Sunday, February 10, 2013

on having fun

It is Sunday, which means laundry day. Nowadays, that means that the boys have to fold their laundry and put it away. They like this experience about as much as pulling teeth. They think it is tedious and annoying. I find it annoying when I end up washing clothes which were barely worn or never worn. Either way, I do laundry once a week, make a pile for each boy of his clothes, and it is his job to fold them and put them away.

To be honest, every Sunday morning there is also a dishwasher to unload, so there are more chores. Some days I do wonder whether this is making for a pretty intense Sunday, but I think it is important to get help from the boys in these chores, especially since it affects them directly.

We were also trying to make it out to the zoo and arrive there by 11 am, when they have a bird show. It is only on weekends, and I normally take kids to the zoo at some point during the week. Additionally, my husband was coming along and even coming in the same car with us, a rare occurrence when he's on call.

So the dishwasher was unloaded before we left, but then we got back and there were two piles of laundry waiting for the boys. 6 yo proceeded to work on his as long as I was warming up his favorite curry cauliflower soup for lunch. 8 yo was not so calm. This pile of laundry was taking away from his fun day and he really did not want to fold it. He sulked, kicked the pillows off the couch and got tattled on by 3 yo. When I asked him to put the pillows back, he said that he's mad and I said to punch something when he's mad. I sent him downstairs to punch a punching bag. He stalked off.

A few minutes later he came up, in better spirits, and proclaimed that since the day started well, he wants it to continue well, so he decided that after he folds his laundry he will take apart the broken DVD player. Then he moved right onto his pile, and finished it quite quickly. After lunch, the boys took out screwdrivers and went to tear that player apart.

I stepped back and watched all of this. The DVD player was designated to be taken apart probably a month ago, and I was wondering to myself whether I should quietly dispose of it or remind the boys of its existence. The laundry situation is the same every week. I did not promise any more "fun" for today (pizza for dinner since it is rosh chodesh). However, 8 yo decided that today started out as a fun day and he made a conscious effort to continue it as a fun day.

The other night, when I was tucking the boys in, 6 yo asked me about making wishes on a wishbone. Before I even replied (Do you think they come true? Isn't G-d in charge? etc.) he told me that he would wish for everything to be fun-fun-fun. 8 yo chimed in that he would wish to find fun in everything he does. I thought that it was cute at the time, but now I see that he took it quite seriously.

How many of us go through life waiting for someone else to make things fun and to make us happy? How many of us do not realize that we are in control of our own happiness?

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