The Swimming Pool: Mom's Reward for Winter Misery
Make breakfast. Try to entertain the kids with Mother May I? or some other game. Which always turns into wrestlemania.
Suggest that the kids get some fresh air. It turns out that fresh air is 20 degrees, and the kids last three minutes out there. Which allows you to pick up one sock off the floor and throw it in the laundry pile. The kids immediately take off their four socks and throw them on the floor.
Run an errand, trying to determine who is having a worse time, you, the kids, or the clerks in the store who have to put up with all of you.
Go somewhere fun for the kids, like the library. Go home and eat lunch. Nobody likes it and you wonder if there are any foods your kids do like.
Have "quiet time." The rest of the day is a blur until dinner time, when once again, no one likes what you cook.
You read books. You tuck the kids in. They are suddenly sweet as pie. Hugging you, asking you to scratch their back and tell them stories, praying for you--petitions that are sorely needed at this point. Where were these angels all day? Bedtime stretches into your own bedtime. You fall asleep and start over again.
You feel like a gerbil that someone forgot to take off the wheel. You've done so much, yet accomplished so little. In fact, you must be running backwards because the house is falling apart. You are embarrassed when the mailman so much as walks past the window, the house is so messy.
But all of this is worth it come summertime. We joined the Leawood pool this year. They have a kids pool with a waterfall, zero-entry area, a whale slide, an aligator the kids can play on, etc.
Due to Justin's truck's piss-poor attitude (it breaks down at the slightest provocation) we don't have a car, but my friend Sarah has been kind enough to pick us up.
I sit in the zero-entry area as J.J. splashes the water. This wears him out to no end. It's like baby Lunesta. We come home and he naps like a grizzly bear.
Meanwhile, Richie does his superhero moves in the shallow end and Johnny practices swimming in the three foot area. They do this for hours, stopping only for adult swim. We go home and they actually eat the dinner I fix. They fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow.
I've done nothing, yet accomplished so much: sleepy baby, happy, hungry kids, clean house (due to us not being there.) It is so easy, that seeing Justin collapse on the couch after work makes me feel guilty.
Then I remember those winter days and don't feel guilty at all. I feel like I've won a prize for staying on the gerbil wheel for five straight months. And the kids get a share of the treasure. Everybody wins.