We're all too clever for our own good.
Hey, remember my last post? The one about how I was still cool with hanging out at the house but Emily wanted to get out? Well we got our 30" of snow, Will dug us out, and 4 napless days later when the furthest I've gone from my house is the mailbox, I'm getting some cabin fever. The first snow came on a Friday, which meant I could look forward to having Will at home with me and the girls for several days. However now it's Tuesday, and Will's at work because the newspaper (being a newspaper) doesn't close for snow. And now this is happening:
That, my friends, is 15-20" of additional snow falling on top of the 30" we already got. That is Mother Nature laughing at us. That is where I'm going to keep my pet penguins, because I've always thought they were super-cute and now that we are living in an Antarctica-like climate I know they would be very happy here.
It is annoying to finally start feeling well enough to go out with both girls only to get repeatedly snowed in. And it's very difficult to keep a 2 year old on a nap strike occupied and happy while you are trapped in the house with a baby attached to your boob. Yesterday we watched 5 movies, and I hated it SO much. I feel like I'm turning my daughter's brain to mush, and I definitely feel like my brain is turning to mush. Every time she asks to watch a show, I try to distract her but the truth is it's so much easier to sit down and nurse Charlotte or do the dishes when Emily is plunked in front of a show. I've told myself it's ok, it's only temporary, I'm just using it to get us through crazy times and as soon as I'm not pregnant/Charlotte is older/We're not sick/It's not raining or snowing outside I will enforce a no TV policy. I sound like an addict rationalizing, and the worst part is that I've created a little addict in the process. Once we cut back on TV it's going to be painful so I keep putting it off.
With little kids, distraction is much better than just flat-out forbidding something, so I made big plans for today. We were going to go outside and play, and we were going to do fun, educational activities inside and Emily wouldn't even have time to think about watching TV.
I spent 15 minutes getting Emily into her snow gear, and 15 more minutes trying to get Charlotte full so that she'd be nice and calm. I strapped Charlotte to my chest and bundled us up too. Then we added food coloring to spray bottles, and went out to have fun!
Not pictured: screaming Charlotte strapped to my chest.
Emily sprayed the colored water for about 2 minutes, then decided she didn't want to have anything to do with it anymore. She ate a couple handfuls of snow, then started whining to go back inside.
No matter! I had fun and educational activities planned for inside too!
I decided to start discussing the concept of opposites. We collected black and white things from around the house, and I had Emily sort them, then we used little cups and millet (because I hate millet and will never eat all of what we have) to learn about full and empty:
In the corner you can see our squares of sandpaper and plastic we used for rough and smooth.
We also did near and far, and closed ourselves in the powder room to learn dark vs. light.
As an added bonus we even glued cottonballs to black construction paper to make snow pictures. And in a fortuitous turn of events a package arrived from my aunt that had gifts for Charlotte as well as a Dora the Explorer backpack filled with art supplies for Emily that occupied her for awhile.
And after doing all of that? We've still ended up watching 4 shows in between activities. I need SOME time to get dishes done and nurse the baby. And I need preschool to start. Then someone else can entertain my kid 3 days a week because this is exhausting!
Speaking of preschool, I finally made my decision after much (MUCH) deliberation and agonizing. I had hoped that once everything was decided I would heave a sigh of relief and not have to worry about it again until August, but that has not been the case. I got both girls dressed and out of the house last Monday in time to make it to the preschool sign-up at 9AM (I really impressed myself there) thereby securing my daughter's future, then immediately started questioning my decision. True, her preschool has the best playground, a big indoor gym where the kids can play in bad weather, a centers room instead of individual centers areas in each classroom which allows them to offer more materials, tiny bathrooms, small classes, experienced teachers and field trips and classes 3 mornings a week vs. 2, but it doesn't offer Spanish or Yoga or sign language or an observation area like the preschool that made second place on my list. Let's just hope that Emily doesn't ever end up cursing me for my decision as she's sitting across the desk from a deaf spanish-speaking yoga enthusiast interviewer.
But right decision or no, she's officially signed up now, and if we turn out regretting our decision we can always rectify our mistake with Charlotte. That's what second kids are for, right?