What to do?

My boys are usually really good at entertaining themselves. They will play with their Lego, race cars, guide Mario through the galaxy, read a book, watch a movie, go on an amazing adventure through the dollhouse, or tell each other stories. Any one or combination of these activities can keep them amused for hours.
In order to help them enjoy their “free play” time even more (and to help burn off some of their energy), we DO something almost every day. Our daily activity can be something planned or something spur of the moment, but it’s SOMETHING. We could do arts and crafts, bake muffins, rearrange the furniture, go for a “hike”, or go somewhere “really cool” (library, bookstore, theatre, museum,etc). We also get out of the house and outside everyday at some point, even if it’s only for 20 minutes.
One of my jobs is not kid-centred. I work at this job on Wednesdays, which is why my Wednesday posts seem to be different than my others. Once getting home for the first time after a long (today frustrating) 8 hours all I want to do is sit down and have a cup of tea. I need these 10 minutes or so to get back into “kid mode”.
Today it is gross outside. Rain/freezing rain/snow showers all day. Due to March break, there was no school today. They got to spend the day with Grammy today along with one of their cousins. Outside time didn’t happen, but they did get to make cookies, so they got an activity in.
For some reason, on the days that I work at this other job, they are not as good at entertaining themselves. Maybe it’s because they know I am tired and not as up to coming up with productive activities they could do (and enforcing completion of these activities). Once coming in after work today, I sat down with my tea. I hadn’t even had a sip yet when I heard “I’m bored!”
On any other day my response to this would be “put the dishes away”, “sweep the kitchen”, “put a load of laundry through”, or something along those lines. They know that, and they know that means I will make them go through with and complete my suggestion, which is probably why I never hear this any other time. Today I just didn’t feel up to enforcing my “boredom cure” solution, so I simply said “than do something”.
He still ended up watching a movie and playing with Lego, so it wasn’t like he had nothing to do…I think he just wanted to see what my reaction was to his statement.
What words do you hate to hear from the kids when you get home from work? What is your cure for kid boredom? Any ideas on how to cure the boredom WITHOUT mom having to have (even a little) energy?

No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!

Jules

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