Friday, February 5, 2010

Cabin Fever Kid Chaos When it Rains, What's a Mother To Do?

by Janis Brett Elspas

This morning, like every other day 24/7,  I was woken up to the screaming and fighting of kids.

What was different about today, though, was that my two girls were making breakfast by themselves as a surprise for mom -- and dad who had been on call at the hospital all night but hadn't arrived home yet.  Yes, in case you're wondering, girls are much better at creating a scream-fest in the house and messing up the kitchen with scrambled eggs flying everywhere with a broken egg turner Farberware spatula (which was supposed to be virtually impossible to destroy) causing one of them to come yelping into the master bedroom for a band-aid today.

Let's comment on the bright side first: I haven't had to set an alarm clock to get up in the morning since we had our first child 14-1/2 years ago.

Now on to the point of this post:  I live on the West Coast and it's raining cats and dogs right now.  Makes me think of the song that goes, "It never rains in California, but let me warn you, when it rains it really pours."  LOL.  You can say that again.

At our house it is REALLY pouring outside and inside today.  No, I'm not talking about all the roof leaks we had fixed during the last downpour in January, I'm referring to the chaos at home as this mommy blogger tries to get some work done while continuing to homeschool our four kids: TRIPLET tweens plus 14 year-old big brother.  Any mom, whether you homeschool like us or send your kid(s) to a traditional classroom at a brick-and-mortar school dreads those cabin fever-Halcyon days like today.  And, believe me, just about everyone with one or more kids two years old and up knows exactly what I'm talking about.

How am I coping with all the bizarre behavior a little precipitation always seems to bring out in children--whether toddlers or teens?  The first thing I did was put warm coats on the two gal culprits and gave them some clay to play with in the covered corridor right outside our front door.  They played out there nicely, warm and dry but getting a little fresh air which really calmed them down, until Daddy arrived home.  Then, as if by magic, suddenly the kids were all little angels.  My DH then took the 14 year-old with him to the gym to work out all morning and I was able to enjoy my weekly Double Chocolate Latte from Coffee Bean in peace while reading the Los Angeles Times.

Makes me wish Daddy didn't have to work at all and could help me with the kids every day.   In fact, after today, I have a new-found respect for anyone (single parent or married) who is alone with more than one kid on a rainy day.

Four against one are not very good odds, but two against four does seem to help considerably around here.  Daddy, thanks once again, for being my Knight in Shing Armor and saving my day!

READERS:  How do you make it through crazy rainy days like today?  You're invited to leave your own comments here on how you deal with Kid Chaos on rainy days.  It would be wonderful to share what works for you with the rest of us harried mommies.  I'm all ears and look forward to some great ideas from moms (and Mr. Moms) of kids of all ages.

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