A Boring Day

Becky Lynn was a little girl with bright eyes and a big smile. But Monday she woke up with a frown. She thought of playing outside, but it was drizzling rain. She nudged her dog Otis, but he was fast asleep. She turned on the television, but all the programs were from last year. She looked over all her toys, but they were quiet as Otis--only they weren't snoring.

"Mom, there's nothing to do."

Becky Lynn's mom frowned back. "Hmm. You're bored."

"My name's not Bored! I'm Becky Lynn, and I have nothing to do!"

"That's what being bored means. It's how you feel when there's nothing to do."

"Oh." Becky Lynn thought for a moment. "I don't like being bored."

"Why not?"

"Because there's nothing to do!"

Becky Lynn's mom thought hard. "Maybe, just maybe, you don't like being bored because you're doing it wrong."


"Well, if you're going to try something new, you should at least try doing it right before giving up. Now, if you want to get good and bored, you have to do nothing at all. Hmm. Where's the best place to do nothing?"

"Right here?" asked Becky Lynn.

"No--you've got too much to talk about out here. And talking means you're thinking. That's at least two things. For a person to get good and bored, the best place in the world is ... bed. Yes, I'm sure of it! If you want to get really really bored, you should go straight to bed!"

"But it's still morning!"

"I know," said her mom, scooting Becky Lynn down the hallway, "but where else can a little girl get so bored that she might fall asleep?"

Once Becky Lynn had been tucked into bed, her mom opened the window a crack. "Well, look at that! The skies are clearing! Now as for you, young lady, if you just lie down and stare at the ceiling, I'm certain you'll get good and bored. And if any fun ideas try to get inside your head, make your most serious face, then try and look right through the ceiling."

Her mom left the room, and Becky Lynn lay back in bed. She stiffened her arms and legs, then stared ferociously at the ceiling. After a few moments, the little girl sat up and wiped her forehead. "Whew! I didn't know being bored was so hard. Hey!" She turned toward the window. "What's that?"

Becky Lynn could hear her dog Otis through the open window. He was playing outside, sniffing and chasing and breathing in the fresh morning air. "Oh, I wish I didn't have to stay inside practicing how to be bored! But maybe there is a way. Maybe, just maybe, I can send my arms out to play with Otis, while the rest of me stays in bed getting bored!"

She lay back down, stiffened her body again, and stared at the ceiling. Then Becky Lynn's arms got out of bed and went outside to play with Otis. They hugged him and rubbed his tummy, played fetch and fuzzed his cold, wet muzzle. The arms played so hard with Otis that Becky Lynn swore she could hear his panting and smell his bad breath all the way back in the bedroom. They had loads of fun, but after awhile the arms became tired, so they returned to bed to relax with the rest of their body.

"I guess being bored isn't so bad after all!" Becky Lynn almost smiled, but she caught herself and made a grim face at the ceiling. "I'm not supposed to think of anything!"

Soon Becky Lynn could hear her stomach rumbling, and the wonderful odor of her mom's macaroni and cheese drifted into the bedroom. "Oh no! I blocked all the ideas out of my head, so they snuck in my tummy instead! If only I weren't so busy being bored. But maybe, just maybe, I could send part of me out to eat lunch, so the rest of my body can stick to business right here!"

She stiffened up, stared at the ceiling, and then Becky Lynn's nose and mouth floated out to the kitchen for lunch. "Mmm!" said the mouth as the sniffing nose blazed a trail down the hallway. While her mouth hungrily stuffed itself in the kitchen, Becky Lynn could feel a sense of warm satisfaction in her stomach all the way back in the bedroom. "Mmm! More macaroni and cheese, please!" After they had eaten their fill, her nose and mouth joined the rest of their body back in bed.

Becky Lynn's eyes were twinkling happily at the ceiling. "Now that's what I call being really really bored!" But once again she caught herself and made a frown. "Being bored is serious business. I never knew how hard it was to think about nothing--not even macaroni and cheese!"

She squinted her eyes once more to stare at the ceiling. Soon Becky Lynn could hear the sound of the family television in the living room. "Oh no! It's my favorite!" And sure enough, the theme song to Rosco the Wonder Dog was in full swing. "If only there were some way I could be bored and watch Rosco! Hmm. Maybe, just maybe ..."

Becky Lynn stiffened herself once more, then her eyes and ears left their body in bed so they could watch the adventures of Rosco on television. It was a terribly exciting episode, so exciting that the eyes hardly blinked once during the entire program. And when Rosco saved little Toby, Becky Lynn's ears in the living room could hear a sigh of relief all the way back in the bedroom.

When Rosco was over, Becky Lynn's eyes and ears returned to their head, and she sat up, heart pounding. "I had no idea it was so exciting being bored! Woops! Forgot!" She threw herself back onto the bed and squinted intensely at the ceiling. "I can't give up on being bored now! I'm almost there!"

No sooner had Becky Lynn regained her concentration than she could hear the twins--her neighbors Jack and Jenny--playing tag outside. "I don't have to run and play like them! I can have fun here all by myself! They have no idea how great it is to be bored! Hrumph!" Becky Lynn made her most serious frown yet. "But as good as being bored is, I wish I could be bored and play outside at the same time. Maybe, just maybe ..."

Her legs kicked off the covers, leaped out of bed, ran as fast as they could, and escaped out the back door. They played tag, hide and seek, and hopscotch. The legs got so much exercise that Becky Lynn found herself breathing hard back in bed, just as if her body had still been in one piece. After awhile, exhausted with play, the legs staggered back and plopped in bed with the rest of their body.

Becky Lynn's mom wandered into her daughter's room, looked suspiciously at the little girl, and pulled back the covers. "Becky Lynn!" Her mom put both hands on her hips. "Where have you been, young lady?"

Becky Lynn looked at herself. She had macaroni and cheese all over her face and hands, her arms and legs were covered in dog hair, and her feet were muddy.

"Well? Didn't you think to clean up before coming back to bed?"

"But mom, I never did get out of bed! I stayed here all day! Honest! Don't you remember? You tucked me in this morning so I could get good and bored!"

Becky Lynn's face lighted up--she was once again a little girl with bright eyes and a big smile. "Can I have another boring day tomorrow? Please?"