Trapped in a World of Boredom

The title is a quote from a movie called Son of Rambow, which is about two misfit British boys who make their own Rambow film. At one point in the film, an uber cool French exchange student who has come to their school proclaims he is "trapped in a world of boredom," even though every girl wants to be with him and every boy wants to be him. He eventually finds meaning by becoming part of the Rambow film. Far be it from me to suggest that Rambow isn't the source of all meaning, but I think Cool French Guy just needed some kind of creative outlet. He was probably an idea man, and the non-imaginative side of life just didn't thrill him, despite the whirl of activity around him.

My big career advice to Cool French Guy would be to avoid motherhood, and I think he's off to a great start, being male (although you know how progressive the French are). Of all the things I struggle with about being a mom--not being able to sleep in, the scarcity of free time, the inability to keep clothing clean, the inability to keep housing clean, the inability to keep oneself clean--it's the sheer boredom of watching a small child that I find most challenging. Someone described it to me as being like a cop on a stake out--although you are sitting there for hours with nothing going on, you have to remain vigilant, it's not like you can write on your blog, read a book, or even just get lost in some deep thoughts. Of course, the big difference between being a mom and being a stake out cop (besides the weaponry, although a tazer could come in handy for motherhood. KIDDING, don't call the county), is that a stake out cop has a partner to chat with. I have a partner to chat with, but he's hardly ever here, so that doesn't really help me much. So there I sit, a lone cop on a stake out, fighting to keep my brain alive.

The vigilance needed with Charlotte is not what you might think. She's definitely not the criminal type. I have no fear that she will electrocute herself or dive head first off the couch into the coffee table or destroy my African Crap (she knows I'd probably choose it over her if it came down to that. KIDDING, again, put down the phone). She won't do any of that, because that would mean she would be entertaining herself, and that really is beneath her. Actually, even opening the cupboard and removing her own toys is beneath her. I don't know if she really is that much of a prima dona, or if she is such an extreme, perhaps fatal, extrovert that doing even the simplest activity alone plunges her into clinical depression. I'm going to go with the latter explanation, because it doesn't make me look as bad as a mother. So I have to be involved in ALL her play activities, such as:

What Happened?: This scintillating game involves her ordering me to draw various people, often herself. After I draw them, she takes a crayon and scribbles all over them. Then she says, "What happened to [person x]?" Repeat about a dozen times. I have no idea what this means, but I do hope it isn't an indication she will grow up to be a serial killer who murders all her victims with crayons.

Naptime: This involves Charlotte ordering me to go lay down with the rest of her toys in her tent. Then she covers everyone up. Doesn't sound too bad, I know, but keep in mind that she insists my face be covered, and I do NOT get the owl pillow, because that is HERS. I have to put my head down on the hard floor. Still, this game is preferable to "What Happened" because it is possible to doze off for a few seconds. Until, that is, she informs us all that it is time to wake up and immediately vacate the tent.

Watch Charlotte: This activity is usually inaugurated when I attempt to sneak away from her and read some email. She immediately senses that something is off-kilter in the universe, because I am not within 2 feet of her, looks over and sees me at the computer, and dashes over demanding to "Watch Charlotte!!!!" I then have to hold her on my lap and show her videos of herself on my Facebook page. While I enjoy watching videos of Charlotte the first few dozen times, the shine does start to come off the penny. Charlotte, on the other hand, never tires of watching videos of herself. Between this self-absorption and her inability to be alone, I think Hollywood is definitely in her future. That is if the serial killer thing doesn't work out.

Mommy the Chauffeur: This involves me pushing her in her Little Tykes car around and around and around and around in a big loop through our house. This car is designed so a toddler can move the vehicle themselves with their feet, and although Charlotte doesn't come from athletic stock, at least not on my side of the family, I'm thinking she could move that car. She does have those cankles, which I find bolsters lower leg strength (I skate circles around Kevin on the ice rink, he with his spindly little ankles). But why not find a way to involve Mommy? She looks so bored all the time.

Doesn't she though.

You could reasonably argue that I have only myself to blame, and I could force her to play by herself by simply ignoring her demands. Don't think I haven't tried that. The resultant fits are one thing--I am becoming immune--but she literally forces herself on me if I try to sit by myself on the couch. She brings all her toys up on the couch and onto my lap. Somehow I struggle to find the concentration required to read a book or even just peruse the Pottery Barn catalog for the millionth time when Charlotte, Tickle-me-Elmo, and a Winne the Pooh telephone are all sitting on top of me. So What Happened it is. Brain usage will have to wait.


  1. LOVE Son of Rambow! Okay... I'm actually going to read your blog now.


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