Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stuck Inside the Playroom With the Playground Blues Again

Your attempts at organizing are fruitless against my new-found powers of Chaos.
 So here it is, two or three weeks out from Christmas, and we've got some serious cabin fever. Days and days of opening gifts have apparently yielded us nothing worth playing with anymore. A whole room dedicated solely to toys is but a wasteland, covered in post-holiday fallout. Trucks with broken wheels lie on one side, discarded to follow Mom to the bathroom. Vintage Fisher Price Little People and their accompanying village have been abandoned, the little round People scattered in a deadly array just inside the door, practically begging to be employed in the breaking of an ankle. Fourteen useless pieces of a sixteen-piece puzzle don't even merit being picked up and put away-- it's over. The trill is gone. The children have fallen back into their old favorite pastimes, the one's that don't require material possessions, the budding little Buddhists that they are. Isaac enjoys his usual routine of being constantly underfoot, while occasionally mixing it up by losing Mom's car key, taking things away from his sister, or, when given the opportunity, removing all the clean clothes from the laundry basket. His only prerequisites for a good time are 1) that it involves the misplacement or destruction of an item integral to the running of the household, 2) that it has the potential for injury to himself or the baby. Ideally both. Vivian, for her part, has more refined tastes. Specifically, a taste for electricity.  Her only requirement is that her time be spent putting, or attempting to put, her fingers into light sockets, sucking on Christmas lights, or toppling floor lamps. Why bother with the giant basket of plastic, squeeking baby toys, when there's power strips to be poked? 
"If I try and look cute, perhaps she won't notice that I'm trying to abscond with the car key again!" Joke's on him: that's the spare. There's no way this plan could backfire, I'm sure of it.
 Oh how we have taken pleasant weather for granted in this household! Why, when the temperature is anything above 22 degrees, are we not at the park?  How easily we forget the days-- the long, long, lonely days where going somewhere is such an ordeal that you don't leave the house for six months except for diapers and wine? In the spring and summer months, going to the park requires three things: the kids, the parents, and shoes. In the winter, even in pleasanter temperatures, leaving the house for 30 seconds is like outfitting a Roman legion for battle. The packing! The preparation!  First, you've got to get the kids' damn attention, stop them from climbing the curtains like feral cats, and focus their energies on locating one pair of shoes. Ideally, you'll find climate appropriate footwear, but sometimes you can't be choosy, and flip-flops will have to do. Just don't put the kid down in the snow. After shoes comes "hat-a-coat-a-mittens", as Isaac says. Locating those is also such a tremendous hassle that we have a giant bin, a grab-bag, if you will, of outerwear accessories. Then there's parent boots, hat-a-coat-a-mittens, purse, baby carrier, diaper bag(ish thing, if you, unlike me, haven't given up on that redundant piece of luggage long ago), car keys, spouse... that's not even the hard part. We haven't even gotten to the car seats yet...And don't forget: that's just on your way to somewhere. You still have to get there, do whatever it is you came to do, get everyone back in the car, unload them at home, in addition to unloading all the wine and diapers you just bought. (In case you're wondering, this is the point where all of the hats and mittens go missing, the wet boots end up thrown outside, and the car key is unguarded, ripe for the toddler picking). I need to be reminded all of this crap in April when I'm like "I don't feel like taking the kids to the park. It's too sunny". Remember, Sarah, it could be worse: it could be January.
 Yes, that's a potato and Mrs. Noah, of Noah's Ark fame, after having been thrown in our Christmas tree. This is what passes for fun around here these days.

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