My daughter was “bored”. That, in and of itself, is not a unique statement. It’s something we’re used to hearing and a go-to statement that she uses whenever there’s a lull in our non-stop good times. She actually asks me, “Daddy, do you want to play with me?”…while we’re playing something. When I point out that we’re in the middle of a game, she’ll say, “I meant after.”
So this bored day was like many before it and many others to follow. After being turned down for everything from Uno to Playdough, I was ready to throw my hands in the air and let her spend another afternoon with Netflix. That’s when I came up with a grand plan that we, as parents, always come back to after a while.
Why don’t we write a book?
As expected, this plan went over great. Excitedly, Olivia agreed and we set out on planning a story that she had total creative control over. That was how “Telekinetic Girl” was invented.
I was proud of how the ideas pieced together. We created a chart of each page and how the story would progress. Once the words were paired with pages and written out, she began the act of drawing the pictures. Before our eyes, the Telekinetic Tale came into existence.
We could have stapled it together at that point and have been done with it. The story, though, was impressive. I wanted this to be a memory she kept forever. Luckily, there was an option that I had never even considered.
Shutterfly was offering a coupon for 8×8 books. The process was simple. You add your own pictures and they send you over a hardcover book featuring them. I had done one for my son years earlier. But I never considered using it to create an actual book. In fact, even as I started to put it together, I was worried I would get an email from Shutterfly saying, “Yeah…uh, you can’t do that, dude.”
They didn’t though. So I did it. After carefully submitting the proper order and pages, I had a hardcover version of our story that was so realistic, it made people on social media think they could buy a copy themselves.
As someone who has written books, I know the feeling of holding your finished product and the pride that comes with it. When Olivia was two, I dedicated my second book to her and my wife. Now, she had her name on the cover. I was so excited to hand it to her…but also aware that it could be a total bust.
Having an eight year old means never fully knowing what big moments will land and which ones will miss. Presents that I thought would make me Dad of the Year were met with a “meh” while an empty cardboard box I left in the living room became the toy of the month. I was prepared for anything.
Her reaction was everything I hoped for. Grasping it tightly, she smiled in one of those ways that you don’t forget. I knew I had made a difference and, hopefully, set her on a path that sees her one day tell someone, “It all started when my dad had a story I made turned into a book…”
This post isn’t sponsored by Shutterfly. I’m not getting any commission from this or trying to promote their product for my own personal gain. Instead, I’m using this to simply say that for less than $30, you can create a memory that your child will remember forever. I did. Telekinetic Girl, and whatever future adventures we print, will always be on our bookshelf.
It might not completely fix the “I’m Bored” dilemma but it will solve it for one afternoon and give you a lifetime memory. Netflix can’t do that.