Posted By jayna on March 5, 2014
I know I’ve complained excessively in the recent past about how ridiculous Virginia is when it comes to calling off school, compared to the frigid Ohio I grew up in, but today was another (to me) completely unwarranted one. I think this makes 10. Maybe 11. Who cares. We’ve all lost count and are running low on entertaining ideas left to rally the troops and make it unscathed through yet another day of family togetherness.
These two girls of mine? They totally need those couple of hours apart during the day. Totally and completely.
This morning dawned with an extra helping of complaining – adult and kids alike – and left us raiding the craft bin by 8am. They were tired of puzzles, all the possible lego creations had already been built, no amount of coloring sheets or math excercises could keep them happy. Yesterday, we managed to kill an hour or so by building a snow volcano and erupting it over and over again. It was only when I finally ran out of baking soda that things on the mountain had to die down a bit.
(Fun fact: Warm water, plus a couple drops of dish soap. Add half a cup of vinegar and sprinkle baking soda in. Each time the eruption dies down, you can add more baking soda, or vinegar if it seems to be getting low, and it will go on forever and ever!)
Miss E has been using my old phone to text her dad during the week, and filing up every inch of memory with pictures and videos. She gleefully sat snapping away and recording the volcano. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was a brilliant thing to record, as they all later sat and watched the videos at least a hundred times.
This morning, after exhausting our search through the craft bin, and saying no repeatedly to another volcano or science experiment of such caliber, I shooed them all into the other room and pulled out a spare drop cloth. With that spread all across the playroom, I lined it with paper, doled out the paper towels, paint brushes and watercolors, and sat back for about five seconds.
Turns out that kittens are indeed very curious creatures . . . and toddlers are very quick little painters. After drying off the cat and settling Tater for the tenth time, I grabbed the salt shaker and let the girls go crazy. Miss E had brought home an art project from school where they sprinkled salt on top of watercolors and she has been dying to try it at home. I would have never thought to put the two together, but it creates a really cool effect.
(So. Another fun fact: Wet watercolors + salt = fun stuff that you should totally try with your kids.)
Once we had covered every square inch of paper with paint, the cat was locked out of the room while the masterpieces dried and I, once again, found three bored kids dismantling the living room while looking for entertainment. On went the rain boots and coats and out the door we went. The treacherous snow was melting in the sunlight and there were mud puddles on every dip in the sidewalk. Splashing and stomping, they led the way down to the school, looking to see if the playground might be usable under ALL THAT SNOW DAY SNOW. Luckily it was and they had a wonderful time, throwing snowballs into giant puddles and running around like lunatics. I gladly took the opportunity to bask in all of the glorious, blinding sun.
After they had thrown their fill of snowballs and imagined their way through the entire Frozen movie, complete with jungle gyms standing in for ice castles, we went in search of something new. In a surprising twist, they were enthralled with a game I created. I was expecting it to last maybe a minute or two. Instead, they jumped around the United States for a solid thirty minutes. I would call out a state to Miss E, she’d jump to it, and the other two would giggle uncontrollably as they followed in her footsteps.
I am proud to say that I consistently called correct states, but embarrassingly was schooled by a fourth grader there on the actual land size of Alaska. Shameful.
In the end, we marched home into the sunset, ready for a hot dinner and well earned surprise sundaes for surviving to play another day. I later heard that Miss E texted the husband and told him that she had a really great day, with our walk to the playground being her favorite. I nearly teared up for a second. Six can be so hard, especially when you love school but are instead forced to hang out with little brothers and sisters for days on end, so finding out that I succeeded in making her day great was all I needed to hear to make mine even better.
And now I need to run along and make a couple of packed lunches because THERE WILL BE SCHOOL TOMORROW. DAMMIT.