December 27, 2003

Decadence and Silliness

This ramble on two subjects is brought to you by the words "decadence" and "silliness."

Spent today just relaxing with the kids. First, I slept very late. Any actual plans for the day would have been pretty much shot.

After that, it was Monopoly Jr. with the kids (Toy Story Edition). Monopoly Jr. is a great lazy day kids game. No thinking involved, but it's fun and sometimes worth a few laughs. Of course, my kids can make any game silly. There are almost no decisions to be made in the game, and thus there is little or no strategy. But Mattie kept trying to give me her money, because she felt bad I was losing. (You really can't be allowed to do that in this game, because it can have a huge outcome on who ends up the winner) . Kit had no qualms about taking anyone's money.

After that, it was video games. Ratchet and Clank. For many hours.

And now, relaxing. Playing poker on line (for Ultimate points, rather than money). Later we'll play Monopoly again, maybe Pictionary Jr. Maybe watch Home Alone, or the Powerpuff Girls movie. Who knows?

I've been off the computer for longer periods of time than usual, and that's nice. I never thought that being off the computer would feel like decadence.

Silliness, I've come to realize, is a strength. It gets a bad rap in our no-nonsense world. Our culture is fairly dominated by consumerism, business, capitalism, and when it comes right down to it there's not much room for silliness there. And I never realized, until I had children, that it's genetic. Or, at least, it's in the way my brain works. See, one of the things I enjoy about having a brain (or my brain, as it is the only one I know) is the way random connections are made. For me, it's been a blessing and a curse. It often breaks my concentration and rears its head during meetings and such, or when I'm trying to focus on someone telling me something that is important to them.

The random connections force themselves to the fore, and usually it's some silly juxtaposition, pun, or random goofiness. It can be counterproductive. It is often counterproductive. And it takes a really good filter to prevent "blurting." There is a great pressure to blurt. The thoughts are very distracting.

But there are appropriate moments, and times when silliness is called for.

Yesterday, Mattie was extremely upset from her methotrexate shot. The first needle broke, and so it was more difficult than usual. However, turning the verbal filter off and allowing the stream of goofiness to pour forth, eventually you hit something silly enough to strike her funny and the power of distraction is suddenly working in your favor. It took only a few moments, once she was in bed and scared from the whole ordeal, to get her mind completely off the shot. It helps that you tend to pass on your weird brain functioning to your children.

Moral of the story: put your mental defects to work.

Posted by James at December 27, 2003 9:27 PM
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