I feel that as a father to five children, I have a duty to them. A duty to keep them away from the madness of boredom. Fatherhood needs tools to work correctly. I am not talking about wrenches or screwdrivers, I’m talking about tools called creativity and patience. Any father that has these tools, can make the most boring time, seem like a day at the carnival
When I see my kids are bored, I realize its time to use my first tool as a father, creativity. I need to get creative and find a way to entertain them. In our house, entertaining them has come down to fort building. I should clarify though, that we put a twist on the classic way of building indoor forts.
When we build forts in our house, we go above and beyond the normal fort builds. First off, no piece of furniture is safe. The kids will grab whatever they can find to help build the greatest fort ever. Some of the things they have brought me to use include blankets, doll houses, chairs and pillows. Once we have the equipment we need, we go into a huddle and come up with a strategy of how our great fort will be constructed. A dad has to be open to all ideas and this is sometimes where the second dad tool “patience” comes in. It is important to have this tool, because you will be asked to do some pretty impressive stuff, and as a father you need to find a way to do it so they don’t feel disappointed or rejected. Some of the things that have been asked of me by my children include tying a blanket to the T.V then spreading it across the room and attach it to roof. Of course in a child’s mind, this is simple. It is OK if the t.v is on wheels or that the roof is flat and has nothing like hooks sticking out of it, it can be built.
Once we come up with our plan of how the fort will be built, we go into action. This is the part where the furniture is not safe. We will start attaching blankets to couches and spreading them to other couches. From there, one of the children will get the idea that a door is needed. How do you add a door when all the couches and blankets are used, simple, bring out the chairs, stools and nightstands, yes you heard me right, nightstands. With all this furniture, we will decide we have enough items to attach more blankets, which are usually the ones on beds that are already made. As we expand our fort, we realize we need more room. Lucky for us, mattresses are long enough to stretch into other rooms and still make the fort look good. Now that we have used all the furniture and blankets we can find, our fort is complete.The kids are ready to explore in their new fort that comes complete with doors, tunnels and secret rooms, all thanks to their hard work.
While the kids enjoy their new fort, I usually clean up the mess we made and then try to relax, by sitting on the couch and watching a show. The only problem is, there are no couches left to sit on and the remote is on the other side of the room. For me to get it, I would have to crawl through the fort and wiggle my way down the tunnels to get it. In other words relaxing in the living room is not happening. This does not bother me though, because as I look at this two room fort that I helped create with my children and I realize that they are no longer bored and I just managed to spend some great quality time with them, and I will take that over relaxing any day.
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