Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Only Teachers Like Snow Days

Okay, so I’m exaggerating with the title of this blog, but after today, I think it might be a little true. J
The past few weeks have been on the Northeast, a bit too much winter wonderland for me. I’ve never really enjoyed winter, at least not since I’ve been a grown up who lived in a world that did not stop when it snowed. Last year I traveled from my home in the suburbs through 3 feet of snow, into the city for a meeting scheduled by people who lived in the city and didn’t understand this was not a matter of having trouble finding a cab, it was a long and seriously drawn out, tedious process. Aside from the joy of trekking in the snow, there was the issue of child care. I was fortunate enough to have a husband who could stay home to care for our daughter, but there was no way our babysitter was getting to us that day…nor was there a chance she was getting to us today.
I’ve been reluctant to call out when there is snow as I know how many others are contending with the elements as well, so on today’s most “glorious” display of mother nature, my husband and I both stayed home to work and share the child care responsibilities since our sitter couldn’t make it out in the morning conditions. I don’t think it is a solution we will be considering again soon.
First of all, I seriously need a new list of tricks from mothers of 2-3 years olds. We colored, did memory cards, played with play dough, used chalk, read books, watched a show, ate breakfast and played store all before 10a. Mamas, PLEASE post some alternate ideas and suggestions that are easy go to for this age range that I can keep around. My daughter has an inappropriate amount of toys, but not much that she can or will do independently at this point. And while I adore the fact that she wants me in the middle of everything, as I was trying to email my boss, and take a conference call, it was not great.
Second, babies have a sick sense of radar for when you need them to sleep. We are blessed with a generally amazing baby who naps (I assume this is because she thinks sleeping in is 6a). However, NOT TODAY! Today, it took almost 2 hours to get her to lay down and fall asleep…and not until there were tons of tears (hers, almost mine), several visits to her room and many attempts to “rationalize” with a baby…who is too young to really be rationalized with. After she finally collapsed in my arms asleep (2 hours later), she awoke abruptly an hour and ten minutes later. Some days she has napped for four hours, most days three plus, today an hour.
So while I did enjoy working in my pajamas today, and treasured the extra time together, it was a far more stressful day than I expected and one that I wish I could have managed differently. Should I have called out of work completely? Should I have requested our sitter to be there in the afternoon, just in case? What did you do with this, and with other snow storms? And what ideas can you share about making the most indoors so that you don’t find yourself losing patience and enjoying the moment less?


  1. I think we can all relate to those mornings where you've gone through your whole bag of tricks and then you realize it's just after 9am...
    One thing I've found to be a good activity with my 2.6 year old when we're stuck inside is cooking or baking. She can usually be involved with the baking, but if I'm working on something like a lasagna, I'll just set her up with a bowl and some measuring cups and then give her a bit of whatever I have in the cupboard: flour, cornstarch, sugar...and some water. She'll go to town measuring it out and mixing to together.
    Sometimes being stuck inside is a good excuse to pull out an animated movie rather than just a 20 minute episode of a show. Cuddling up on the couch at lunchtime to watch a movie can be a nice treat and an easy transition to nap time.
    As a working mom who has tried the "work from home with my daughter there" route a couple of times, I really think the best thing to do on those unexpected days home is just call out of work completely.
    Hope this helps!

  2. So I started to write a post exactly like this Mama O!

    Yesterday as it was a total blizzard outside for most of the day (to the point of not being able to see my neighbors house) we were obviously going to be housebound for the day. Now, I have stayed at home with M many days of course, but like I have mentioned, I like to get out, at least to the grocery store or to Starbucks at least once a day. But because I wasn't even able to leave because I had to first dig out the driveway I felt like I was in a snow prison!

    Before 10 AM we had played with every toy, watched tv, played on the iPad, Skyped with my mom, fingerpainted, which led us to a very long bath, and then we played in her room, in my bedroom, in the empty dining room...we did laps around the house with her walking and me holding her hands...and then I was totally out of ideas.

    After her long nap we basically repeated all that crap (sans the painting mess) and she seemed to be pretty well entertained. At one point I even took all her toys and lined them up, and then all her stuffed animals and lined them up...and then built a castle with her blocks that I wouldn't let her knock down as usual as it was basically to keep me entertained :)

    I LOVE the cooking idea though Mama S. Can't wait for M to be a little older to do that with me!

  3. oh and I forgot to add...Chase the dog around the house, play with the dogs ears, pet the dogs belly :)

  4. I was just about to write a similar post - glad I didn't! Here's a few things we do to keep entertained:
    1. we've stared a weather calendar. Each morning we look out the window, talk about what the weather is, and then draw it on the calendar. Granted, it doesn't take up much time, but he seems to like it.
    2. Putting buttons in a plastic water bottle. When my son was in daycare, I saw them doing this one rainy day and the kids were all engaged. Take buttons, fill a plastic water bottle about halfway up and then drop the buttons in. Repeat over and over. My son loves doing this - we can easily kill 30-40 minutes. Plus, it's good for fine motor skill developement.
    3. Jumping on the bed. Maybe not the best habit, but he loves it, and it helps get the energy out.
    4. Check out this website, has some good ideas: