "I'm bored" was "your room needs cleaning". Since I was reading every waking moment, I was never bored, but my step-siblings spent a lot of time cleaning their rooms.

  11. Forgot to say what my response to my kids "I'm bored" was...."go and cook something" After a while I never again heard "I'm bored" but there was a steady supply of baked things, usually cake and sometimes they'd cook dinner too.

  12. I can't believe the nerve of kids these days, with all their electronic gewgaws, to declare boredom. Time to tell them a story about the days of only three network channels, plus PBS. And how the TV went off at night with a test pattern. Then maybe they'll understand the true meaning of boredom.

  13. Probably while you were writing this post, my son was complaining to me (while I was slaving over the evening meal) that he was bored. "I'm not your entertainment coordinator" is my usual response. I'll have to try the weeding method; I think it might be more effective.