Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Benign neglect and free food

Digging for bait

I might write a book about all the advantages there are to ignoring your kids. For example, Sam and Kira, like every other kid on the planet, would love to have cell phones and a Wii, and their own laptops, but they don't have any of it. Is it because I have a principled reason for denying them the latest electronic technology? No. It's because that stuff costs a lot of money and I am saving up for an iPhone for myself.

So my kids have found other ways to entertain themselves. When Kira gets home from school FULL of energy and obnoxiousness, I make her go outside (away from me). She has taken up fishing at the river down the road. She rifled through the shed and found a fishing rod, put a hook on it, and has started harvesting worms from my garden. AND while she digs for worms, she's aerating the soil so I don't have to do it! It couldn't have worked out better! And there is nothing cuter than seeing her hike down the road with her rod over her shoulder and her bait bucket in her hand. She hasn't caught a fish yet, but she has found 23 worms!

Bruising squirrels

Maisy got a squirrel treed today and it was driving her nuts so Sam got his bb gun and tried to take care of business, but as he said, "The squirrel can hear the trigger and then dodges the bb." It's not because Sam has bad aim, or that the bb is moving slow enough to easily follow with your eye, it's because the squirrel knows the sound of a trigger and can predict the trajectory of the bb. Actually, I think the bbs were hitting the squirrel because I thought I heard it say in its little squirrel voice, "Ow! What do you think you're doing? That's gonna leave a bruise!"

If Sam figures out a way to kill the squirrels and Kira manages to catch some fish, I may not have to go grocery shopping anymore!


  1. I need to read that book, because my kids end up destroying the world when I ignore them (which is a daily occurance), instead of becoming inventive and imaginative.

  2. You have to deny them the little ridiculous thing they want at least 20 times in order to make them really want it. Kira has been asking me for years if she can go to the river by herself and fish and I always said no, but this year I said yes, so that's all she wants to do. I'll have to periodically rip the rug out from under her and not let her go so she will still keep wanting to do it.


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