The first day of winter break with my children was eye-opening for me. We had Saturday and Sunday together, and then Monday came... and school didn't. I woke up to prepare my husband's breakfast and lunch (his hospital food bill adds up exponentially if I don't, plus, he loves it when I do) and asked if I could go with him to work. Clearly I had surrendered to my children before they even woke up. Later on, after cleaning and organizing their bedrooms (we just switched them up - again), swimming with them, watching Kung Fu Panda 2, and managing them as they did all sorts of chores - everything I could think of, including vacuuming the stairs - I suddenly panicked. I needed more chores, more jobs for them to do. I needed a cow, or another dirty house, or something to keep them busy. After watching the cartoon version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, we read books and they fell asleep.
I couldn't fall asleep.
All I could do was think about how to prevent another day like yesterday. I knew that I could not go shopping with them. I've already bought most of everything we need for Christmas. I can't spend more money. And they are very good at asking for things they "need" when we are out shopping. I can't leave the house or else I will spend money. It's too cold to go hiking. We did that for the last time a little over a week ago. The kids complained and later two developed bad coughs. I can't go crash friends' houses because most have left to visit family for Christmas. And, did I mention, it's cold outside.
I cannot figure out why I was so excited last week for winter break to begin. Now I am living in a panic, trying to figure out how to keep my kids from fighting - interacting - with each other. at all. And how to avoid any whining when I ask them to do anything, like get dressed or get in the car. Why don't I at least have a neighbor with a farm that I can send my kids over to do some actual work? That would be so ideal.