Tuesday, March 29, 2016

EDITORIAL >> It’s not kids’ play

The other day, I was waiting in a doctor’s office – a required pastime of mine lately – and this wait got so long that I finally had to look at those outdated magazines on the waiting room table.

I picked up an April 2008 copy of Parents magazine because I don’t golf, and it was about the most recent periodical in the pile.

A cover story struck my fancy –“100 Ways to Keep Little Kids Happy.” I thought, gee, aren’t we all kids anyway? And what is good for the kid is good for the kidder or kiddest, oh heck, for us older folks.

And my intuition was right.

No. 1 on their list of 100 happy activities for the wee ones was “celebrate a new holiday!” Shoot, we more mature toddlers can do that too. I’d start with National Stay In Bed Day and celebrate it once a month and then there would be Candy is Dandy Day, and don’t forget National Food Has No Calories Week.

Of course, somewhere in the year, I’d squeeze in I’m Simply Irresistible to Women Day (well, except to my mom, my aunts and my exes).

Another idea from that article (No. 5 on their list) was to camp out in the living room. Don’t we do that already? I’ve got my form-fitting recliner, a big screen TV, the remote and a can of peanuts right there. Do we need anything else for camping?

Then there are bubbles at No. 14. Who doesn’t love bubbles? The article even suggested blowing them while “waiting to see the doctor.” Love that idea.

At No. 26 was adopt a pet rock. So 1970s, but might still be fun. I’d want something shiny, like obsidian, or maybe something more beatup-looking, like pumice.

Another idea they had was “knead some goop” by mixing a box of cornstarch with water and food coloring. Shoot, you don’t have to be that creative. Half the dinners I cook end up as goop, or is that a goof?

Playing air ball was another idea that transcends the ages. The article suggests hitting a beach ball up toward the ceiling, making sure it doesn’t hit the ceiling or the floor. I think I’ve done something similar at a few concerts in my day. At home, a balloon might be equally fun.

No. 55 was bake cookies with care. Is there any other way that doesn’t involve a visit from the local fire department?

I loved tip No. 58, “create an obstacle course.” God or somebody always creates one instantly when the phone rings in the living room, and I’m in the bedroom. To zig and zag and grab that phone by the fourth ring is worthy of “American Ninja.”

Moving up to No. 92, the article says to hand a youngster an old cell phone. Do we mature kids have any other kind? My flip phone is so old it could qualify for an antique license plate.

Then there is No. 95 — Dance on bubble wrap. There is nothing better to improve a mood then popping bubble wrap, no matter your age.

So go ahead and make your day, after all, aren’t we all kids at heart? Oh, gotta go, that balloon is gliding back down, and I have to slap it back up toward the ceiling.

— Rick Kron