Cramped Quarters

Remember that line from How the Grinch Stole Christmas?

“What happened next?  Well in Whoville they say, the Grinche’s small heart grew three sizes that day.”

I felt like that heart today.  No, I don’t mean I suddenly understood the meaning of Christmas.  I mean that it felt like my family was swelling and swelling until we burst the seams of the house like the heart did.

Grinch Heart

After Snowmageddon yesterday, it came as no surprise that the kids had a snow day today.  Just last night I bragged on Facebook to my family and friends how awesome it was to be a stay at home mom in this situation because we had no reason to be out there on the streets until well after they’d been plowed and treated.  What a wonderful feeling it was this morning to hear the harsh winds blowing outside my window and know that my family would be safe and warm inside the house all day long.

That feeling lasted until the moment that the kids got out of bed.  I’m not sure if it was the fact that they were feeling cooped up inside, or if it had anything to do with the fact that I’m getting over a cold this week and have been feeling a little bit grumpy, but it felt like I could not get away from the kids at all today.  Nor could they get away from each other.  Add in that Matt is on vacation this week, and it definately made for some cramped quarters today.

All we wanted was for the kids to find something to keep them busy, and (relatively) quiet for a few hours, but for whatever reason that seemed downright impossible.  Brendan was in a typically foul mood.  I wasn’t too overly shocked by this, he was supposed to be in school after all and goodness knows he doesn’t adjust to sudden changes very well.  But (and again I’m going to blame my perception of this on my overly crabby state) it seemed as though every little thing was setting him off this morning.  The kids have a rotation for selecting the cartoon we watch during breakfast, and Cameron is the one who get’s to choose on Thursday’s.  Cameron decided on Dragon Tales because, as he said, “it’s one of Brendan’s favorites.”  And it is.  In fact, it’s one of the few cartoons that all three kids agree is fun to watch.  Rather than saying thank you, or anything else nice to Cameron about choosing a cartoon that he liked, Brendan instantly went into a tizzy because Cameron was singing along with the theme song.  Please understand that Brendan sings to himself about 85% of the day (when no other music is playing) and we try hard not to stop him from doing so.  (I will admit I am not perfect.  There are days when I’ve been listening to the same line in the same song over and over and over and over for hours on end and I can’t stand it any longer)  So to have him sit there and throw a fit because Cameron was doing what he himself does so often was a bit of a stretch.

Soon after, they were all in the living room floor playing with our legos.  Again, in an effort to be nice to his big brother (yeah, not really sure what Cameron was plotting with all this nice behavior…but I was growing very suspicious) Cameron dug through the bucket for one of the hard to find lego people (don’t ask me why they’re hard to find, we have about 10 million of them, but whenever the kids are looking for them we can never find one) and gave it to Brendan so he’d have a “guy” to play with.  Mr. Cranky Pants didn’t say thank you, or even acknowledge that his brother had put forth the effort of looking for a lego person.  All he said was, “Get out of my way.”

And so that was how our day progressed.  And believe me, Brendan was not the only culprit in driving us absolutely bonkers.  Cameron was wound tighter than a spring today, and was bouncing through the house like a crazy man.  Meanwhile Kaylee was having her own sort of grumpy day and spent most of the day in tears over one thing or another.  These two things in combination are never fun.  At one point in his boisterous activities Cameron managed to kick Kaylee in the face, which of course made her cry for what seemed like hours on end.  Another time he fell off the arm of the recliner (not really sure how that one happened), knocked into Kaylee, who then fell over and knocked over a trashcan that I had left in the living room while attmepting to pick up.  This resulted in yet more tears and screaming from the offended (and not really hurt) baby.

It occurred to us about halfway through our day that there is a good chance school will be called off again tomorrow, and if that happens then the kids are officially on winter break until the start of 2013.  It made us realize that if they were this bored and under foot today, that the next two and a half weeks could get very unplesant very quickly.  After lunch I sat down with the boys and had a chat about how we will be going through the winter break.  I determined that with the amount of time our children are awake, minus time spent at the table for the three mealtimes, means that we need to find things for the kids to do for about 10 hours each day.  So I worked with the boys and compiled a list of things that they can work on each day, and told them that if they did each one for 1-2 hours every day then they would always have something to do, and would never need to come and complain that they are bored.  I’m the type of person that likes to plan things out to the Nth degree and make list upon list to make sure those plans happen.  If this plan works well over winter break, we may adopt a similar plan for over the summer.  Because by the time school started this fall the kids and I were both ready to be done with summer vacation.  We really fell into a rut in the last couple of weeks.

And so our snow day is coming to a close.  Matt is on the internet checking the school closings about every 10 minutes to see if we will be forced to go through this all again tomorrow or if we’ll have a reprieve for at least a few hours during the day.  As for the kids, they’re anxiously awaiting news of the school closing as well.  I think they’re wanting to get out of the house for a few hours just as much as we’re wanting the peace and quiet.  I wonder, is there such a thing as a “No Snow” dance?

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