Where’s Waldo?

If you were born in America in the 1980s (like yours truly), then I’d take a guess that you had a Where’s Waldo? book. Am I right?

I loved them. I spent hours combing through the pictures finding all of the checklist items. I eventually had some of the pages memorized. My parents still have them in their house, and I look at them when I’m there. Who doesn’t love some good nostalgia?

So color me thrilled when on one of my Target trips, I stumbled upon Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection. The inside cover of the book jacket told me that this amazing book has “all seven sensational Where’s Waldo? books in one!” I agreed, this book was essential and worth $14.99. There also happened to be a Cartwheel deal that day for this exact book. It was meant to be! Can you tell I was excited?

So what does this have to do with parenting at all? Bear with me… I always get to the point, eventually.

I decided that this book would sit on one of our living room side tables. So who picks it up? My daughter. She’s enthralled. Then one day, she takes out her magnifying glass, which she uses daily, and decides to use it to find Waldo. She’s a genius, clearly.

This is now a regular activity. She sits at the kitchen table while I clean, cook, work (whatever) and finds Waldo. She thinks it’s awesome. And I’m thrilled because (a) she’s sitting quietly and playing independently, usually when she’s in need of a wind-down activity; and (b) she’s doing something I used to do when I was a kid (all the feels…).

I write this quickie post because I know parents are always looking for new activities for their kids to do (I sure am), and sometimes it’s nice for that activity to be a quiet and independent activity. I need at least one break daily, and I gather you do too. So dust off that old Where’s Waldo? and give it a shot.

Also, I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t really want to doodle my kids as Waldo. Duh.

And to answer the question, “Where’s Mommy?”: drinking tea in front of some good crime drama. Par-tay!


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