Monday, July 13, 2015

"I Have An Idea!"

More than any other, the four words "I have an idea" strike the fear of God in me when my children utter them. That's because my kids' "ideas" are by turns dangerous, highly impractical, expensive, messy, labor-intensive, and presented with great enthusiasm. 

Here's a sampling of "ideas" that have immediately followed the exclamation "I have an idea!":

1. Flying a remote control helicopter off a sibling's head.
2. Baking a cake from scratch and buying $50 worth of real flowers with which to decorate it.
3. Opening a daycare facility in our playroom.
4. Opening a nail and hair salon in our house.
5. Buying a pony.
6. Buying and installing a large trampoline in our yard.
7. Hosting a toddler art class in our living room.
8. Adopting or buying a dog/ferret/hamster/chinchilla.
9. Traveling to London alone with a friend to visit "Diagon Alley" from Harry Potter.
10. Owning a cell phone at age 7.
11. Building a fort with every single item of our living/dining room furniture.
12. Doing an "experiment" that involves mixing expensive spices with water and baking it all in the oven.
13. Inviting ten kids to sleep over our house on that very night.
14. Making "juice" out of all our fruit.
15. Skateboarding down a concrete ramp with no helmet and no knowledge of skateboarding.
16. Making a movie in which I'm the director of photography.

Not one to squelch creativity, I like to respond with counter "ideas":

1. Clean your room.
2. Clean the living room.
3. Clean the playroom.
4. Read a book to yourself.
5. Read a book to each other.
6. Do your homework.
7. Do extra unassigned homework.
8. Play quietly together indoors far away from the adults.
9. Play quietly together outdoors far away from the adults.
10. Do a non-messy art project.
11. Brush your teeth and/or hair.
12. Take a bath/shower.
13. Fold some laundry.
14. Wash some dishes.

Granted, my ideas are MUCH better. But they've had the benefit of age to germinate. I'm not naive enough to hope that there will ever be true harmony between my ideas and my kids' ideas. I think the most I can hope for is that we all manage to survive the latter.

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