19 Nov, 2014
It happens practically every night here at Casa Fishbowl. One of the girls turns to us and asks, “So what are we doing tonight?” This, of course, does not include the usual things that happen after dinner, such as kitchen cleaning and dog walking. My reaction to this question depends upon a lot of variables, including but not limited to (a) how tired I am (b) if I have work to do (c) my mental state in general. Sometimes (er, who am I kidding) MANY times I just want to collapse in a big heap with my book and read all night, but I understand I probably shouldn’t do that all of the time. Our kids want to do things with us, and for that I am grateful. We all watch a TV show together more often than I care to admit, and now that the weather has turned this has become the default. And I don’t want it to be the default, in fact, I don’t want any screens to be part of our evenings together at all.
I understand this is probably more for my sanity than yours, here is My List of Things to Do With The Kids After Dinner, broken down into categories, just because I need to get my act together:
Chore-like a.k.a Things That Need to Get Done
- Homework and music practice – Note: I’m not doing this, the kids are.
- Focused 15 – We stopped doing this, but I’m bringing it back!
- Laundry – Are the kids washing their clothing frequently enough? To be honest, I’m not sure.
- Basement 911 – if we all spent 30 minutes organizing our basement every night, maybe we’ll have a habitable space by 2017?
- Grocery shopping – I’m seriously considering doing this at night instead of using daylight hours for the tedium.
- Baking/cooking/lunch prep for the next day. (HA. Yeah right.)
In home activities
- Games! Card games, dice games, word games, strategy games… all of these make the basis of quality family time. Unfortunately, sometimes I don’t have energy at the end of the day to play a rousing round or two. What games require zero energy output?
- Puzzles – I recently discovered a love for puzzles, and the kids came around to doing it with me too. We need more cool puzzles around here! All I’m seeing online is magical unicorns, snowy Christmas, frolicking bunnies, and underwater scenes. Methinks: a trip to Hobby House is in order.
- Crafty things – This might be a good time to thinking about homemade Christmas gifts and the like. Our youngest has expressed an interest in sewing. Perhaps some sewing machine practice would be useful?
- Having friends over for dessert – (I read this article awhile back and it’s stayed with me. I’m not sure if I can do dinner, but I think I could do dessert!)
- Mani/pedi – Unfortunately this leaves Mark out of the equation.
- Vegetating. Doing nothing. There is nothing wrong with doing nothing, right?
Out of the house
- A trip to the library (this can easily take up a couple of hours)
- ?? **
** Notice I didn’t mention shopping as an option. Shopping for leisure equals expenditure, and I am not sure I really want to encourage the idea of shopping for fun. Shopping for fun can be an expensive habit that’s hard to break.
Is it the season? I am so uninspired right now. When it gets colder we can go skating on the canal, or for a night ski. We used to go swimming at the pool, and the Kanata Wave Pool. Maybe it’s time to revisit this again? (Question: do I still own a one piece??) If I’m honest with myself I have to admit that going on a big excursion with the kids at night is generally not something I want to do because I’m so burned out by the end of the day.
Last night we took the dog for a walk, someone cleaned the kitchen, we had a rousing game of Trouble, and spent 20 minutes organizing the basement. And a minor miracle occurred. The girls sorted some old toys that had been taking up space. Some went into the garbage, some to charity, and some to keep. And then the girls got ready for bed and Mark and I watched a stupid episode of Castle in which he travelled to another dimension. Sigh. I should have just read my book.