Time on their hands

You may wonder what elementary school aged boys, stuck at home with no school to attend, do with the large part of their days in which there is no online learning happening. Very possibly you don’t wonder this, never have, and never will, but I have a post to write, so let’s pretend you’re yearning to know.

The favorite activity is to distract Mom and Dad from their work-at-home worlds. This is a fun and interactive pastime, but it sometimes results in excessive scolding, because, to a child, any amount of scolding is excessive.

When they can’t bother their parents directly, the next best thing is to fight with each other. Specialists in the field sometime refer to this as indirect bothering of parents. Eventually, this will also lead to excessive scolding. 

Too much parent bothering can lead to lockdown within a lockdown, a condition known as double lockdown, wherein the brothers must separate, not only from general society, but also from each other.

During double lockdown the kids must look inward for quiet forms of self-expression. As parents of boys must learn, quiet is not any kind of synonym for non-violent.

One afternoon, I stumbled upon one of Big Man’s quiet, self-expressions.

I found this out of context, so there is no way to know the backstory. We don’t know why Spidey and Ironman needed to be restrained. For all we know, these are not the real Superheroes, but their evil twins instead. Then again, maybe they just distracted their parents from work for one minute too long.

Buster’s masterpiece of quiet self-expression has been growing over time.

I can imagine some childless child psychologist insisting this represents repressed anger. While I would agree that children have plenty to be righteously angry about today, I recall that I also drew war scenes in 3rd grade. So far, I have made it through without ever using a weapon in anger. As long as none of the soldiers getting shot at are labeled “Dad,” I’m not going to worry.

Besides, I think this depiction demonstrates some childish brilliance.

Why would this pilot say “999”?

I’ll give you some hints:

  • Note: the colors of the plane.
  • Note: the back of the plane has burst into flame (terrible news for the pilot).
  • Note: the artist is an eight-year-old English speaker, who knows only one word of a particular foreign language, which he has heard, but never seen in print.

Got it? If you’ve cracked the code, feel free to put your answer in the comments.

I’d hate to risk all this artistic expression, but I still think there should be someplace kids could go, four or five days a week, to be among friends and maybe learn a thing or two. But maybe I’m just a dreamer.

13 comments on “Time on their hands

  1. Sandi says:

    HIlarious!!! First, just how many war movies do you watch at the house? As I scrolled, I did see the soldier shooting someone falling off a cliff/block? Is it bad my first thought was, “oh, well done with the drawing. I can totally see what’s going on here.”

    I agree – Yes, good thing it doesn’t have anyone’s name above it or the nametag on clothes. Or UPS man or mailman. It’s nondescript.

    And YES – I was like, why is the pilot saying 999. (well, at least it isn’t 666…or is it upside down?) Then I scrolled & laughed because you mentioned it – My guess is German? Or Perhaps that’s how many the pilot killed or was say nooooo to the flames. Regardless, much more creative than I ever was as a child.

    And maybe those Germans tied up the action heroes, but are unaware, they are soon to break out of the binds and help their fellow man. They are “action” and heroes, after all.

    P.S. I hate to tell you, the interruptions don’t stop as teenagers when they are home from school… And both my son and daughter still have disagreements. Go back to your rooms!

  2. Ed kaiser says:

    Notwithstanding the phonetic German and the “yellow” troops, I’d say Buster is a S.E.A.L. TEAM fan.

  3. Linda Lillian Storoz says:

    What could be more fun! Don’t know if you’ve seen the Youtube video about the differences amoung the oldest, middle and youngest child. Your expert opinion of how close the video meets reality would be very interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR135hQoNKQ

  4. Just Joan says:

    You may be a dreamer, Snoozing, but you’re not the only one. Spiderman and Ironman seem to be involved in one of those scenarios where they must break free in order to save mankind. I love all the details in the drawing. Nine is not a number in the pilot drawing… pilots always say “niner” so the hearer doesn’t confuse it with “five.” I did learn a couple things in the Air Force. I hope you get some work done, without excessive interruptions (direct and indirect). 🙂

  5. CrankyPants says:

    Buster has some talent! Maybe Spidey and Ironman being tied up is symbolic of the kids feeling trapped thanks to stupid Covid.

    It must be near impossible with schooling, and working from home, and parenting. Three full time jobs. Gah!
    Kids are back to school up here. I may have just been hearing things but I’m sure heard cheering from all over Alberta when that news came out!
    Hang in there. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Who the hell is “they” anyway?!

    Have a scotch. Here’s hoping for more freedom from this corrupt craziness soon!

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