Skip to content

Mom, I’m bored

Mom, I’m bored

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:58 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

There’s a parental dialogue that takes place in every home in America. It comes in two distinct versions. Do either of these versions sound familiar? “Mom, Dad, I’m BORED!” “Bored? How can you be bored? Look around this great big beautiful world of ours, Son. Great literature. Beautiful music. A plethora of experiences just waiting to be enjoyed! Why, there’s Mozart, scientific theory, the works of Jonathan Edwards. Get a book and go on an adventure. Take your sketch pad into the woods and draw something with colored pencils. Grab the encyclopedia and expand your mind. Son, my son, this world is not boring. It is full of life and love and … (background music begins) the hills are alive with the sound of music. Ooooh. Aaaah.” At this point, most children wake up from a deep sleep, grab a juice box and sit on the back porch until some kind of bug walks by which they can capture and make the King of their evil stick/leaf empire. Version Two goes something like this: “Mom, Dad, I’m BORED!” “Bored? I’ll make you think ‘bored.’ By the time I was your age, I’d have chopped and carried enough wood to set all of North America on fire twice. Bored? Let me tell ya somethin’, Mr. Twister, I would have loved to be bored. When I was out workin’ in the fields or slavin’ over a wood stove, I would have RELISHED boredom. When I was walkin’ 12 miles to school, boredom would have been a GIFT! Don’t come talkin’ to me with your confound boredom talk. If I hear the word ‘bored’ again … I’ll give ya somethin’ that’ll make boredom look like a vacation. Yes sirree, I’ll find somethin’ for you to do that’ll wipe that boredom right out of your life.” At this point, most children wake up from a deep sleep, grab a juice box and sit on the back porch until some kind of bug walks by which they can capture and make the King of their evil stick/leaf empire. Let’s be honest. Regardless of which speech you choose, the result is going to be the same. At the Smartt house, we’ve decided to dispense with the speeches and hit ’em where it hurts. In the ol’ pocketbook. Yep! We’ve started charging 50 cents every time a family member uses the word “bored,” or “boring.” It’s just a bad habit and we need a practical way to dispense with it. Some may think that this is an ineffective method of behavior modification. Au contraire, my friend. Au contraire. The first slip-up happened on the way to a retail facility. “Mom, we don’t wanna go. That store is so boring.” “Ooops! That’ll be 50 cents, Buddy.” “50 cents?” “50 cents.” Did it hurt me to watch my little one scrape two quarters out of his Mason Jar? Not one bit. We were on a mission toward change. It seemed to be effective, too. We stopped hearing the word thrown around in casual conversation. My husband and I were on top of the world. With no yelling or long speeches, we were eliminating this dastardly habit. We were parents of the year. Then, the day came. That glorious day. My husband and I were visiting in the kitchen one sunny afternoon. “Honey, how did that meeting go?” “It was pretty bor…” Ooops! Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at lisa@lisasmartt.com. Published in The Messenger 10.22.08

Leave a Comment