Posted by: Hannah | 07/15/2014

rainy day survival

It’s a rainy week in Halifax, which means all daycare providers have to step up their game.

Yes, it’s warm enough to play outdoors anyway, and yes, there is a certain amount of that. But on sunny days it’s not uncommon for us to spend all of the morning & half the afternoon outside. Even the hardiest child is not going to play in the rain for that long.

Anyone who says “puddle jumping!!” with manic cheerfulness has never taken more than one kid out for that activity. One kid in a puddle will wade, maybe jump a little bit, possibly get wet socks if their boots aren’t the best.

Seven kids in a puddle looks like the ending of Waterworld, minus jetskis.

The last time I took them out puddle-jumping, I ended up doing two loads of laundry afterward. I had to wash the girls’ hair. The dog needed a full-body wipedown.

It’s a ton of extra work, is what I’m saying. Sometimes you have to do the cost / benefit analysis. If an activity that takes half an hour of actual fun requires 2+ hours of clean-up afterwards, it may not be your best option.

Yesterday was not a good day. Everyone was cranky, overtired, off their schedules, and foul. We didn’t experience the day, we survived it. Like passengers on a cruise ship that picks up Norovirus. By the end we were all exhausted, we smelled bad, there had a been a lot of tears and no one wanted to discuss it ever again.

Today we were all determined to have a better time – me included. So we had circle time, wherein we each get a turn to tell the group a little story, and then we sing some songs.

Arthur told me that he’s reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and that Harry sleeps in a cupboard under the stairs, which he couldn’t picture because what on earth is that?? So I pointed out that I have a cupboard under the stairs, although it’s really more of a utility space and houses the water pump & treatment system. Also spiders. The boys insisted on getting a tour of the dank hole and they were duly impressed.

Ron likes to throw curveballs at me when we sing “Old MacDonald” (think “pterodon”) so today I tried to add enough extra interest to keep him on track.

Me: Farming’s a tough business, so Old MacDonald sold the farm and bought a zoo! Today we sing with zoo animals!
Kids: YAY!!
Me: Old MacDonald had a zoo, E-I-E-I-O! And on that zoo he had a…
Ron: RETICULATED PYTHON!!!
*sigh*

After circle I lied and told them the walls were looking kind of bare since I’d taken down the last batch of art. (They are, but here’s a confession – I like them bare. It helps the space we’re in feel less claustrophobic to me. However, needs must.) Arthur and Ron made me a huge mural of a spinosaurus and a t-rex fighting while an asteroid hurtles toward them. The littles learned how to peel the backs off stickers and spent a blissful half-hour covering pieces of paper with them. And Harry drew several panels of Angry Birds.
My walls are very violent now.
After circle I coached them on how to construct a massive fort with the nap mattresses, the kitchen table, and a stack of old sheets. Within minutes they were pretending it was an airplane. Then the airplane was being used to transport “petraceratops” (I eventually figured out they meant “protoceratops” which then necessitated an explanation of the prefix “proto” because LEARNING, guys.) Then the airplane was attacked by pirates. Pirates who (apparently) needed to be shrieked into submission.
I held it together until about 1pm. By then, I was done. My ears were actually ringing. Naps weren’t happening because the big boys would not be quiet. The living room looks like a tornado hit, I needed to make a lasagna because that seemed like a good idea back on Saturday when I planned the week’s menu… I cracked.And I did what any sensible, responsible, 36 year old mother of three does when she can see the end of her rope and it’s a foot above her head.

I called my mommy.
Now I only need to survive until Saturday morning – then I load up my kids and drive them to her house. And leave them there. For, like, 30 hours.
You ask me what I’m going to do with all that time, and I tell you frankly that I have no idea.
But whatever it is, it will be quiet.
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Responses

  1. Go Hannah’s Mom.

    God. How do you DO it without noise-cancelling headphones? I mean, really!

    • I do have earplugs and I have used them. Today is an exact duplicate of yesterday, weather-wise, so I may need to deploy them.

  2. I envy you your mommy. Sigh.

    I do not envy you that day. Ugh.

  3. p.s. Also, and meant to say this in my first comment: I am truly impressed by all you did on that crap day. I was exhausted just reading all that. Go, you!

    • Thank you! It’s actually staggering how much more work school-aged kids are. They finish activities so FAST! Something that’ll hold a four year old for an hour will only get you 15 minutes out of a seven year old.

  4. reticulated python.
    I laughed and laughed and laughed.
    You may not have found it quite so funny.
    Hurrah for sleepovers at grandma’s.

    • I *did* laugh, but it was the kind of helpless laughter you get when there is really no other reaction.

      • “Reticulated python” made me laugh, as well as “My walls are very violent now.”

        Some days you do have to laugh just to keep from crying. I’m glad you’re getting a break this weekend.

  5. Yay for Grandma! All your talk about rain and humidity doesn’t compute with me – it’s so dry here we are having wildfire warnings and concerns about smokey air quality. Whee! Not complaining though! Because summer, yo.

    Wow, I cannot imagine the noise level. Aiee.


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