The Joy of Doing Nothing
Callister and I love to 'go, go, go!', but sometimes staying home is the most fun.
Callister and I like to go, go, go. On the days he’s with me, we almost always have a plan; he is most assuredly not a homebody. Old School Bagel is one of our favorite hangouts, Storytime at Schusterman Benson is on our schedule every Wednesday and toddler swim time at Tandy YMCA is a frequent activity. We also love to visit the Tulsa Zoo, The Discovery Lab and the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. If I am unsure of what’s going on in town I visit the TulsaKids website; the Things to do section always has great ideas, and I love the daily breakdown. In the summer months we’ve also been going to the neighborhood pool and various splash pads. But once in a while, even people who like to go need some downtime–or is downtime with a one-year-old a possibility?
Hanging out at Old School Bagel with his granddad. Callister loves their eggs and all the friendly people!
I was reminded of this Monday when Callister came to visit for a few hours while his mom ran errands. It was a spur-of-the-moment visit, so I hadn’t made any plans and I needed to do a few things around the house. First on my chores list was to water the yard, so I took Callister by the hand and we got the sprinkler set up, not an easy task with a one year old. Callister was immediately enthralled, and our chore turned into a fun twenty minutes of playing in the sprinkler. He ran through the spray, he watched the arc of water and, as the puddles accumulated in the driveway, he splashed, stomped and shrieked with joy. I’d forgotten how much fun a simple sprinkler or a backyard water hose can be, but watching Callister brought back great memories of my brother and sisters and me running through the sprinkler. We grew up with no air conditioning, so the sprinkler was a cool, fun way to spend a hot Oklahoma summer afternoon and it obviously still is!
A water hose is a lot of fun also!
After giving Callister a shower to wash off all the grass, we went on to my next chore, recycling. Callister found a box that hadn’t made it to the recycling bin yet, a box almost as big as he is, but that didn’t stop him. The box entertained him off and on for at least an hour. He pushed it around the entire downstairs, he put toys and shoes in it, he emptied them all out, he lifted it up and dropped it down. He thought about getting in it but decided against it and then checked with the cat to see if maybe he wanted in, but the cat decided it was the perfect time to hide under the couch. Smart cat.
Not quite as much fun as the box, but this Christmas tub seems like a good place to hang out.
One of the unexpected pleasures of having grandchildren is the reawakening of the joy found in simple pleasures. Watching him take joy in the little things brings back memories of my pre-tech era childhood, days I spent climbing trees, reading countless books, riding bikes and chasing fireflies after dark. Children don’t need expensive toys and although it’s great to have adventures and go on field trips, there is also something wonderful about staying home and watching your grandchild use their imagination.
Because his parents are adhering strictly to the recommendation that children shouldn’t have screen time until two years of age, we spend our time at home reading or playing. It takes more energy on my part, but I know the screen addiction will happen soon enough, so I’m enjoying this time of him being unexposed to all the devices that have become an integral part of most of our lives. For now, pots and pans, empty boxes and a good summer hose or sprinkler are the sources of all kinds of fun! Let yourself be drawn into this world alongside your grandkids, run through the sprinkler and let the nostalgia wash right over you.