I crave the times of the day when I can listen to my favorite blues artists like B.B. King or Stevie Ray Vaughn. I like to select a convenient time. Often, it is at night when the kids are in bed. My girls are dolls but they drive me crazy when I am home along and I can’t get a moment’s peace. This is a problem mostly when I have a new album and I can’t wait to hear it. I must put it off as family duty is in the way. I am called upon to amuse the children when mom’s not home and I prefer not to rely on the TV. I also forbid constant Internet and cell phone use as electronic babysitters. It is too easy and rote.
So, I have to get creative and think outside the box. What do girls like? How about polishing their nails and putting on lipstick, arts and crafts, sewing (am I serious?), doing errands, or cleaning their rooms and the yard. As long as they are occupied, I will be satisfied. I can wear them down and as they get sleepy, I will get out my music. I have a home entertainment system, but I also listen on an iPod and my laptop. Always in the car, the blues can be heard.
After all this contemplation, I got a sudden spurt of inspiration. I love basketball, so why not teach the beloved game to my kids. Let’s see if girls like it as much as boys. I always see them playing in the park on the playgrounds. These pick-up games often include adults. If you have grown up with it and are a diehard, you won’t want to stop. I searched the Net and found some portable basketball hoops on a site called Baller’s Guide. They are adjustable, and as the girls grow, they can be extended. I want to see how they like the sport before I put in a permanent in-ground type.
Wow! All of a sudden, kids who loved to sit idly inside, were raring to go outside like little tomboys. The new portable system was a huge hit. I did have to curb my music allotment while I taught them the rules of the game. They preferred just “shooting hoops” so this preliminary period didn’t last long. They kept missing time and again, but stayed with it until they achieved some success. Then I couldn‘t tear them away. Their mother is astounded. Now it is a family activity and great fun for us all. I have a new parenting motto: keep them occupied. It will solve your problems whether you want to listen to music or work on a hobby. You might want to read quietly, work on a project in the garage, or try a new dish in the kitchen. Given how addictive basketball is, I wonder if you won’t end up like me—the center of the action.