Playtime: It’s Just Plain Boring


All I hear is the tick – tick – tick of the wall clock marking the seconds as they creep slowly along like the dripping of molasses.

I’m a slave to the whims and decisions of another, watching my day crawl by at a glacial pace with no end in sight. My mind turning to mush, I can feel my neural receptors atrophy from lack of use.

How long must I endure? Maybe if I close my eyes I can nod off unnoticed and embrace the sweet repose of slumber. I just might awaken free from these chains! Or not. Either way, sleep would be far better than this miserable slow, slow, slow death.

I’m certain I’m dying. People do actually die from boredom. I’ve convinced myself. Or if not, I will be the first one, right now, wasting away in this spot. And my tomb stone will say, “Here lies Marie. Wife, friend, mother. Who died of boredom.” First ever. I’ll be in history books.

I glance up at the clock to check the time. Before my eyes rest on the numbers, I say a quick prayer. Please let it be over. Please let time have gone quickly. Please. Please. Please let me find a way out.

5 minutes. A mere 5 minutes have come and gone.

I curse at myself. At my stupidity. At the choices I made that brought me here – shackled to the playroom floor, forced to play with my toddler.

I was just minding my own business, folding laundry, busily maintaining our home, but then I made one minor mistake. I inadvertently made eye contact when the toddler was playing independently. As soon as his eyes met mine, I knew it was coming. As his lips parted, I felt the terror of his impending words. The most dreaded question…

“Mommy, will you play with me?”


I said yes. Of course, I said yes. I’m not a monster! And I played. Of course, I played. But for how long? And why is it so boring? So very boring.

How many times can I build the same train track? Read the same book? Make the same tower? Roll the same playdough? Sing the same song? Over and over and over and over and over. Until I’m numb with boredom. So.very.boring.

Tick – Tick – Tick. I’m summoned back to reality by the ticking wall clock. Another 5 minutes have past. Just 30 more till nap time.

Suddenly, I notice a loop hole, a chance for escape. He’d busied himself with a coloring book and forgotten all about me. I slowly rise from my patch of rug and shuffle silently into the kitchen. I retreat to my secret corner where I keep my coffee and dark chocolate away from his line of sight and inquisitive little hands. As I sip and nibble stealthily, I take a deep breath. Freedom. Glorious freedom. I feel the figurative wind in my hair and the rush of dark chocolate joy surging through my veins.

I open my eyes, ripped from my great escape, startled to attention by a hand tugging on my yoga pants.

“Mommy, will you play with me?”


“Yes, buddy. Of course, I will.”

I smile and escort him back to the playroom, quickly stashing my secret treats before I resume my post on the corner of the rug. I reach for a favorite book and begin reading it. Again. For the gagillionth time. so.very.boring.