Without any electronic aids whatsoever, the children managed to amuse themselves with pencils and paper; several stringed instruments that lie around the house just begging to be picked up and played; various utensils from the kitchen which transformed in to weapons of warfare, many wet weather mind games, like dictionary, scrabble and mastermind and best of all, the opportunity to get filthy playing slide soccer in the mud, then be hosed down and thrown into the swimming pool.
Easter morning was the best though. Lying in the early morning dark, with light just breaking through low cloud, I heard the shushing whispering of small people armed with torchlight, following a trail of bunny droppings into the living room where G-Man and I sleep. We lay doggo until it was impossible to ignore the gasps of delight at each new discovery. After three sorties into the room and out onto the verandah, satisfied that they'd uncovered the whole stash, it was back to the 'tent' to divvy up the haul. JB reckons it took about four rounds of counting, weighing, apportioning and reapportioning before they finally agreed that each personal stash was equal. The leftovers, declared by youngest Thomas, should be given to 'the parents'. (I was that chuffed to be included in Thomas's generic collective term for grown ups who care for him).
No child needed to be told to share - they figured it out for themselves, and were all perfectly happy with the result. And best of all, the division of the spoils was transacted to the sound of shimmering golden laughter.
There is much to be learned from children.
Thanks J&JB - a great pleasure.