City Desk

Day Seven With the Kids in the House: How Some Parents Are Filling the Time

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Before la tormenta, I'd never seen my kids turn off the TV because they were sick of watching it. That may have been the most interesting thing that's happened in my house all week. God, we are bored. My wife IM'd me a catalog of some of the stuff she's done with the kids.

We have: made cookies, read books, done some dress-up, sword fights, painting (covered table with wrapping paper and let them go nuts with the paint–hands, trucks, yarn, and a paintbrush now and again), stickers, PlayMais, playdough, legos, games, lots of snow shovelling, and that walk to [the wildly overpriced organic grocery store near us] which took up a god two hours

Today she built a snow fort with them (above). Yesterday she gave them a bath at 11 a.m. One of the kids asked she was doing that. "I've run out of ideas," she told them. I asked a few other parents what they've been doing.

One of my friends told me her strategy: "Resorting to Sesame Street & made sure we were snowed in with enough wine."

Another gave me a similar run-down: board games, hikes to the corner store, the construction of a luge course in the front yard.

"Sugar is playing a part," a friend says.

One of my friends has a live-in au pair! He says that's going great, and I'm happy for him.

Some parents have taken to message boards with more than the usual ferocity; at my oldest son's school, for instance, the superintendent's proposal to extend the school day by a half-hour for the rest of the year was met with great concern. Some are worried that their kindergartners are already famished when they leave school, others that the kids don't get enough time at recess as it is. Or maybe, like me, they're so thrilled to discuss something other than why you took away the foam swords that they're just letting loose because they can.

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