31 Jul 2012

bringing boredom back

It's possible for boredom to deliver us to our best selves, the ones that long for risk and illumination and unspeakable beauty. 
        Nancy H Blakey

My little girl first uttered the words 'I'm bored' before she hit three. Where did she pick it up from? Peppa Pig I fear... She didn't really know what it meant but it still stopped me in my tracks. Bored? You're two for heaven's sake. Go and stare at a ladybird or something. 

I can hardly remember feeling bored as a child (outside of a hardware shop that is. God, the crippling agony of a weekend trip to B&Q). Instead I remember day-dreaming, making up stories, sitting on the stairs and looking at the rainbows on my eyelashes. I remember lying on my bed and breathing in the wonderful smell of the freshly laundered sheets, I remember watching the dust float in the sunlight in my Nan's house as I listened to her singing in the kitchen, I remember letting my mother's silver chain heap up onto my palm over and over again because I loved the way it felt. Hell, I remember those 'boring' moments as being as close to the very essence of childhood as you can get. Carefree and imaginative, moments lacking structure but full of life and potential. Blissful moments. 

Giving my little girl the space to fill her own time and head with things and thoughts of her own making is surely important. The TV, structured play, puzzles and craft activities all have their place but so should those moments where there's absolutely nothing to do at all. Same goes for me too. 

So we're turning off the TV and putting away the craft stuff- we're bringing back boredom! We need more of it. At least for an hour or two.


  1. 'Go and stare at a ladybird' - genius!
    Oh Anna you make me laugh so hard. I love reading your posts. And you are so right about letting kids get on with things and learning how to entertain themselves. I do this A LOT - mostly because I am lazy! x

    1. Thanks! And don't make out like you're a lazy mum, I've seen your blog missus.

  2. Hello, just popped over from little birdie. I love this post. I too remember watching dust float in sunlight. I fear how easily we can turn on a tv, computer or iphone for instant entertainment.