Friday, February 28, 2014

T.G.I.F.?

Today is Friday, the last day of the week. It's also the last day of February. Those are both good things. Really, what could be better? Normally, this would leave me feeling energized, excited, even. Not today. This February has been a particularly desperate month, as per tradition, really. January and February are always hellish parenting months when you live in a place that has harsh winters like ours. This year has been the worst winter of my entire life, weather-wise, and I'm not exaggerating. The normal temperatures for this time of year are supposed to be a high of -5 C. Right now we are sitting at -20, but with the windchill, it feels like -38. Tomorrow, we are expecting a windchill of -50. Seriously. On the first day of March.

Us Manitobans are no wimps when it comes to weather, so we will grit our teeth and hold on until things warm up a little, but the weather is only a part of my exhaustion today. Our boys are involved in a major hockey tournament this weekend. Well, as major as it can get for "squirts", the youngest teams in minor hockey. I'm not a good hockey mom. I know this because I am the only one who didn't want to participate in this tournament. I was concerned about the well-being of my boys. It started last night, a Thursday night, after they both had a full day of school. They had a game at 6:30 p.m. in a town that was an hour and fifteen minutes away from us. On top of that, the game was way late starting, so they didn't even make it home until 10 p.m. That alone was completely unacceptable to me. (This is a bit of a rant...sorry.)

Part of the reason I'm so uptight about getting my kids to bed on time is because I worry about them getting run down and getting sick. I hoped Jamie would be all right because he didn't have school the next day (today), but guess what? He started barfing at 6:30 this morning.

Cody went to school, but I confess, I'm worried about him now too. He had no symptoms this morning, but he is exhausted. I ran around trying to pack his lunch and his bag, while running back to the bathroom to help my sick kid. I also realized last night I had forgotten about Jump Rope For Heart, which was this afternoon for Cody, and we hadn't gotten any donations yet. Another mommy fail.

Now, I'm trying to contain a bored Micah, and Jamie, who feels better enough to also be bored, while trying to deal with the fact that Lauren is on some kind of sleep strike and spends her nap yelling, "MOMMY!" I just sat down for a break, but soon I will need to start making supper, and I haven't had a single quiet moment yet today, thanks to Lauren's lack of nap. She's still in bed, though, because I just washed the kitchen floor and I don't want her running around on it while it's still wet. Jamie and Micah are whispering, and that means they are doing something they shouldn't be. They don't whisper for my sake or for Lauren's.

This is a typical day around here in some ways. I go from one thing to the next, never quite accomplishing enough, and I wish desperately for a little time of silence. Cody will be here in about 25 minutes, and then things are bound to get ugly. He is running on very little sleep, and there isn't much chance he will be amiable when he arrives. I just hope he's not sick. I'd rather deal with a bear than another barfing kid.

Tomorrow, in the -50 weather, we are supposed to be traveling to the tournament again for a game at 10 a.m. and another game sometime to be announced later in the day. Then, from what I understand, there will be a final game on Sunday. I guess February is going out with a bang, and March is certainly coming in like a lion. In our corner of the world, we long for spring. The sun is beautiful and warm, and the house is bright, but outside is nearly unbearable and this little family is done.

So I am hanging on for warmer days. My posts in here have been infrequent due partly to sheer busyness, but also due to my reluctance to simply dump in here. Looks like I did it anyway. Sorry about that. On the upside, my house is getting cleaner and cleaner these days, and that is enough to boost my mood exponentially. (Yes, this is my mood when it's boosted.) Hopefully I will have funner posts in March. For now, I have to sign off and fold some laundry. Stay warm, everybody.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Update on Single Motherhood

Well, the update is not good, so I'll make this short. Yesterday, while playing hockey in the basement (strictly forbidden, other than mini-hockey), in the TV room (a room completely off limits to the kids), one of the boys smashed our 52 inch plasma TV. At least I think it's 52 inches, but that's pretty much beside the point. I can't even begin to describe the emotions I have been feeling since then, and perhaps it's best if I don't. Suffice it to say, I am way past the end of my rope. I am falling, and I can only hope there is something soft to land on. This is not really about a TV. It's about the complete and utter inability (or is it refusal?) to follow simple rules. Was it an accident? Yes. Could it have happened to anybody? Anybody breaking two rules at the same time, yes. Everybody is alive. Nobody is hurt. But I feel crushed. I am obviously not cut out for this. I can't teach them. I've tried. I've tried so very hard, but they just don't get it. Or they don't care. Or both, I don't know. All I know is, I am invisible. I am inaudible. I am inconsequential. What other explanation is there? And that is all I can say in here. I am simply too upset to continue, so I will go dump on my main character and make her life as miserable as I can, while I work on the final chapters in my book. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Another round of single motherhood.

Yep, I'm on my own with all four kids, and I wish I could say it's going well. Mike is out of town, and even though he didn't technically leave until after work today, I was still the only parent here all day, so this round will be a full three days on my own. Today, I got the van stuck in a snow bank. I couldn't believe it. Thankfully, that happened before Mike had finished work for the day, so he dropped in here briefly and pulled the van out with the tractor before grabbing his overnight bag and leaving.

I don't like it when Mike leaves. I've always been kind of a wimp that way. The truth is, I don't mind alone time. In fact, I'm kind of excited about my evenings, because I am right at the end of the book I'm writing and I really want to get it done. But I struggle with fear when Mike is travelling, particularly in the winter. Today, we are getting hit with a winter storm. The timing is bad, and not just because Mike had to travel through some of it. Now I'm here on my own and I don't know how to run the tractor, so if we get a ton of snow (we have a snowfall warning in effect right now), I can't clear the driveway. I don't want to get stuck again. Part of me would love to just say, "Oh well. I'll just stay home and not bother taking Micah to school on Friday." (The other two take the bus, so that's not an issue.) But Friday evening, Cody and Jamie have a hockey game. I have to take all four kids to the rink and get two of them in their hockey equipment on time for the start of the game. Then I have to work at the door. I was supposed to work that whole time, but because Mike will not be there to dress them, someone is covering for me for the first part.

So I'm a little stressed about my time alone. Today, not only did I get the van stuck, but one of the kids also plugged the toilet, and I'm not very good with a plunger. Now, I'm enjoying the quiet in the house, as everyone is sleeping (even the pets) except for me. But outside the wind is howling, and not long ago I had to run out and get the garbage cans, which were blowing all over the deck, sounding like thunder.

This is a very disjointed post, but I'm going to get back to my other writing now. Perhaps I will update tomorrow. Here's hoping the next two days are smooth sailing. Goodnight.