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Mama Confessional: How did you keep your kids occupied this summer?

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I’d like to say that I’ve taken my kids on outings and that we’ve experienced new and wonderful adventures this month. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could share of our many hikes in the wonderful Colorado mountains, or perhaps tell of a day spent at the Denver Zoo where we took a picnic and rode the train? Naturally we would skip bird world, because we hate it, and then casually wander over to watch the polar bears frolick while chocolate ice cream drips down our chins.

Unfortunately, it would all be lies.

I am taking an anatomy class that requires nine hours a week in class, plus study time. We’ve had to stick pretty close to home this summer and sure, while I use words like gastrocnemius in front of the children so they can appreciate my education, they have at times, been bored. They begin to complain and ask “Why can’t we go on fun outings like other children, Mother?” And I respond by telling them to “Close your mandible. Mommy’s studying.”

We have experienced Netflix, however, and I feel like that ought to count for something. See, we’ve held out for years. We’ve said “no thanks” to cable and have been happy with our network television with very few complaints. We’ve been big-time patrons over at College Hill perusing their ever expanding DVD department on a weekly basis. We have even been known to have an account over at Blockbuster.

But then the best gift that we have ever received (besides the birth of our three amazing children, of course) was a Netflix account. We still don’t know how or why Billy’s 83-year-old mother thought of it. But she did. And we have. And we will not look back. We are forever changed.

A few days into the Netflix experience we discovered “Instant Play.” These are shows we can watch on Billy’s dumb Xbox. We saw a show that we watched one time on vacation and figured we’d try it out during some quality family time. The show is called “Man vs. Wild” and it’s about a guy who can basically survive in any kind of extreme situation. After the first few shows we noticed the children were not as horrified when he drank his own body fluids to survive, and wondered if perhaps we had desensitized them to right and wrong. We finished Season one, and it turns out our hypothesis was correct. We concluded that yes, they were exposed to things they should not have been, and it’s going to take quite a bit of therapy to get them back to normal.

Now we are spending our evenings in the backyard, eating popsicles and climbing trees. I usually sit on the deck swing and watch Billy play with the kids. They’ve invented their own “man vs. wild” where the children are “the wild” and Billy is “the man.” Their methods of attacking Billy change with whatever toys are lying around in the backyard. All three kids are on a mission together, and for a few minutes they aren’t fighting or concerned with anything but having fun with their dad.

After a little while when Billy gets injured (which happens most nights), he joins me on the deck swing and we talk about our kids. Mostly we laugh. We’ve decided that our kids provide us the best entertainment of all.

Guest blogger Lisa Repenning hasn’t slept well in ten years. She hates her hair, but loves her three kids. Lisa recently decided to return to school for a Nursing degree and hopes to never climb Mt. Everest.

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Mama confessional: How have you been keeping your kids busy when they’re bored and are too busy to entertain them?

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 28, 2010

    LOL–this was fun and I think many of us are in the same boat! Even though we’ve been fortunate to do a lot of trips and activities, I’ve also needed to have downtime to work, which is tough with little ones. Our diversion de choix? Super Mario! I just returned from vacation where it was played so much during the airtravel that we’re undergoing a few days of detox from it. The kids were getting just a wee bit obsessed. 🙂

  • comment avatar Carol Lemke July 28, 2010

    Not confessing anything but I will say Nick Jr. is my best friend. 🙂

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  • comment avatar Eve July 29, 2010

    Yep, Mario has been on our list. As has a lot of TV.

  • comment avatar Eve July 29, 2010

    P.S. Haven’t tried the Netflix thing but you have definitely inspired me.

  • comment avatar Laura July 29, 2010

    LOL – would love to read more from this writer!!

  • comment avatar Kagey July 29, 2010

    Library DVD rentals, and lots of PBS (WordGirl!) especially on HOT days. Oh, and allowing them to stay up late to play outside, because that’s when it’s finally cool enough to ride bikes, etc. Sigh.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 29, 2010

    Is it bad I’m getting all these slacker tips on how to keep my kids occupied? 🙂

  • comment avatar Becky July 29, 2010

    well have to say kept them busy with some videos/TV! The constant entertaining can get tiring! Looking forward to Aug. 23. 🙂

  • comment avatar Sharon July 29, 2010

    Very funny stuff, and sweet. Hope we hear more from Lisa.

  • comment avatar Amy July 29, 2010

    Love the post! Lisa, you are hilarious as always! I can’t wait to read more of your blogs on here.

  • comment avatar Linda July 30, 2010

    Lisa, hilarious post! I hope you post more articles! Unfortunately this need to find summer entertainment doesn’t seem to go away – even when they are 14, 16 and 18! I however do appreciate your growing vocabulary – I tore my gastrocnemius this summer (killer game of kickball) – and am excited to see my injury in print!

  • comment avatar Jane July 31, 2010

    Love this! You make me laugh!!! Thanks for writing. You remind me of Erma Bombeck. She also took real life stuff & made it wonderful for all of us to read & enjoy.

  • comment avatar Robin Bowers July 31, 2010

    I love to read your blog in Your Hub and am glad to see you have made it to Milehigh Mamas. You makes me laugh!!

  • comment avatar Nancy August 1, 2010

    I love that Lisa writes about ordinary events on any given ordinary day by ordinary people in a humorous way.

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