Posted by: Hannah | 03/22/2017

in which March once again kicks my ass

Every year I about halfway through January I say THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT and I AM GOING TO MAKE A REAL EFFORT TO EMBRACE WINTER and I WILL REMEMBER THAT IT’S ONLY THREE MONTHS LONG REALLY.

And every year this lasts until about mid-March, when I simply cannot take it anymore.

The fact that my annual meltdown coincides with March Break is almost certainly not a coincidence.

The last couple of years I have pushed through March Break with a combination of daily outings, ample screen time for my own kids, lots of treats and fun dinners in the evenings, and a general air of “it’s a vacation, let’s treat it like one”. It works, mostly, but it’s still exhausting.

Then on Monday morning… school was cancelled. There was a snowfall overnight and the forecast was calling for freezing rain, and so the decision was made not to send them.

It was a long day.

I had nothing planned to keep older kids amused. The weather was too crappy to play outside. The youngest dayhome kid had a streaming head cold and should have been at home resting. I had completely redone my living room the day before and just wanted a little time in the afternoon (hellooooo, naptime!) to sit quietly in it with a cup of tea but alas, it was not to be.

Then last night Ron started vomiting right before dinner. And Harry grew out of all of his clothes basically overnight so I had to take him shopping – and all the stores had summer gear only. And I woke up with a throbbing migraine and HEY GUESS WHAT NO SCHOOL AGAIN TODAY.

(Yes, it’s a previously-scheduled PD day. Yes, there is one every year the week after March Break. Yes, every year I think it’s bullshit even though I am usually #teamteacher. There is always bad weather in NS this time of year and the kids end up with one week off and then a second week all broken into bits).

So my point here is that March sucks. It suuuuuuucks. Yes, there will be the odd day – like today – when the sun comes out and the temp goes just above freezing. You can tell when it hits 5C because Canadians ditch their gloves, hats, coats – even their pants – in a desperate attempt to A) pretend that 5C is warm and winter is over and B) to soak up all the sweet sweet vitamin D they can because deep down we all know it’s just a tease. Yes, the birds will start to come back and the tulips will start poking their little green shoots up through the snow. The time change will happen so the sun doesn’t set until 7PM. These are all good things.

And yet.

This is the time of year when I could vacuum three times a day and not even make a dent because the dog & cats are all shedding their winter coats. Mittens are getting lost. Boots are getting too tight. There is enough snow on the ground that the kids need to wear snowpants but there are also mud puddles everywhere so they really ought to be in splash pants instead, and guess how waterproof snow boots aren’t? We are all tired of root vegetables and hearty comfort food but the fresh veggies are only *just* making an appearance in the stores, and those at extortionate prices.

We are just all bloody damn tired of winter, is what I’m saying, and after doing my best to jolly everyone along during January and February (and half of March) I have nothing left in the tank.

Wake me when it’s April.

 

 

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Posted by: Hannah | 02/03/2017

in praise of naps

Naps are the best.

I say this as a person, a parent, and a professional childcare provider. Nothing – NOTHING – is a more effective tool in your arsenal than a nap. A nap for you will help you to be focused, patient, and productive. A nap for your kids is developmentally-necessary, plus it makes it easier for them to be pleasant and fun little people.

Ask a cat. Naps are the shit, yo.

It’s one thing I really miss about my pre-child years – the ability to just curl up on the couch with a blanket and have a nap. Last night, for example. I got off work a little early and the sun was shining, so we bundled the kids up and went sledding for an hour before dinner. We had a very simple meal (grilled cheese and Campbell’s tomato soup) and afterwards I felt so sleepy and relaxed… I plopped down in the recliner and grabbed a fuzzy blanket. I could feel that lovely heaviness spreading through my limbs. My eyelids drooped. My breathing slowed…

… and George shoved a foam dinosaur in my face while he yelled MOM I MADE A QUETZALCOATLUS, THAT’S A KIND OF PTERANODON.

… and Harry and Ron started squabbling in the kitchen about the correct way to load the dishwasher.

… and the dog started to whimper because he needed to go to the bathroom.

… and the cats started play-fighting because it’s winter and Mad Max is getting shack-wacky.

… and I knew I had to go out in the cold over icy roads to take Ron to violin lessons.

And thus I shook off the blanket and got up, and in the end I was awake bloody late again, because at bedtime I can’t stop my brain from fretting about the tangerine shit-gibbon to the south of us and end up watching TV far too late.

This of course then means that come the afternoon I’m ready for a nap again.

It makes it that much more infuriating when the littles fight their naps, lemme tell you.

CHILD, DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT NAPS ARE A PLATONIC GOOD??

 

 

Posted by: Hannah | 01/23/2017

in which I feel really super-old

George has found a game in the xBox demos menu called “Rayman: Legends”. He loves it, and plays it whenever he’s given the chance. It’s fairly impressive to watch. He’s got much better hand-eye coordination than I did at five.

His favourite level, as he tells me, is a side-scroller. It’s timed. It forces you to keep moving or you die. Bad guys pop up and sing at you. There are cannons and sparkly yellow things in cages and honestly, it just gives me a headache to watch it go by.

Here’s the weird thing… the soundtrack of this level is Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” from 1977. It’s been re-recorded so there are no lyrics. The little guys just make phonetic sounds instead of words. And there’s a lot of pretty credible-sounding guitar.

It means I’ve been whisper-muttering whoa black Betty, bam-ba-LAM, whoa black Betty, bam-ba-LAM under my breath for three days now on a continuous loop because a) it’s one of the earwormiest earworms that ever earwormed and b) no one knows the actual words to that damn song, regardless of how many times we’ve all heard it in the past 40 years.

Finally today I was trying to Relate To The Young People And Also Seem Both Cool & Knowledgeable, so I said “hey buddy, did you know that music is a song that came out the year before I was born?”

He glanced at me for a second, jumped over a couple more enemies, and replied “oh, I don’t think so, mom. This is a video game. They weren’t invented yet the year before you were born. That was a very long time ago.”

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be sitting in a rocking chair at the nursing home, I guess.

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