So Pirate Pete went into a right strop during breakfast on Sunday. He thought we should “go out” and do swimming or a indoor playground or a theme park or something. Staying at home is boring, especially near the end of summer break. I put on my best reasonable voice and explained how going out cost money, and worked out how many weeks pocket money were needed to pay for a swimming trip.

It didn’t work, he stayed in a strop.

Now, we try hard not to spoil our kids. Yes, we do go out and do things once or twice a month, but we don’t buy toys outside of xmas and birthdays unless they save up their pocket money (which they do). We try to make them aware of the cost of things, and discuss how not everyone gets to do things and travel for holidays.

Yet, when it’s a summer weekend, and its raining outside, and its been raining all week, it all just doesn’t matter much to a little boy who’s been bored and is pretty sure he’s going to be bored today. What do you do?

So, you get everyone outside and you (try) to fix his brother’s bike (which has a flat and bald tire, and is frankly unfixable without a new one). You let them much about with the house in the drizzly rain and get soaked. You get everyone to help with a tiny bit of carpentry to build a new hutch for the guinea pig’s cage. You get them to help wash the vegetables for the salad for lunch.

It works, moods improve, and though its not an exciting day, its not a bad one either.

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