|Ain't No Half Steppin on My Snow!|
I have not been able to write in a while because I cannot get my thoughts together. Visions of sugar plums keep occupying the small space left in my brain that isn’t observed by holiday anxiety, the maintenance of children’s schedules and fulfillment of their needs, the lists of things to do and the list of things that won’t get done for a very long time. So, the best I can offer is randomness.
We live in
. We have a negative reputation for miserable, snow burdened winters. Really, it’s not that bad. Aside from the frigid snowstorm in the middle of the night while we dashed off to the hospital to birth The Baby on January 28th- there hasn’t been a notable snowfall around the metro area for years. We did have a freak snowstorm in October 2006- which was dubbed Arborgeddon because of its widespread destruction of trees in the city and surrounding suburbs. The two “snow days” we’ve had thus far this school year held nary a flake to the ground in North Buffalo. Our south towns got hammered (we draw a large portion of our students from Buffalo, NY South Buffalo; so, the school closings were due to transportation issues for that area). This week we were finally awarded what I consider our first real snowfall of the season. Beautiful, fluffy flakes marched down in bands, blanketing the sheet of ice on the streets- making a gorgeous but treacherous scene. But, I have no motivation to escape the confines of my home to partake in the wonders outdoors.
I have a hopeless need to hibernate this time of year. I am happy to enjoy the view from inside. Fortunately, the children- who adore winter weather- are old enough to not need my looming supervision. I can superintend from the front windows-occasionally admonishing them when they venture too close to the street or pelt each other too enthusiastically with snow balls. Anyway, the gloomier the weather, the heavier the snow, the icier the streets, it is all the better for the guilt that nags at me for not participating in the season’s hibernal offerings. I have very little faith in our weatherman (my hair is more adept at predicting changes in the weather than he is). But, when he drolly says, “It’s a cold one. If you don’t need to go out, stay indoors!” I follow his advice.
My moments of bad conscience stir again when I realize that the baby has been trapped indoors with me for days without a spark of new, external stimulation. But, I think being sequestered in our home hasn’t done too much damage because she has used the time to develop a new skill- taking drunken unassisted steps. She can run agilely along the furniture and walls with just a fingertip’s contact for support. When she is impelled to let go, she continues to run a few steps until she crashes into furniture or the Christmas tree. She’s not content to walk, she needs to run. Ain’t no half steppin for my kid (I realized today that she takes just enough steps to tap out that gem of a lyric from Heatwave. Now the song is stuck in my head). And, soon enough, she will be like the Gingerbread baby, taunting, “Run, run as fast as you can…” And, by that point, she may have worn me down just enough that I will let her keep running over the river and through the woods until that sly fox comes into view. Then I’ll intervene.
And speaking of intervening and more guilt, H in a last ditch effort to defend himself against First Born Son’s obnoxious, relentless teasing at dinner last night, told his brother to “Fudge off!” Only he, of course, didn’t say fudge. I am the worst offender of the F bomb. I grew up in a no swearing household. I was always respectful with my tone and my choice of words- even in moments of excruciating pain or anger. Something happened when I had children. In order to quell the moments of overwhelming anxiety or deep frustration in parenting, I would let loose an expletive or three. It was a release that kept me feeling grounded so that I would not lose my mind in those moments. I realize that it is terribly wrong. I’ve tried- I’ve really, really tried to stop- to exchange the unsavory words for others. But, nothing feels as good to say. And nothing feels so awful to hear coming out of your 11 year old’s mouth. My dinner literally turned in my stomach. But, I did not react. The Mr. took care of that. The gentle, mild mannered, non-cussing Mr. snapped, “That is not acceptable! It is not ok even if your mother does it.” I lowered my head in shame. If I had any money to my name, I would certainly put a quarter in a jar each time I unleashed an ugly word. I could create a healthy college savings fund for the children by my cussing alone. But, alas, my piggy bank is bare, so, I must settle for a New Year’s Resolution- to will myself to bury those words and set a good example. The Baby is absorbing things at a rapid rate. If the F bomb sounds disgusting coming from an 11 year old, it can only kill innocent kittens and puppies if it passes a baby’s lips.
And, one final note relating to fudge, I will be up to my elbows in cookie baking and, yes, fudge making next week preparing for a little Christmas party I promised Princess Commando we would host for the neighborhood kids next Thursday after school. It’s too bad I don’t have a clue how to set up our video camera. If I did you would be able to watch live streaming video of true three o’clock craziness.