The rain held us captive most of the weekend, much to both our delight and dismay. To be forced to have a weekend where we really couldn’t go much of anywhere was a gift in disguise, handed to us on a silver-lined cloud that we happily accepted. But it also meant that several things were going to be missed that weekend. For one, my daughter’s last soccer game was now unfortunately put off until a sunnier weekend (though it did save me from cheering her on through chattering teeth, wondering how I was going to do the obligatory photo capturing thing when all I wanted to do was bury myself under a sea of blankets). It also meant that our planned trip to the Pumpkin Maze was postponed yet again. Every weekend, something has come up to force us to abandon our plans, promising that next weekend we would go. And being that we are so close to Halloween, I am wondering if I’m going to be explaining the broken promise of traveling the maze to my kids as I tell them there’s always next year. But still, the negative was trumped by the positive of staying in PJs all weekend long, snuggling up by a fire in what was finally a true autumn weekend.
Of course, rainy day weekends mean that there has to be some creativity on a parent’s part. I don’t care if you are a parent of a toddler or a teen, your kid is still going to be bored on days when they are forced to stay inside, claiming there is nothing to do. And it was by accident that we figured out a way to occupy the weekend. I can’t really take any credit, it was actually my son’s idea. We had taken out the game of Risk, the boardgame of world domination by driving the players totally insane through rules that seem to change with every single turn. We hadn’t even gotten past the first round of turns when I flipped the board over in a tantrum after it wasn’t going my way and who cares about this stupid game anyway (just kidding, but I was totally tempted). And that’s when my son suggested a Spelling Bee.
Oh sure, that sound like a load of fun. Let’s find words on our days off of school and spell them out. That is almost as much fun as cleaning the oven or vacuuming the couch cushions. Still reeling from the brain twisting game of Risk, I was not much help in the “things to do” department. Luckily, Mr. W wasn’t nearly as affected by complex board games, and he grabbed the dictionary and flipped it to a random word.
“Spell ‘quandary’,” he said. And the Taz started, getting the word right on the first try. DQ’s interest was piqued, and she joined in on the next word. “Voluptuous.” “Can you use that in a…sentence,” she giggled, citing a Family Guy reference that is a little too un-PC for a family blog. We flipped from page to page, trying to stump the kids over and over, and even stumping ourselves from time to time as we took a stab at it. If one person got it wrong, the word was retried by everyone until someone spelled it correctly. We began to keep track of the score, each kid earning a point for a correctly spelled word.
The game ended in a tie after the final word, ‘Iraqi’, had both kids scratching their heads, not convinced that some words with the letter ‘Q’ could be spelled without a ‘U’ following it. It was bedtime, forcing an end to a game that didn’t cost us any more than the dictionary that already existed on our bookshelf.
Much of the rest of the weekend was dedicated to TV (yeah Giants!!!), the temptation of couch lounging too great to resist. But the weekend wrapped up with the kids and I dedicated to various wordsy projects – me plummeting unapologetically into a book I’d been meaning to open, my daughter in her latest novel writing idea, and my son determined to create the best rap a 9 year old could create (“Can I use bad words if I bleep them out, mom?” “No.” “What if I start to say them, but use a different word instead?” “No.” “How about if I-” “NO!”). And it was the perfect end to a rain-filled weekend that managed to avoid the “I’m bored” blues.
For more ideas on what to do on a rainy day, be sure to check out the article on Rainy Day Boredom Busters.
What did you do for fun this rainy weekend?