Monday, March 03, 2008

I Call This Game Fun-In-A-Box

Pin It There are those days – days you play in the stream and build sandcastles and swing from trees – and then there are those other days. You know, those days where you sit in a box for three hours.


On Sunday morning my husband didn’t feel like going to church. This may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I sort of impulsively sent the link to my blog to my friends in book club, (who are also in my church congregation) on the same day I posted about bankruptcy and foreclosure, and he is now convinced that everyone in the neighborhood KNOWS OUR SHAME). I didn’t feel like wrangling them by myself, so we had a lazy day at home.

Lazy Sundays are nice and relaxing, except when they are long and unending and boring because you are trapped in the house with three restless children and a husband who keeps understandably shooting you dirty looks and rolling his eyes and sighing audibly. I did not feel like entertaining the children, other than pulling out the playdough and occasional tickling, and they were as stir crazy and irritable as I was. We would normally go for a walk or something but we didn’t, because it was cold and snowy – “Too wet to go out, And too cold to play ball. So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all.”

The children eventually decided that if there was NOTHING ELSE TO DO, (groan, sigh, whine) then they might as well use their imaginations, so they descended upon the boxes, which they used to make a secret hideout and then torture the dog. They put him inside, closed the lid, and pushed it around the room for a while, occasionally turning it on its side. The dog would run out confused, like, “HEY, who put me in that box? Abby, did you know someone put me in a box? Huh? Huh? Didya? Didya? Here, let me lick your face for a minute.” And then she’d pick him up and put him right back in again, giggling madly. (You know, my hatred for the dog is well established, but really, I’ll give him this – he puts up with a lot of crap.)

After a bit they hit upon the idea of getting inside themselves, armed with markers. They sat in those boxes for a good three hours, coloring the insides, savoring having permission to actually USE MARKERS without any consequences or time out. Possibly they were a little bit high on marker fumes, but it was a risk I was willing to take, in exchange for the quiet. (Hey, I checked their pupils! They looked fine!)

My three year old wanted me to close the lid, and so I did. His sisters wanted me to close THEIR boxes. And so I did. They sat in those closed boxes for a while. It was great – very quiet and conducive to large amounts of parental internet surfing. I highly recommend packing your children.

This morning, again, they are in their boxes, coloring and behaving rather like civilized schoolchildren in some alternate box oriented universe, so I’m rethinking this whole – we need a three bedroom house thing. Right now I’m leaning toward one bedroom and three very large boxes.

33 comments:

  1. Kids don't need toys...just an empty box:)

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  2. It sounds like a great creative writing project to me! Hmmm...18 Home Depot boxes..some markers..did you say it kept them quiet for a couple of hours? "Kindergarten-in-a-box"!!

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  3. Yup. All it takes is a big box to entertain them. Mine discard all their 'cool' toys for the chance to play with the box and packaging. :-)

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  4. Our boxes are all full of stuff for the move.

    No fair.

    Looks like my girls are missin' out on some serious fun.

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  5. Nothing beats a box. Nothing. Put some Girl Scout cookies in there, and I might even be tempted to play, too.

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  6. Hey skip the house altogether. It is warm in Vegas, maybe all you need is boxes!

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  7. We play Fun-In-A-Box. A lot. Have I mentioned yet that I live where it's cold and winter lasts approximately six months?

    So here's my advice. Tonight, give them markers, shut the lid -- then drag the box around the room and tip it on its side, like they did to the dog. Takes the game to the next level.

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  8. I'm so glad you can see the bright side of all things. (And that you have lots of markers!)

    XX

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  9. LOL! Kids are genius when it comes to finding fun stuff to do for hours on end.

    If my grandma knew that a bunch of us kids were going to be staying over (as we often did for weeks during the summertime), she would have one of my uncles (who sold appliances) bring by a big box. It didn't matter if it was a refrigerator box or a dryer box...we spent HOURS playing with those things. Good memories, those.

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  11. If you guys buy a fridge for your new house the box can probably hold them over until they go college.

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  12. There was a time when we were children that one of our favorite games was put-the-kitten-in-the-pillowcase-and-toss-it-down-the-stairs. Okay, not so much me. More my brothers.

    Boxes are good fun, though.

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  13. Sorry. Can't stay to chat - I have to go pack my daughter. ;-)

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  14. My "play room" currently has boxes all over it. Definitely the coolest toy EVAH.

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  15. Sue, I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and just want to say that I think you're really funny and I like your writing (isn't that what you want lurkers to say?) :)

    Love boxes and markers. One of my favorite combinations

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  16. You're a good mommy. I would be tempted to tape the box. What? They would like it, I swear.

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  17. I've packed my children before. It's pretty cool.

    I tried to go the no-toys-only-boxes route, but it didn't work out for me. Seems they only like the boxes if there are hundreds of toys lying around doing nothing.

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  18. Jules has a couple of boxes that we're not allowed to throw out. One she has dubbed her "water slide", the other is where she hides. Hours and hours of entertainment.

    Just think, once you unpack the boxes, they'll be so excited to have them back, they'll be like new boxes all over again. Bonus!

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  19. My kids love boxes too! We still have a couple hanging around from our move a year and a half ago. I love how creative kids can be.

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  20. what is it about cardboard boxes? LOL My kids swarm cardboard boxes of any size (think cracker boxes, Huggies boxes from Costco, tissue boxes, cereal boxes, dishwasher boxes, shoe boxes, etc) I've even seen them swarm around toilet paper and paper towel tubes... It's amazing how many hours of fun some cardboard and markers will provide. trains, submarines, houses, race cars, caves...

    Your children look adorable! Kind of like a little city in your livingroom! LOL

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  21. Growing up in the military we moved A LOT. The best part were the boxes! Oh man, this post takes me back!

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  22. What a great idea! I'm totally doing that Sue. I need some help here in the rain.

    And don't worry about the ward...everyone likes you because of who you are. And the fact that you choose to share all that stuff just makes you more loveable. Seriously.

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  23. "I highly recommend packing your children."

    I'm just starting to get over the flu, and this line got me laughing into a coughing fit!

    We have tons of boxes in our garage.....

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  24. I am thinking about you in the midst of all this. Don't feel badly about the hubby. My husband hates that he appears in my blog AT ALL. He'd actually rather people thought I was some sort of single mother living off of some sort of nefarious stream of income. He said, "Can't you just leave me OUT of it?" and I said, "No."

    Men. You can't live with 'em and you can't live with 'em. And yet, I really, REALLY like mine so much. Women are weird.

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  25. This is so great. I will bear this in mind for the future, although my girls are a little older. Knowing them, they'd turn their boxes into American Girl condos and their dolls would live the swinging High Life.

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  26. You know what they say "you buy your kids toys and they play with the box" I'm glad you were able to enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

    I'm going to remember the box trick and save it for a rainy day.

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  27. Boxes rule! And tell husband that most millionaires have been through more than one bankruptcy so he is just that much closer to becoming a millionaire now. You guys are great!!!

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  28. I so need to get me some boxes for my child. Thanks for the heads up!

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  29. I pack my children frequently. Because of this, half of the boxes in the garage are decorated in marker drawings. (And no the kids are not still inside those boxes.)

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  30. My kids are currently off track from school. They have three weeks off. It has only been two days.

    I needs to get me some boxes.

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  31. Kid-in-a-box. Ahhh, if only that worked for teenagers.

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  32. seriously. Give a kid a box and a whisk, and they're golden.

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  33. Who needs toys when they have these great boxes! This was such a cute and funny post!

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