Father Christmas was very generous this year and whilst he fell down the chimney with lots of great books (more on those in a post soon as I’ve got a bit of a bee in my bonnet with reading at the moment), games and sports related stuff, it was pretty technology and PlayStation heavy in the Mad household as that’s what my boys are currently all about. ALL that they’re about. Which I don’t mind to be honest – in moderation – but I have to manage their usage carefully as they would happily plug themselves into the Matrix all day long..!
So it was quite nice to see them go old school (not through choice but necessity I hasten to add), crack open their board games and explore their creative sides when we had a NBN hiatus a couple of weeks ago. And when I say hiatus I mean that we had yet another outage – which lasted a week, after four days the week previously – which was a wee bit stressful for me given that I work for myself and from home but you’d think that the end of the world was indeed nigh for the flipping boys. There was lots of wailing, flailing and cries of ‘but there’s nothing to do!’ which drove me slightly crazy when I pointed out for the fiftieth time on any given day that we had cupboards bulging at the seams with board games, cards, books, Lego, toys and that’s without – god forbid- going outside and cracking open the scooters, soccer balls, bikes, skate boards and other bazillion outdoor activities/pieces of equipment. But then they turned a corner (and thankfully shut up) and actually played together..nicely no less..and it was nice to see them engaged in kiddy activities and actually doing stuff together that didn’t involve a screen, a headset and an inappropriate first person shooting game!
So what did the boys do during their technology embargo..???
Good old fashioned water play..well let’s be honest water fights..! Which inevitably ended in tears when one of them shot the other in the eye..’by accident’..yeah right!…but whilst it lasted it was a beautiful thing to behold..if not just to hear the belly laughs and demented squeals of glee..! Throw in some balloons and they were in seventh heaven!
I love love love a good board game and being a word nerd gravitate towards the likes of Scrabble, Boggle or Pictionary. The boys are more your Classic Cluedo and Monopoly kind of peeps and it was lovely to see them dig into their game pile and get their competitive juices flowing. Apart from when they beat me of course because that was just plain rude!
A particular favourite of mine – and Henry – who could play Uno, Fish and Rummy until the cows come home. We discovered his love of cards – and distressing ability to beat me time after time – he’5!!! – in Fiji and the love affair is still going strong!
And good Lord they actually dusted off their library shelves and read..for pleasure..kind of..well without me having to pin them down and force them to at least!
No PlayStation and TV in the run up to Christmas, whilst preventing me from indulging in my Elf movie habit, meant that the boys were well and truly on the Christmas train and we enjoyed a couple of afternoons perfecting their Christmas lists/letters to Santa which is just one of my absolutely fave things to does a mum!
Hide & seek
And does it get any better than hide and seek..despite the fact that there were covert stashes of Christmas pressies scattered throughout the house which made the whole activity a wee bit fraught with tension for me as they sprinted around the house and in and out of cupboards…don’t go in thereeeeeeeee!!
And still a bit of an enigma to be – as I’m a Pom so didn’t grow up in Australia – but games of Tip on repeat were definitely a fave!
And another new one to me but all the rage (did I really just write that – I’ve officially turned into my mum?!) with the boys at the moment is Spotlight which is played at night and a bit like a hide and seek/tag combo. They love it!
And for when they ventured out to be with the three-dimensional folk, the scooters finally got a bit of action thank god. Scooters were THE possession and pastime of choice just a few months back. We bought both boys decent scooters, William had a lesson so that he could learn how to ‘drop in’ and they watched endless YouTubers do tricks and spruik ‘merch’; but it was all too short-lived – much like annoying fidget spinners that were an obsession for a few weeks back there – and yet again a whole lot of money paid out to be left rusting in the carport. So yes I was chuffed to see them re-visiting those bad boys.
And last but by no means least, we actually got them to do their jobs around the house so for the first time in a long time they actually earnt their pocket money. Go figure!
So NBN, you were not our best friend for a while there – and I might have slagged you off to everybody who I know – but your crapness inadvertently returned my boys to simpler times for a week or so and it was fantastic! Let’s make a deal, play my game and work during the week but feel free to take some time out at the weekend; I promise not to moan this time! Ok?