4 Reasons winter makes everything worse for parents

If you live in the I-95 corridor of the USA, you’d have to be living with your head under a rock stuck in the oven to NOT know that it snowed this weekend. Like, a whole lot. With the winds and the snow and all of the blizzards and the gah!

People are losing their ever loving minds over Jonas, and it is (thankfully..I guess) not of the brothers variety. 

The snow started on Friday, which means that I was making my grocery list on Tuesday, and at the store by Wednesday to make sure that we got a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and eggs before society as we know it collapsed in on itself. Because a fridge full of perishable groceries is what will see you through if you are ultimately stranded for many days.

Oh, and I also purchased cookie dough. Because I don’t do snowed in without having junk food. All of the junk food. 

Every snow storm causes an inner crisis for me. For example…I don’t usually crave Taco Bell…but what if I suddenly get a craving for a cheesy gordita crunch and a mountain dew?? And then I’m trapped at home and I can’t do anything about it??? 

Usually right before a snow storm, I eat like I’m a prisoner ordering their last meal before execution. I want mozzarella sticks, donuts, sushi and a Denny’s Grand Slam before I’m snowed in for the rest of forever.

I don’t like my options being limited. I take comfort in knowing that stuff is still out there. Like Sherwin Williams and all of its paint chip glory. Or Radio Shack doing…whatever it is that Radio Shack still does. 

If ever nature was to play a cruel joke on parents everywhere, winter would be up near the top as one of its best ever. Right there with colic, thrush and Dora the Explorer. 

You think things couldn’t get worse than late night feedings, engorged breasts or a singing backpack, and suddenly you find that you were oh so very wrong, and you’re sorry you ever asked. 

It’s the same way with nature. You think rainy days are bad??

Winter is the drunk friend that doesn’t know when to give it up and go home.

Here, look, I’ll show you.

1.) Dressing children – now with snow pants. 

Dressing small children is usually an easy and fun experience for the whole family. Don’t you wish you could spend more time doing it? Well, now you can. Introducing the winter wardrobe. Now, with many, many layers!  If the thought of trying to dress a twenty pound bag of live snakes in five layers of clothing appeals to you, you’re surely going to love trying put snow pants on a wriggling  toddler.

I almost had a meltdown the other day over a pair of Minnie Mouse gloves. Because this is what my life is like from late December through March, and because I don’t know an easier way to explain to a person to put on a pair of gloves besides, “just put your fingers into the holes, sweetie…???!!?@?#%?” 

 

2.) Loading up small children – now with more wind chill.

One of the worst parts of winter, for me, is the wind chill. I will rearrange plans so that I do not have to go out when the wind sounds any louder outside than Donald Trump. 

‘Cause when we are in the middle of the supermarket parking lot, the idea of getting frostbite while I load my children who are asking me if they can have a stick of gum, or go to Chick Fil A ,or where the M&M’s are into the car sounds thrilling.

You don’t want to live every day like you are stuck in a never-ending game of the Oregon Trail? Strange…

3.) Winter days stuck inside – now with more Pinterest projects!!

Snow soup. Snow cream. Cutting out snowflakes by hand. Snow puppets. Building forts. 

…I know that the internet means well, ’cause it always means well, doesn’t it?  </snark>

I don’t care how helpful you insist that your list of 3,459 activities to do with your kids on a snow day is -what is it about winter that makes Pinterest think I am supposed to turn into Martha Stewart??? I am not Buddy the elf, I do not desire to cut out snowflakes from construction paper. I do not want to be outside, trying to find a patch of snow that my dogs haven’t used, so that I can make snow soup. 

The only extra thing I want competing for attention in my life during winter is a hot tub. 

4.) Taking them outside – now with more frostbite.

If I ever complain about my children wanting me to go outside in the heat of the summer, you all have my permission to punch me in the neck. Just wham! right in the neck. Because around here, sure, it gets hot and humid. But I don’t live in the sweltering heat of southern Florida or Texas in the summertime. So, how bad could it be?

I now realize that I have zero excuses to be outside in the spring, bumblebees be darned.

Kids don’t really care if it’s cold or wet or gray or even raining. They just want to go outside because they are apparently miniature Bear Grylls’s, testing their survival.

And since you can’t just stick a GoPro on them and hope for the best, you need to be with them. Which is sometimes painful for those who have are Winter Intolerant. Yes, that’s a thing. I made it up. I have an aversion to air that hurts my face and freezes my pipes.

Before your littles head outside to play in the snow, make sure they are properly dressed with the following:

Two pairs of socks. Pants for underneath of the snow pants. T shirt. Long sleeve shirt. Sweater. More pants. Snow bib. Boots. Gloves. Then another set of water proof gloves. Hat. Probably more pants. Gloves. Then a tarp duct taped around them for good measure. Last pair of pants. 

Don’t worry. They will want to go back inside within 23 minutes

 

Seriously, though…I am not always the biggest fan of winter. I used to hook my dog up to a sled to make her pull me around the yard when I was growing up. Like, what happened to me? Where do my inner snowflake go?

Truth be told, I was loathing the idea of going outside with my children today. But after we all layered and bundled up and drug out the sled, we had a blast. 

So, the moral of the story is…

winter kids

Just get over it and get out there and have fun and make memories and do all of the things your inner cynic tells you not to do. 

It’ll be worth it.

Oh, and also, your kids think it’s super funny when you hit them with snowballs, even though we all kind of know that it lets out the tiniest bit of tension when you do. Your spouse on the other hand does know…just saying.

