Ah, spring break. For NYC public school kids, it's an unusually long one this year. Seven whole school days off.
As with any major break, I made a plan for what we were doing each day. This way we make the most of the break and we don't spend too much time idle, which starts to drive us all crazy after a while. We are in the middle of our spring break right now, except we haven't done anything on our itinerary, because my two older kids are sick, and the little one has consistent diarrhea (yum. Aren't you glad you're reading this?). No one is seriously ill, just low grade fevers and yucky cold symptoms. But it's enough to keep us quarantined for a few days.
When you're stuck inside with three sick kids, you can get tunnel vision and forget that life exists outside of what's happening right now (which for us thus far has been: fever. Barf. Sneezing. Coughing. Diarrhea. Repeat). I'm all for a little "mommy needs a cocktail" humor, but as I've found myself actually needing a cocktail the last few days, I've decided that I need to change my outlook and my attitude. And I've realized there are many reasons that I'm grateful to be stuck inside with my sick kiddos.
For one, we are getting to spend an inordinate amount of time together. There are tough moments throughout the day, but I genuinely miss my two older kids when they're in school, and it's been so nice to have them at home. They're funny, smart, and endearing, and the days are never dull when they're around. The wonderful way they play together makes up for the amount of fights I have to break up between them. I love hearing them play on their own, too--just yesterday there was about an hour where they were each completely engrossed on their own made up worlds, playing separate imaginative games.
It's also been great not having to run around anywhere. None of our regular classes are running because of the break anyway, but we had social engagements scheduled that would have definitely necessitated that we be up and out the door at a certain time. We have an incredible amount of activities during the school week. In my quest to enrich my children's lives, I run the risk of doing too much. Sometimes it seems as if we never stop running. Much as we love our friends and activities, it's been a relief not having to *be* anywhere but here this week.
The baby has diarrhea, yes--but at least she's still safely in the land of diapers, which means that I don't have to do much except change her. OK, I have to change her three times an hour, but the other plus is that since she's in cloth diapers, all I have to do is wash them--no running to the store for more disposables. Bonus!
When life gives us lemons, we make crafts. We have a whole host of crafting activities that we've been saving for a rainy day, and now we have a week of rainy days! Both the older kids adore crafts and they're always so proud of their creations.
Since I don't have to rush around in the morning, I've shaved my legs twice this week! Yes--my legs do not resemble those of a grizzly bear's. You may not care, but I assure you my husband does. (The older kids watched a show this morning and V hung in the bathroom with me while I showered. Judge me, I don't care. My legs are smooth).
Being home, I've had a chance to do some self-evaluation. The last few months have been a challenge, and admittedly, I haven't been handling the adversity well (see cocktail comment above). I've had plenty of time to think and regroup. Things aren't going to get easier. I just have to adjust my expectations, my reactions and parent my children with love, respect, and remain connected to them, even when things are running amok. I'm grateful to have had the restful time I've needed to make those realizations. There's still a whole week of the break left. I'm still in good health, and will hopefully remain that way--though now that I've pointed it out, I will probably get the plague tomorrow.
If I don't, however, this means that we have plenty of time to get out of the house, see our friends, and go to the park. And when the crazy hustle and bustle starts again next week, I know I will miss these few days when we just hung around and did nothing.
Because sometimes, we need to do just that.