children-cant-go-outside

Hooray for spring! After months of bone-chilling weather that required many puffy layers and a hearty dose of fortitude to tolerate, it’s finally nice outside. The golden sun is shining! The blushing buds are popping! The perky birds are chirping! The filthy chunks of sloppy snow have all melted away! It’s time to pry our atrophied kids off the couch and release them into some delicious fresh air!

The problem? They just don’t wanna.

Don’t get me wrong: I love me some hibernation, too, and have deeply enjoyed the sweater-wrapped hermit life of winter. But every so often it’s important to get a little sunshine on your face and inhale oxygen that doesn’t smell like old nachos and feet. Oh—and to exercise. Yes, that, too. Reminding your body that it can do more than swipe a screen or click a remote is a healthy thing to do. So I stand my ground and toss my crabby little darlings out the door, despite the many (many, many) reasons they throw in my face as to why they can’t go out and play right now, such as:

1. He just leveled up! He can’t turn off the game now.

2. Nobody else is outside so why does she have to go outside?

3. His new sneakers will get muddy and that’s not cool, Mom. DUH.

4. Can’t find the sunblock (which, coincidentally, she isn’t even looking for and has never in her life shown interest in before this very moment).

5. But he wanted to do something with me inside, something special and fun for just us.

6. [Mumble grumble something only a fellow grumpy tween could possibly translate.]

7. Looks windy out there. So. Very. Dangerous.

8. Outside is boring.

9. She can’t find her bike.

10. He can’t find any clean pants.

11. Her seasonal allergies are kicking in, so she’d feel much healthier staying indoors. [fake coughs] [fake reaches for tissues]

12. He has a school project he should work on, instead, and don’t I always say how important school is?

13. It’s getting late.

14. She’s tired.

15. IT’S WAY TOO BRIGHT OUT THERE.

16. Wouldn’t it be much more fun to rent another movie, instead?

17. Suddenly terribly interested in finishing this book, which was due back at the library like a week ago.

18. It’s not like he’s playing video games! (The fact that he is watching YouTube videos of people playing video games, which is preeeeeetty much the same thing as playing them, does not seem relevant at this juncture.)

19. FINE. They’ll go outside “in a minute.” (Um, actually they plan to keep repeating this mantra every seven minutes for two to three days or until I physically remove them from my dwelling.)

Photo: Getty