I’m sick.

So moms really do get sick days.

We just need to practically be at death’s door in order for it to happen.

Maybe I’m exaggerating ever-so-slightly.

Being sick on a weekend also helps. That way, your amazing husband can pick up the slack and fend off the children while you lie in bed and stare listlessly at the ceiling.

My two youngest kiddos have RSV and ear infections. Go big or go home, right?

Which means that for the past week, I have been in survival mode. Everyone was up at some point or another during the night, EVERY night, and my days were filled with nebulizer treatments and, understandably though regrettably, whiney children.

I can think of better things to do with myself rather than hold a mask up to my infant’s face in a futile attempt to get her to inhale her medicine.

What doesn’t kill us, right?

Sleep deprivation left me in prime position to be picked off by whatever nasty bug is going around. That and the fact that I am getting old.

Usually, I fare relatively well. But since I’ve been existing off of carbs and ginger ale and whatever else I could get my hands on in a hurry, and running on a sleep deficit, I don’t think my body was ready to fight off the germs.

The result? Bronchitis and an ear infection.

So, it’s my husband who is the last one standing at the moment. He’s been incredible, and very understanding of the fact that I sound like a 600 pound gorilla when I cough and that I leave a trail of tissues in my wake where ever I go.

Ladies – I may choose to write more on this subject later, but let me just say that a man who is willing to pick up your used tissues and take them to the trash, and to shine a flashlight down your throat to check for strep is a man worth keeping and a man worth waiting for. He is worth more than all the jewels of the Nile. Got it?

I laid in bed on Sunday, wishing that I could instead be consoling myself by binge watching The Good Wife or Downton Abbey. Instead, I got to prop myself up with pillows and stare at my phone until it felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my skull.

I am terrible at making myself take a nap, even when I’m sick. I’m just not good at it.

While I was laying there, I couldn’t help but think about all of the things that I take for granted. The ability to breathe out of both nostrils and to smell the crown of my baby’s noggin, for instance. As I navigated the various stages of grief over the clogged feeling in both ears, I realized that I should be taking a larger bite out of life.

(It’s helpful to note that I do this almost every time I get sick. I wonder what this world has come to.)

I vow to throw my phone into the bay and to look up and do all of the things. I vow that when I get better, I will go hang-gliding or mountain climbing. I will get up early every day, and become a morning person. I will learn how to sew and knit and crochet. I will clean the house from top to bottom. I will go scuba diving and take cooking classes.

I will be a success at everything!!

Annnd then I get well again. And I forget. Until the next time that I am bed ridden.

And that’s kind of sad.

I’ll lay there, lost in my thoughts and to do list, nursing a cold cup of coffee and listening to rain on my tin roof.

 

Sigh.

It Snowed…

...quite a bit less than I think that people were expecting.

I was crossing my fingers and toes for the husband, hoping that he’d get the day off. His work did give their employees a delayed opening, so he at least didn’t have to shovel the snow in the cover of total darkness in order to make it to work on time. I was able to send him off on a good note. At least, I hope it was a good note.

Do you know what makes me so nervous about the snow? 

Something about an impending snow storm gets me all fidgety. I worry about what I may need from the grocery store. Yes, I am one of those people- I make a mad dash for toilet paper, milk and bread. I survey the cupboards, taking stock of what we have. It’s a big deal.

But it’s more than that. 

I got back home after a trip to town yesterday, and I was worried yet again about what we might need. Because there should be no greater motivation than eight inches of snow to make sure you’re prepared for the end of days, right? While sitting in my car, it finally clicked what bothered me. 

I think I’m actually more worried about having my access to everything being cut off than I am about having enough eggs to last me through the storm. Sure, we need the staples to ride it all out for a few days, but it already feels like my life is divided by trips to the grocery store.

I know that three or four days have passed when I’m standing in yet another check out line, fighting with my inner voice to not purchase a Milky Way. It comes as no great shock to me that I would need to get the essentials on a Monday. Because at any point during the week, I probably need something. 

But…what would happen in a world where Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts were not readily available at any given time? What would happen if I couldn’t just decide to randomly go see a movie or check out a book from the library?? What if I couldn’t go and get the oil changed in the car or get a tattoo cus I feel like it???

That is what actually scares me.

I never, EVER crave Taco Bell. But if you’re telling me that tomorrow, for three days straight, I can’t on a whim drive to Taco Bell and order a greasy Chalupa and cinnamon twists, then we may have a problem. You’re telling me that for the rest of the week, I won’t be able to get powdered donuts from Walgreens? 

It sounds like madness to me. 

I’m sincerely disappointed in myself over my #firstworldproblems

This is the sadness of the life that I lead. This is why I was up until after midnight, stuffing powdered donuts bought at Walgreens into my mouth, watching the saga of “The Good Wife.” 

On a side note, my children are sick. The baby has RSV and an ear infection. Her older sister doesn’t sound much better. I’m giving the baby nebulizer treatments, which is such fun. *She’s very relaxed and cooperative about me putting a mask that covers 90% of her face on her every few hours.

*That’s a lie.

My oldest seems to be doing alright. He had a touch of a stomach bug at the end of last week and his since not been able to fully get rid of the occasional nausea. But I think he’s excited about the snow. AND he lost his fourth tooth last night. I don’t quite know how it happened. How we are already to the kids-losing-teeth stage of life? We are.

The sun is out. The snow will melt. The kids will play in it. We will make cookies. And hopefully, this week will pass and we will all be better. 

 

 

Now I want Taco Bell.