When Neglected Kids Get Creative

I’m always surprised by the things the kids decide to do when I’m not looking. In a good way, I mean. Of course, there are always the NOT good ways - like when they decide to lug all the left-over lumber to the top of their fort, or attempt to trap the wild critters in the neighborhood - but mostly it’s in good ways. They have so much creativity that comes out in completely unexpected ways to me, although I suppose that by now I should stop being surprised.

Last week when school was out for election day, they woke up before I did and had complete run of the house between Tim leaving for work shortly after 7:00, and me waking up at 8:30. They did not destroy anything, create any messes, or kill each other. They did not sit mindlessly in front of the TV either, or play games on the computer. Instead, they spent the entire time making puzzle books for Daddy.

I don’t know how this idea occurred to them, but it kept them out of trouble and was pretty sweet. I’m choosing to view this as proof that a certain amount of parental neglect is a good thing, and I’ll remember that the next time I’m tempted to sleep in in the morning. I’m not neglecting them - I’m giving them opportunities for creativity! Works for me. At least until the house burns down.

Here’s Emily’s puzzle book:

Cover: “Puzzles Start to Finish.” Not a bad title.

Another maze entitled “Confusing Road.”

A word search titled “Wordsearch of Puzzle And Family,” which includes everyone’s name in the family except for mine. Emily said she ran out of room so she had to cross it off the list!!

“Look ’n Make” in which Tim was supposed to copy the design Emily drew.

In case you couldn’t tell, it’s “Emily” and “Tim.”

A hidden picture puzzle called “A Creepy Sort of LaLa Land.” I’m rather partial to that title. Sounds like my life.

He was supposed to guess whether the cup drawn was plastic or glass. The answer was plastic, because there’s squiggly lines showing writing on the sides. Not water, as Tim thought, which led him to incorrectly guess glass. Obviously.

Dedication page: “To:/ Daddy. I Love you! and I know how much you love sudocu puzzles But I don’t know how to play! Love! EMILY


Not to be outdone by his sister, Daniel also tried to create his own book. His was slightly less successful, but still just as sweet.

Cover: “Puzzles.” With lots of question marks. Very to the point.

This, apparently is “finies and ferbs maze.” (Phineas and Ferb is a TV show the kids love.) Don’t ask me which one is Phineas and which one is Ferb. But there is a start and a finish and, apparently, a...head?

This is “Twisty.” Also with a start and a finish.

This is a word search with three words in the search, and one word on the list. In the search are: zach, boo, and dinomight. Quite a selection. I’d be curious to know how those words go together in his head!

There are worse ways kids could spend 1 1/2 hours alone in the morning!