Pete Gilbert">

Endless Winter (Break)

Due to a perfectly timed snow storm, my kids had several snow days connected to their usual two-week long Christmas Vacation. This means they have been home with me for 21 days. In the summer this isn’t as big of a deal, it’s easier to get together with friends, go to the park, swim at the pool, and at the very least run around in the backyard. But a snow day with sub-zero temps presents its own challenges. Add to that, the fact that roads are barely drivable and you have a classic The Shining situation. Instead of, “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy,” it’s more like, “all play and no school work turns my kids into jerks.” Not jerks to me, but to each other. Three weeks ago, they were happy to play together, now when I mention it, you would think I was handing out a punishment.

Behavior of the kids isn’t the only thing that’s deteriorated around here over the last few weeks, one thing that I’ve really let slide is how much “screen time” the kids get. My wife and I try to limit time on the Wii, iPad, Netflix, etc. Normally, we use tokens the kids turn in to us for a certain amount of screen time, but recently if the kids wanted to play a video game for two hours straight, I let them. If they want to watch a season of old Garfield cartoons on Netflix, I’m ok with that. Why? Because I’m out of things for them to do. I’m ready for a break as much as they are ready for their break to be over.

Since we haven’t been able to go to the grocery store in several days, our meal plan has taken a hit too. We knew there was a snowstorm coming so we planned several meals ahead, that plan worked great, but we are still home and still unable to go to the grocery store, our planned meals have come and gone. Even if we did make it to the store, I heard there’s not much to choose from. This means we’ve had some less than stellar meals this week. Last night it was frozen pizza and fish sticks for dinner and yet another lunch of PBJs and carrot sticks.

Many of the days we’ve been snowed in, it’s been a day-long jammie party, which is fine for a day or two, but three or more days in a row of jammies seems like a problem. One day my son changed out of his Batman jammies, into his Superman Halloween costume, then into his Spiderman jammies for bed, although I must admit I was a little jealous of his wardrobe choices that day.

I know eventually this crazy snow “vacation” will all be over. I will look back at this time and think, “Why didn’t I enjoy the days of not having to pack lunches and shuttle kids all over town?” more fondly. But right now, in the thick of it, it seems like we all just want things to get a little bit back to normal.

Hopefully today is our last day of being snowed in and home from school. I have a few surprises up my sleeve for my kids today, check back in later for updates.

-Pete

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