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    Windy Day Games

    February 5, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    This morning, during what is normally the children’s outside playtime, the wind storm from overnight was still raging. It was far too dusty to allow them to go into the yard, even though all of our trees are too tiny to hurt anyone. Bad for the lungs, they say. But there was much begging and pleading, so I allowed them to go into the garage with the doors shut and ride their bikes around in circles. They did this for twenty minutes, arguing all the while.

    And also whining and complaining, with a bit of tattling on the side.

    Because I was about to have a stroke, I brought them all inside, declared them “naughty” and sent the big ones to their rooms for a few minutes. I needed a moment of silence to think about what in the world I was going to do with them.

    By the time I decided I just didn’t know, I was in luck, because they had decided for me that they wanted to sit in E.’s room and cut paper with their scissors {A.: “zizzers”}, but the question remained as to what to do with Q.

    I was supposed to be folding laundry.

    It was then that I remembered that on windy days, the key is to make everything as inefficient as possible so as to get the maximum amount of energy ran out of the little bodies that should be outside but aren’t.

    The Laundry Game

    I grabbed Q. and the laundry basket and headed to the living room to meet up with O., who was in his excersaucer wondering where everybody went. I folded one item and handed it to Q. and told her who it belonged to. She then ran to that person and handed them the item. I had made sure the bigger kids knew that she was today’s official Laundry Delivery Girl and they were to thank her, praise her, and put away whatever she brought to them.

    Q. was delighted at the new job. And, of course, by the time she ran individual items to the various people and rooms in the house, she was almost as tired as if she had run around out back for an hour.

    The Alphabet Game

    Soon after laundry was over and O. was snug in his bed, it was time for preschool. Again, I prayed for wisdom as usually during preschool time E. is outside with Q., but today they were both inside and that, my friends, is a recipe for disaster. Especially when E. has already informed me how grumpy they all intend to be as a form of protest against my keeping them inside.

    So I found an old shapes-and-colors game and told E. how to teach Q. her shapes and also how to use it as a matching game.

    Then I grabbed A. for preschool time. As we settled down with A is for Annabelle, A. suddenly remembered the magnetic letters on our refrigerator, with which she had entertained herself yesterday evening. With each page containing each new letter, she decided to run {using the longest route} to the fridge, grab the corresponding letter, and place it directly on top of the letter on the page. At first, I was annoyed. And then it dawned on me that not only was she connecting the letters in our book to other letters around the house, but she was also getting out her energy.

    I made sure she ran to the kitchen and back, twenty-six separate times.

    Thankfully, the wind died down and, after lunch, the Boy went out to play in the rain, so I didn’t have to think of a way to run him around the house. It’s hard to run a six-year-old around the house without causing damage to property and/or life of a sister or two.

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