I Know Cabin Fever

How long until we were buried up to our necks in My Little Ponies and pieces of discarded popcorn and semi-functional markers without lids? Not long, I assert, not long at all.

Our family just finished a six-ish day weekend. D2’s school was closed on Thursday and Friday for teacher development, then regular weekend’s “stay-at-home” days, then President’s Day holiday, then snow day. And this morning was a school delayed start. So you’d think I would have had plenty of time to write a blog post during all of those crazy days, right? You’re right. But I didn’t. Here’s why:

1. I pretty much cleaned the whole time. When there is a snow day, I have a tradition of deep cleaning (tradition=two, or maybe three, times before this). Something about being trapped in my small home surrounded by piles of things makes me want to get rid of it all. This weekend I tackled my bedroom closet. And it is so much neater and I got rid of lots of things I don’t need anymore. The untrained observer might wonder how seven pairs of sneakers survived the purge, but that observer should stop being so judge-y and admire my t-shirts progress and the several pairs of donate-able heels I identified. (I find heels so much easier to give away than sneakers, don’t you? I like to imagine they are going to someone who would actually wear them–love them even. I think there are people who love heels, right? Win for me, win for the new owner, win for the shoes, who can finally feel good about themselves. Masochists.)

2. I pretty much cleaned THE WHOLE TIME. When I wasn’t deep cleaning, I was straightening. We have been working hard as a family to keep our house neater. I have found the best way to accomplish this goal is to minimize the time we spend at home. But this long, snowy weekend was all of us–and sometimes neighbors–always at home. So I had to put my best self toward the effort. I alternated between feeling:

a. Like Mr. Incredible (not the husband nickname, but the Pixar super hero):

b. and, A morbid curiosity about what would happen if I stopped straightening all together: How long until we were buried up to our necks in My Little Ponies and pieces of discarded popcorn and semi-functional markers without lids? Not long, I assert, not long at all.

3. MI hogged the good computer. It *is* his computer, admittedly, but I started using it too a while ago and now find that I can’t possibly work on a computer with only one monitor. Writing a blog is an evil genius job, and I don’t feel like an evil genius unless there are two screens. He was using the two-screen computer all weekend. “Taxes and summer camp registration and critical file backup,” he claimed. But I know he was just staying in the room farthest from the toy and art disaster areas, blocking out the “Frozen” soundtrack repeat loop, and hoping against all hope that small children feed themselves over the weekend. Well played, MI, well played.

4. D2 is 3 years old. In my anecdotal field study, based on a very small sample, this is the age at which children go completely crazy. (How did terrible two’s get the bad rap? Two is adorable. Three, dear readers: fear three.) She was so cute, playing around all weekend. Until something UNBELIEVABLY TERRIBLE happened. Like the clip-clop pony princess could not fight gravity and go up the ramp of its own accord. Or when she tried to color over glitter glue with markers, the markers got glitter glue on them. Or hand washing went awry and a drop of water landed on her dress, requiring an entire outfit change. Crusts on bread. Snow on shoes. Sauce on pizza. Syrup on fork. Milk instead of … not milk. Yesterday’s dress still in the laundry. The list of awful things that happened this weekend was long, and we all paid the emotional price.

So now, on a youwouldthink busier day in which I was back to work and had an appointment and am leaving soon for yoga I sat down to write. Because I have energy, and perspective, and no time yet to make popcorn. Booyah cabin fever, take that.

Sleeping in on a winter day: a fond tribute

I am awake. I am tired, and work and school are opening late on account of the 1.5 inches of snow, and I have fresh, supremely warm flannel sheets on my bed. But I am not in bed. D2 convinced me that I wanted to watch Octonauts–and she is very persuasive.

I tried to resist. When she initially came in, I followed past precedent of identifying an arbitrary future time when I thought I could be willing to wake up and told her to come back. After two long, probably mostly unbearable minutes, she returned to see if it was time yet. It was not, but I had already played–and lost–my ‘come back later’ card. As I write this I realize that card never wins.

I told her I couldn’t get up yet–it wasn’t THE TIME!–so she could either go play by herself or cuddle with me.  Silently. She began to cry that she couldn’t play by herself. (Who did I think she was!?) so I told her to climb in the bed. She used my neck to hoist herself up, and snuggled right in. She was holding a dress on a plastic hanger, leggings, socks, and a blanket, so–herself overloaded–she handed me some things to hold during the cuddle. I got the hanger dress and the socks. (You have to HOLD them, mom, or they will get lost!!) So I cuddled up, underneath the hanger, holding someone else’s socks, smashed between two people who were pretending to sleep. Ahh, lazy mornings.

D2 is a snugly child. It is one of her greatest toddler attributes. And, sometimes, one of her most powerful weapons. Once situated beneath her future OOTD, nestled asclosetomeaspossible, she began to stroke my face. And whisper that she loves me. And it is morning time. That’s the time to get up, mom! The sky is awake. And breakfast sure sounds nice. Do I want a donut? Then she tried to braid my hair; tricky, as it lay underneath the rest of my head against the pillow, but she was not deterred. Next, she (rather aggressively) kissed my eye and forehead. Over and over while I pretended that I did not notice, since I was asleep. Going for the win, she added loud smacking sounds and started to sing. It was then I realized, it WAS time to get up–not THE TIME–but time. I had been bested, and I needed to wash my eye.

It is nice, I admit, to have all this extra time in the morning. I (could have) done dishes and laundry and made hot breakfast. Sometimes, when I arrive at work after having already been awake for hours, I feel like a superhero to have gotten so many things done already. To have more ‘day’ than other people. A tired superhero who needs some tea and whose coworkers think she is crazy, but a superhero all the same.

I hope your morning was as exciting as D2s’. Or as productive as Captain Barnacles’. octonauts
He just saved twelve huge whales from. . . something.

Or that you slept in–are sleeping still!–alone in your bed surrounded by silence and warmth. Ahhhh…. I remember it well.