idle hands are the devil’s workshop

We are currently at the halfway point of my children’s two-week spring break. Ten days ago, I was so excited for all this time together. This morning, my thoughts run more along the lines of: sweet heavens, can’t they just go back to school already? 

Who ever decided that grade-schoolers needed two weeks off each spring? I had exactly zero spring break as a youngster; all we got off was Good Friday, and I had to spend half of that in church. But somewhere along the line, in parts of the Northeast at least, the second half of March became extended vacation territory for children, although it’s the rare grownup that can take that time off with them.

I can, and I am so so grateful for that, seriously, but my husband looked just a little too happy going off to the office this morning while the caterwauling and “weenie-kicking” continued in the background. Idle hands are indeed the devil’s workshop, or at least the devil’s haircut, and I can attest to that because I was interrupted by each of my three children while I typed just this last sentence.  

When people have nothing else to do, bad bad stuff can happen. Case in point: when my third baby was 11 days late arriving into the world, I cut my toenails way, way too short. I could hardly walk (not that that was so easy already, with an 11-day-late baby). I thought I learned my lesson that day about doing personal grooming as a last-ditch effort to stave off existential ennui. But apparently not, because this weekend I found myself in the waiting room of my local urgent care facility because I had, while “cleaning” my ear with a Q-Tip, lodged a ball of wax so deeply in my hair that I was deaf on one side. Deaf to all, that is, but the insistent ringing/tinnitus that resulted. 

It was kind of nice not to be able to hear my kids fighting to my starboard side, but definitely unsettling. So then I did something else that 1) is bad and 2) one only does when really bored: I sought a self-cure on the internet. After pouring a bunch of olive oil in my ear, and only then reading it would take about five days for it to work, I decided to quit putting anything else in my ear, at all, and seek professional help.

It took two professionals, forty minutes, and multiple techniques to unblock my ear. But hey, it was a whole morning’s excursion!  (what finally worked: a combination of hydrogen peroxide and a Water Pik, set on high.) 

Today it’s pouring rain, which is actually kind of nice, for a change of pace. Once I finish typing this we’re all off for a field trip at Target.  Anything to keep me from sticking another Q Tip in my ear.

Have you ever done anything regrettable out of complete and total boredom?

picture from, who says when her kids get bored, she lets them fingerpaint the inside of the dishwasher. Totally doing that when we get home from Target.