Next project: Indoor bouncy house

It’s been raining. And raining. And today, it’s supposed to SNOW! (Translation, for those who don’t live in Georgia: The forecast is calling for ten flakes of snow mixed with our rain. BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES AND CLEAN OUT THE GROCERY STORES!)

There’s an interesting chain reaction that happens ’round here when we cannot go outside to play. First, Monkey gets a little… ummm… tense. Monkey is sort of like a human border collie; we often joke that he’s fine as long as he’s allowed to carry heavy things and run and feel useful. On a rainy day when he can’t adequately disperse his energy, he morphs into LITTLE BROTHER personified. In other words, he tries to get his kicks by repeating everything we say, poking his sister, following people around a mere centimeter behind them, and doing the backstroke in the middle of the kitchen floor.

It’s cute. For about a second. Then it’s rather trying.

Chickadee’s reaction to these trying times with Monkey is to do something to get back at him for aggravating her, even though HE is not being malicious and SHE… maybe just needs to chill out a little.

All of this is to say, before lunchtime yesterday, Monkey was ricocheting around the house and Chickadee was spending some quality time alone in her room. Ahem.

[Dear Weather Forces: If you’re going to snow, then just SNOW. Like, preferably about a foot of snow. Enough to bury the children in would be an excellent bonus, though, so knock yourself out. Thanks! Love, Mir.]

It’s generally just Not A Good Day when no one can go outside, is my point.

So when I heard a keening wail from upstairs I may have sighed, and squared my shoulders, and called up, “No. NO! If you’re having a problem, please come TELL me about it CALMLY.”

Monkey came racing down the stairs, so upset he was actually shaking. “ICUTMYFINGERREALLYBAD!” he blurted. A quick once-over verified that he wasn’t gushing blood, or anything, so I took the offered hand and surveyed the damage. It looked to me like a popped blister—a disturbing flap of skin, but no actual blood.

“Ooookay, honey,” I said slowly, in my best soothing voice, hugging him close to try to calm him down. “Breathe. Breeeeeeeeathe. You’re okay. I think maybe you just rubbed a blister off. You’re going to be just fine, and we’ll go get a band-aid for it, okay?”

He nodded, still twitchy and wild-eyed, and I was (stupidly) still trying to figure out why he was so freaked out when I remembered that he’d been inside all day and was already a big bundle of nerves. Clearly my mission here was to calm him down even more than it was to bandage the finger, right? So I held on to him and made him walk with me over to the band-aids, and kept talking to him in a soothing, low voice, and when I got to, “And you can choose which band-aid you want! Let’s see, there’s flames, and camouflage, and—”


I picked one. Once he was wrapped up and no longer acting like an overwrought junkie, I sent him back upstairs, and a minute later the entire event was ancient history (to him, anyway).

We finished off the day with several rousing rounds of Mario Kart on the Wii. That seemed to help.

Which is totally why I have allowed the children to play Wii ALL MORNING. Because they can’t go outside, and because the chances of injury while doing so seem pretty low. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, and when a kid doesn’t even want to pick his own band-aid, THOSE ARE DESPERATE TIMES.


  1. Raquel

    I live in NW Washington state. When it rains, snows or blows like a hurricane, the kids go outside. We raise hardy folk up here. I’ve seen kids swimming in Puget Sound in October, when the water is FREEZING. Bundle ’em up and send ’em out, is my point. Before someone loses a finger!

  2. Crisanne

    We got about an inch of snow last night and it was perfect packing snow. Great for snowmen and snowballs fights! They say we could get 5-6″ tonight, but I’ll believe it when I see it!

    Raquel: As for playing in the rain-as fun as it sounds, it’s generally not such a great idea in the south. Because, with rain comes great claps of thunder and lightening. Hence, the stir-craziness begins. What is great for the earth can be terrible for parents’ sanity!

  3. Deva

    I live in cincinnati, where everytime it snows, people act like snow is a foreign word…

  4. Em

    That is pretty much our entire winter. Its a free for all. Whatever keeps them from killing each other or driving me mad is fair game. These were the times where, in my before children mind, we would have been baking cookies and doing craft projects. It was also before facebook but that is neither here nor there. Baking usually lasts about 5 minutes and craft projects take longer to pick up after than they do to complete. So. Free for all. My saving grace, the one thing that slightly redeems my mothering, is that my kids like books. A few of those and I feel like I have recharged their TV drained brains. Spring will come, right?

