Stuck in the old house, holed up by runny noses, chest congestion, fever, headache, ear infections, and sinus congestion, Finny, Charlie and I have not been doing a whole lot of field tripping the past couple weeks. Even if we were well, the cold, slushy rain is gross and bothersome and who wants to put on anything but a blanket and some socks and Johnny Mathis’s Christmas classics anyway? But when we are stuck in the house for days, I start to become obsessed with “doing something” because surely there are things we can do around the house aside from watching Bambi for the four hundredth time, right? Right?
So last night, I put Charlie to bed early because the poor, sad baby crawled up to me with his frowzy, red mop of curls and red-rimmed eyes and practically demanded that if I did not put him to sleep right this instant, he was going to climb the stairs and scale his crib wall and put himself to bed. So, after poor, old Charlie went off to bed, Finny and I revisited the “what are we gonna do?” conversation once again. Ever seen The Jungle Book? We were the vultures:
“Whadda we gonna do?”
“I don’t know. Whadda you wanna do?”
“I don’t know. Whadda we gonna do?”
“I don’t know. Whadda you—now don’t start that again!”
So, I said, “Finny, what do you wanna do? Wanna play memory cards? Wanna build with blocks? Do you want to do a puzzle?”
His response, “No, I don’t want to do anything. I want to do nothing.”
My thought: Well, we can’t just do nothing…can we? Because that’s actually what I want to do. Is it healthy for a toddler to just do nothing? Shouldn’t he be getting some exercise or learning shapes or numbers or something?
“Okay,” I said, crawling up on the couch and pulling the blanket over me.
He immediately followed suit and crawled up on the other end of the couch and pulled his blanket over him.
Still feeling the need to suggest we do SOMETHING, I asked, “Wanna touch toes?”
Finny beamed from ear to ear and started in with his chipmunk giggles, “Okay! Okay! Let’s touch toes, but you have to take your socks off.” He’s very particular.
“But I don’t wanna take my socks off. My feet’ll get cold.”
“Okay, well, you can just leave them on then.” Thanks, buddy.
And then, we touched toes, and it was…hilarious. There was a little touching of the toes and then a little playful kicking of the feet and through it all just uproarious laughter.
Then, we made a fort with my blanket and we both hid beneath it and we waited for the monster to come, and we waited and waited, and if it were up to Finny, we would’ve waited all night, just to stay cozied up underneath that blanket. And eventually, the monster came, and it was Daddy and he found his spot on the couch too.
And then we decided to read books. And one by one, Finny would pull a book off the self and bring it over to his spot on my lap and listen and snuggle and listen and snuggle. And eventually, forty-five minutes later, we headed off to bed, exhausted.
We did not learn shapes or do leg lunges. We did not bake cookies or build a dinosaur out of blocks. We did not hang a new craft on the wall. We did nothing, and I’ve never laughed harder.
Finny, nothing is more fun than doing nothing with you.