At the risk of sounding like an “old” parent: When I was a kid, I got on my bike, met my friends and we played outside ALL DAY LONG! So when our boys were born, Mark and I decided to leave the blackened skies of Los Angeles and move to FL so our kids could grow up playing in the sunshine without developing the need for an iron lung.
So here we are in Celebration, FL which was designed specifically for people to enjoy the outdoors. And here’s a typical conversation between me and my boys:
Me: Hey, Nate – Zeke, it’s a beautiful day…why don’t you boys go outside and play?
Nate & Zeke: I don’t want to go outside. JINX! JINX! I said it first, so you can’t talk. No, I said it first so YOU can’t talk. Moooom…I said Jinx first and Zeke won’t stop talking.
Me: (banging my head on the table) GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!
Zeke: (ear-stabbing whining) I don’t wanna go outside! I wanna stay inside and play with my guys. (Legos)
Nate: (making his best doe-eyed, dilated pupil face) I wanna stay inside and be with you Mommy ’cause I love you so much I would miss you out there.
Me: When I was a little girl…
Nate: Ugh, how many times are you going to say that story? You say it all the time and I still don’t wanna go outside.
Me: I’m going to keep telling that story until you go outside. If you stay in here, you will be listening to the story, go outside and you hear birds,dogs and yourself laughing.
Nate: FINE! I’ll go outside but I won’t hear myself laughing, I’ll hear myself saying this isn’t fair!
Me: Zeke, you too.
Zeke: I’m staying inside to hear the story again.
I grab Zeke’s hand and lead him kicking and screaming outside into the back yard. The backyard that has a huge playset, bikes, balls, chalk, big wheels and many other things purchased to lure them out of the house.
Nate: Mommy, I went down the slide, I drew with chalk and I threw the ball. Can I come back inside now?
Me: Nate, you’ve been outside for 3 minutes. Make up a game. When I was a little girl…
Nate: (covering his ears and lalalalaling) How many minutes do we have to stay out here?
Me: 30. I’ll be back to check on you in 10.
Me: Nate…what are you doing?
Nate: Waiting for 30 minutes to be done.
Me: Where’s Zeke?
Nate: He’s in the house hiding from you.