Can’t Catch a Break

Poor Brendan.  The kid loves to go to school, and so far this week hasn’t been able to.  Monday he came down with the barfing flu, Tuesday we kept him home for additional recouperation, and today…well today was a snow day.

Looking back Brendan probably didn’t need to stay home yesterday, but since he’d thrown up at dinner time we felt it best to keep him home the additional day and allow him to fully recouperate from his illness, and lessen the chance that he’d expose more of his classmates to the same illness.  I’m very glad to be able to do that for him this year.  In years past when Matt and I both worked, staying home an extra day wasn’t always an option.  Our jobs were flexible to some degree, but with three kids the amount of time we ended up missing for sick kids did add up pretty quickly, so we minimized the amount of time home on the individual incidents as much as we possibly could.

By yesterday afternoon Brendan was beginning to get very restless.  A sure sign that he was on the mend.  We allowed him to get up and do some things, but still tried to keep him somewhat quiet, since he probably wasn’t up to 100% yet.  At dinner time Matt and I were checking out the forecast for the following day as the weatherman had been predicting snow overnight for the past few days.  The forecast kept changing both the time of the storm and the quantity of snow that was going to fall.  By the time the kids went to bed they were predicting 1-3 inches of snow and high winds.  Matt predicted that school would be called off the next day.

I figured the best thing for me to do would be to prepare Brendan for the worst, and hope that the storm wouldn’t be as bad as they predicted or just miss us all together.  Unfortunately that was not the case, and while I believe preparing Brendan helped some, it didn’t prevent the meltdown entirely.  Overnight we received a little over 4 inches of snow, and by the time my alarm went off around 6:45 the wind was practically howling outside of my window.  I rolled over to check my email and saw that I had one from the school district notifying us that school had been cancelled due to weather.

Since Cameron’s school does whatever Brendan’s school does, I knew that meant both boys would be home with me for the day.  Seeing as I had no where else to go, I rolled over and went back to sleep.  The kids all slept until almost 8:00.  At that point they started wandering toward my room confused and hungry.  Brendan was the last one to arrive and asked why I hadn’t gotten them up.  I told him that school was cancelled due to the snow, and he instantly welled up and started to get very upset.  I tried to reassure him that it was only one day, and that we’d warned him this may happen, but that just seemed to make it worse.  He finally burst out that he was tired of being cooped up in this house and just wanted to go somewhere and get some “fresh air into his bones.”

Well I hate to drive under normal circumstances, and if the weather was bad enough to call off school then there wasn’t any chance I was going to drive anyplace today.  But I figured I could at least get the kids outside playing in the snow for a bit.  I crossed my fingers and suggested that to Brendan.  He perked up instantly, his meltdown forgotten.  I warned him that we would have to wait until the wind died down a bit, but that part didn’t seem to phase him.  He now had something to look forward to.

The rest of the morning progressed with little incident.  Cameron and Kaylee played together nicely for a change.  Brendan and I spent much of the morning reading Fablehaven together.  (I thought that might get his mind off being cooped up).  Just before 11, the wind died down and I rushed to get the kids into their snow things (just in case it was a short lived reprieve) and out into the yard.  I worked on cleaning off the driveway for the second time that day (Matt had shoveled on his way to work that morning), while the kids played with their shovels and snow bricks.

Brendan was even happier once he got outside and realized that they’d be able to use their snow bricks.  They got them for Christmas, and the only other snow storm we had dropped the wrong kind of snow and they weren’t able to use them.  To make these work you need the nice heavy, wet snow.  The kind that can be packed to make snow balls and snow men.  He eagerly began packing snow into his brick and building himself an igloo.  Unfortunately his inexperience with the brick maker meant that he didn’t get very far.  I’d shown him how to make one, and left him to his own devices.  Well, he’d built a couple more bricks then decided to start stacking them.  Everytime he’d go to stack it he’d drop the new brick from a few inches up…which would demolish the brick below it.

It didn’t take long for the kids to get cold and want to go inside.  Thankfully I was just about done with the driveway when this happend and told them it would only be a couple more minutes.  Brendan, being the wonderful helper that he can be, put away his snow brick and helped me scoop the sidewalks so I would be done sooner.

Today could have been a really trying day.  Brendan usually doesn’t adjust well to sudden changes in his routine, and snow days have a tendency to push him over the edge.  I truly believe his illness this week was a blessing in disguise because he was too sick to be upset on Monday and since then he’s adjusted to his roll at home and didn’t seem to mind too much.  His biggest concern has been his makeup work.  The more days he missed the more upset he got about how he was going to complete all his work.  I’ve reassured him multiple times that his teacher will allow us extra time to get the work completed and that he won’t have to do his entire spelling packet by Friday.  He doesn’t seem to believe me, I think he’ll have to wait and hear it directly from her.  I think the trip outside did wonders on everyone’s attitude as well, it seemed to re-energize and re-invigorate everyone and we’ve made it through the majority of the day with no fighting between any of the kids.  And that’s no small feat.

Hopefully tomorrow Brendan can catch a break and finally return to school and the routine that he’s so badly craving.


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