The "I Don't Wanna" Mantra

Some days I feel like the mantra in my house is, "I don't waannaa!" Whenever an activity has been suggested this summer, inevitably someone has used this mantra in an attempt to get out of the suggested activity.

And it doesn't matter what it is.  Whether it is a favorite activity that everyone enjoys, like swimming, or whether it is something brand-new that I've decided everyone should try, there is always one naysayer in the group. This summer, it has mostly been the older boys, who want to stay home and play video games or watch t.v.

Here is how every conversation before each outing this summer has gone:

Me: "Okay boys, let's get ready to go to the pool/swimming lessons/park/zoo/Children's Museum/camp!"

Boys: "I don't wanna!"

Me: "Well, what do you want to do?"

Boys: "I dunno.  Play video games."

Me: "But it's a gorgeous day!  We're not going to sit inside all day!"

Boys: "No it's not.  It's too hot/windy/cloudy/buggy outside."

Me: "Boys, there is a whole world out there for us to explore!  Let's go do something!"

Boys: "Naah."

Me: "We are NOT going to sit in this house!  I am getting in the car!"


That's right, I have had to force them in the car under the threat of abandonment.  Honestly, this tactic has brought out fierce brotherly ties, as well.  When I get tired of waiting for someone, I start to back out the car.  The other boys will get very upset and insist that we really can't leave without the straggler.

Yes, I have to force them to be loyal to one another as well. Mom. Of. The. Year. Right here.

You know what else I have found though?  Not once this summer at any place we have been, have the boys complained once we get there. 

I think I have this whole "I don't wanna" mantra figured out.  I think it is:
a.) Force of habit.
b.) Their way of telling me they are perfectly comfortable right where they are, thankyouverymuchmom.
c.) Their natural response to my inability to plan ahead.

You see, my boys are a lot like me. They are pretty much homebodies who love t.v. and feel anxiety when faced with potentially new and unknown situations.  On weekends, I know I'd much rather stay home and watch a movie with my family than hit the new, trendy, crowded restaurant.

But once I get there?  I love people watching, seeing what everyone is wearing, and trying a new dish or wine.  I end up enjoying myself and being glad I went.

And sometimes I just need someone to push me out the door, too.

Today we went to a museum that we only go to once a year in the summer.  It is in a former train depot and has antique locomotive engines and miniature trains, old-fashioned cars, and history displays.  Every summer it has a travelling exhibit that is usually pretty fun for kids.

When I suggested told the boys we were going, of course I was greeted with a chorus of, "I don't wannas!"  Once we were there, however, everyone found something they could enjoy.
Knox enjoyed learning which types of
train wheels stayed on the tracks.

Lil' C and Baby E were learning how
the wheels on a train work.

And Slim enjoyed "bending his mind" doing the puzzles in the traveling display.  In the end, I'm always glad I force encourage my boys to go places.  Sometimes a little encouragement is all it takes to get everyone out of their "I don't wanna" funk, including me.

Knox, me, Slim, and Baby E having fun pretending
in the replica of a streetcar.

How has your summer been going?  Have you had to force your kids out, or are they anxious to go places?
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