Monday, August 10, 2015

Boys Unplugged

So, in preparation for the beginning of school, we're... unplugging the boys. No YouTube videos, no video games, no devices, and very limited TV/movie times (probably only when we're watching something as a family). Today was our first day of it, and -- lucky me -- I happened to be off work for the occasion.

So far, we have:

1. Gone to visit the Dallas World Aquarium. I cannot recommend this highly enough. It's an absolutely wonderful place to visit, with everything from sharks and anemones to frolicking otters and a jaguar. Going first thing in the morning on a weekday got us there ahead of various schools and camps doing field trips, at a time when the critters were (for the most part) freshly awake and lively. That occupied most of the morning.

2. Eaten lunch.

3. Returned home, where Firstborn picked our unopened copy of Dungeon! off the game shelf and suggested that we try it out. Since I hadn't played the game in thirty years, I ruled out anybody playing a wizard -- so we were limited to only fighters, rogues, and clerics. Then, to keep the thing from going on longer than Secondborn could concentrate and/or stay still, I halved the treasure amounts required for each character to win. Now, Secondborn is only five, and the game is designed for ages eight and up, but with those two tweaks it worked just fine. The boys played together extremely well, and we all had a good time.

4. Gone outside for a watergun fight. Well, the boys did, anyway. That one didn't go so well; they came back in after about five minutes. It's Texas in August, so the temperature is about twenty degrees hotter than the ambient temperature in Hell, but apparently that wasn't the problem; either they couldn't agree on a set of rules for the game, or else somebody got tired of being squirted in the face. I'm not sure which, since they came back by mutual agreement, without any squabbling.

5. Cleaned Legos off the floors of the living room and Secondborn's bedroom. This meant I had to provide them with a couple of prizes (a MineCraft action figure for Firstborn and a small Lego set for Secondborn), but it was worth it: you have no idea what an achievement it is for us to have a floor that we can safely walk across without wearing armored boots.

It's now three o'clock, and Secondborn has just finished building his Lego set. Firstborn has just finished complaining that he has nothing to do (which, given the sheer number of books and toys he owns, is clearly a claim without merit). Daddy, meanwhile, is wondering how they're going to survive tomorrow...

...but then, Daddy will be at work for most of the day, and won't have to worry about it.

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