Monday, January 26, 2009

The Winter Blahs.....

And, they really do feel like they sound. Go ahead... say it: BLAAAAHHHHS. Or, is it Winter Blechs?

For those of you who live in warmer climates, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about, right?
So, it's January.... so what?


(Sorry, meant to use my "inside voice", but my "outside voice" keeps flying out of me due to such little use.)

Close your eyes (I'm sure those peepers could use a break from all the sunshine anyway) and just imagine:

You wake up in the morning and your feet hit the floor.
YOWZA! The floor is about 50 degrees colder than your warm bed!

You soldier on to the bathroom and the rest of your morning routine. This has to be done while wearing a down-filled parka and sheepskin-lined boots, as the night's subzero temperatures have taken their toll on your usually-reliable heating system. Have you ever tried making coffee while wearing mittens?

Time to get the kiddies out the door and to school! Better leave plenty of time for this. I've got it down to a science, of course (wink, wink).
First, I give a 10 minute warning so that my kids know they should begin searching for their snow pants, gloves, hats, jackets, lunchboxes, and backpacks.
While they're "happily" occupied ("I can't find my other glove!", "My teacher says I need a warmer hat."), I run out to the car and start it up, because, in this weather, all cars need at least 10 minutes to reach an inside temperature of 15 degrees.
I race back inside, where the two oldest kids are ready to go.
I send them out to wait in the car, while I chase down the toddler and wrestle him into his boots, jacket, hat, and mittens.
All the while, I'm shouting directions to the 8-year-old and 6-year-old, "The liner for your right boot is in the back of the hall closet!", "I have NO IDEA where your gloves are! Borrow your brother's other pair!", "If we are late for school just one more day, I will let your teachers take you home with them today!".
After one final "Bad Mommy Moment", the rest of us dash out to the car, where I somehow manage to buckle the toddler into his car seat AND keep both of his boots on his kicking feet.
As I buckle myself into my seat, I hear a whoosh and a thump behind me, accompanied by a little voice saying, "Boot, off. Thock, off". Great, this means I'll bring home an 18-month-old with maybe just 8 or 9 toes.
Me: "Just one morning this month, I'd like to get out of the house on time. With everyone in all the correct outerwear, and carrying all the correct school-gear. JUST ONCE! NOW, let's say today's prayers!"
I'm sure Baby Jesus is smiling.....

I spend the rest of the day trying to find any and all reasons not to leave the house. Let me assure you, that a lot of closets and junk-drawers get cleaned and organized between January and April in our house.

Then it's time to pick up the 4 oldest kids from school. It's almost easy getting just one child ready to go out the door. Almost.
As I arrive at the school's carpool line, I mentally prepare myself for the blessing that is the onslaught of constant noise and "sibling camaraderie" for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
Because, as all you Midwestern moms know, the four walls of your home never seem to close in on you as quickly as they do between 3 PM and 8 PM. For everyone else, try to recall the giant garbage disposal scene in Star Wars, only I don't have an R2D2 to override the system.

If it's 25 degrees (OK, maybe 20 degrees) or warmer, I can send the kids out to play for awhile. But, this winter it seems we have been "fortunate" enough to have every day hover right around 3 degrees.
So, we sit inside. TV only causes more fights because no one can agree on a show. Board games usually end with someone crying. Arts and crafts are a complete joke, literally, because my kids find it amusing to paint one another's bodies and, upon washing it off, leave all the paint in the bathroom sink and tub.

Last week, we had a day off from school and I tricked those little buggers....
We cleaned the entire house from 10 am until 5:30 PM. Three of the kids tried to beg off because they felt sick, but anyone with a temperature of less than 101 degrees was required to participate. I showed them. (Is this the part where the men in the white coats cart me off?)

Seriously, if you are going to be forced to stay inside for 6 months at a stretch, you may as well have a clean environment.

Are you beginning to see why it's call the Winter Blahs? Just a little bit? If you're not yet convinced, please re-read the above post.

And, remember... the above description is just Day 51 out of 120 days.

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