It’s almost over, and I don’t know if I’ll make it. Nine straight days with the kids in the house. It started last Friday. I took Christian to his new preschool program in the morning. I had waffled on signing him up because it meant no babysitting on Fridays, but in the end, I knew it would be good for him, so there we were. He had a blast and pooped out in the car on the way home. As he slept, I got to take a shower, then we picked Rose up. Since Christian napped earlier, he was up during Rose’s after-school nap. So basically all the alone time I got was in the shower.
I did go out later that day – took the kids to Costco – but we didn’t go out for our usual Friday dinner. Big mistake. Saturday, I wrote the blog and hung around the house. Matt took the kids to swim class. That was the day it started snowing. Matt and I had planned for a date night, for the first time in months, but by late afternoon, the roads were getting bad, so we cancelled. No date night for us, and I didn’t leave the house all day. The kids were ok. Lately they’ve started roughhousing on the floor and we had to break that up a few times, and Rose likes to scream while flitting around the house, but that’s normal.
Sunday came, with more snow, so we enjoyed the coziness of being snowed in. The kids were getting restless – plastering themselves to the windows and whining – so we took them outside. Christian didn’t like it, but he did like handling the snow shovel so we let him do that. Rose learned how to throw snowballs – very accurately — as she aimed for the back of my neck. When we went back in, Rose and I made cake pops. On Monday – Martin Luther King Day — the snow melted a bit, and, anticipating a big storm on Tuesday night, Matt and Rose, stir crazy by now, went out to get milk. I kept saying that we should all go out just for the heck of it because we’d be stuck in the house, but we didn’t. Big mistake.
Some of the schools pre-emptively cancelled classes Monday night, but Rose’s school was, thankfully, still open. I emailed the teacher to say we’d be there. I was ready to get the kids out of the house by then, especially knowing we’d have a huge (for here) snowstorm midweek. So we got ready for school Tuesday morning. And then it started snowing. Got an email from Rose’s preschool teacher – school was cancelled.
Rose was disappointed, and so was I, but we called our neighborhood babysitter and placated Rose with a movie. Rose was not liking being in the house, and she was also not liking the attention the babysitter was paying to her brother. From our temporary office lair downstairs, Matt and I heard her stomp off and slam the door to her room several times. She loooves this babysitter too, so we knew being in the house was getting to her. Tuesday wasn’t even “the big snow.” We were expecting eight inches of snow on Wednesday. So I knew school would be cancelled Wednesday and, more than likely, because they do not have snow management in the Seattle area, Thursday. I expected that I’d at least get some preschool on Friday.
So by this time, I’d had the kids all day, every day, since Saturday. I know I sound like a horrible parent, but I am just not used to having them more than three days in a row, unless we’re on vacation, and even then we make arrangements for alone time. I feel bad about it, but I am just not the stay-all-day-with-the-kids type. I need that time away from them to pursue my own work so I can be an effective parent when they’re around.
Having the kids in the house above you is not the same as having them out of the house. Rose kept coming downstairs; I had to come upstairs to make lunch; and I heard the constant stomping of little feet and screeching of little lungs, and booms followed by crying. I’m very thankful we had the babysitter but I am used to being alone in the house a few hours a day. And I am used to leaving the house every day, and I hadn’t done that since Friday.
It snowed all day Wednesday. The babysitter came again and took the kids out in the snow. Our neighbors were out with sleds and the kids went sledding down our road. We do that here. It’s a hill and it won’t get plowed, so that’s where everybody sleds. Matt and I worked downstairs. By this time we could not stand staying in the house, so we all went to play in the snow after naps. All of our neighbors were out – some we only see on snow days. We had fun chatting and sledding, until we heard a couple of transformers blow. I wanted to sled more – I only went down once – but I went in to make dinner, in case we lost power.
It snowed Thursday. Same routine. School closed. Babysitting in the morning. Out in the snow after naps. A hundred posts on Facebook, trying to connect with the outside world. The roads were still white.
Preschool was closed again Friday, because the roads weren’t clear yet, but we had hope, because it was supposed to warm up and start raining. It did, and I have never been so grateful for rain in my life. It cleared the roads and melted most of the snow, and we went out, me for the first time in a week, Friday night.
And here I am today, back in the house, writing the blog. What did all this snow teach me? It taught me a lot about how stir crazy I, and the kids, can get. It taught me that when I think I should get out of the house, I should do it. It also taught me that some things are out of my control, and that I should use every resource to deal with it the best I can. I’ll have to remember all that I’ve learned. We’re expecting another snowstorm next week.