  5. mythoughtsonthat

    My husband asked the other night what in the WORLD had become of our calm, quiet kid. Well, gee, he’s been inside for THREE LONG WEEKS, I don’t know WHAT could be up with him!

  6. Barbara

    I was worried you were still suffering from migraines.

    Looks like you can manage the kids for any circumstance to me.

    Indoor bouncy house could hold one of those small circular trampolines, eh?

    Hoola hoops can work indoors, too – didn’t you post on the Wii hula game?

    We’ve done yard work on a misty cold February day in the south. Not all rain brings lightning, but everyone should avoid it.

  7. Monkey Girl

    I gotta agree with Raquel, here in Seattle parents just kick the kids outside. Rain, sleet, snow, whatever. It toughens them up and keeps them out of my hair.

  8. The Other Leanne

    Being another NW Washingtooner, I gotta chime in with Raquel and Monkey Girl…”Go out in the rain,” the old-timers say, “You won’t melt!”

    Lightning, however, changes everything.

  9. The Mother

    You need a Cat in the Hat (too wet to go out, too cold to play ball…)

    Video games were invented for days like this. Don’t beat yourself up.

  10. nil zed

    My raised in Florida brain cannot change to British rain mode. In Florida, rain involves lightning & maybe winds, so stay inside until it’s over. Usually in a few hours except for sometimes in the winter when it’s days.

    Here, it rains, or looks like rain, or misty-fogs so heavily you get as wet as rain EVERY DAY! I know, just like the stereotype says! Everyone here goes out in it anyway. People own a variety of raincoats/jackets/boots to suit the heaviness of the rain and the variable temperatures. I bought my toddler wellies and a waterproof coverall. But I still look outside, see the grey & think maybe we’ll just stay inside for the 34th day in a row.

    If it’s actually sunny, one of us will have a cold.

  11. Jill in Atlanta

    Just change the names to Pook and Bug. My life.

  12. Sarah

    Its -18* …. seriously. My kids haven’t been outside in weeks. Come summer, i’m banning TV for the same amount of time.

  13. Keyona

    Oh bless your heart. I hope playing the Wii is enough….

  14. Rambling Daisy

    I live in North Texas. I know what you mean about the ten snowflakes. We are lucky if we get even that! We usually just get ice. People go “nuts” around here too when the fore cast is for ice or snow – you can’t even find a loaf of bread on the store shelves (as if we are going to be snowbound for days on end!!!)

  15. annette

    I have a kid like that. We equate him to our chocolate lab. He just has to run. I, on the other hand, don’t find it endearing at all. I wish someone would send me to my room for some “quality time” when the mood strikes him!

  16. Megan

    So… is it bad that I’m the one who gets all cranky and restless and irritating if I haven’t been able to DO SOMETHING that day?

  17. Michelle

    I played my Wii all afternoon.

    What? I didn’t have anything else to do.

  18. Sarah @

    Posts like this convince me not to ever live anywhere that the word snow has any actual meaning. Really.

  19. Bethany

    We have indoor bouncy houses, you know, at least we do out here in Southern California where we DON’T NEED THEM. There are chains called Pump it up. A big warehousey place with bouncers inside. Check it out next time Monkey’s going ballistic!

  20. kath

    I think Monkey and I might have very similar personalities …. but then I identify with Chickadee too …. you do an amazing job of keeping your (in)sanity intact …

  21. Jill in Atlanta

    No school. I’m bringing my kids to your Indoor Bouncy House.

  22. Jean

    Be careful what you wish for… especially in places like Georgia that aren’t typically prepared for it…

  23. carolyn

    Here in central SC there was the THREAT of snow, so of course ALL the school districts are closed, the grocery stores are totally empty and here we sit: no snow, blue sky, very cold. Did I mention no school? And now we will have to make the day up. It is just lovely here in the south…

  24. carolyn

    Oops, I forgot to mention…when my sister and her family lived in North Dakota, they put all of their outdoor toys in the basement for the winter and the kids played there: sandbox, Little Tikes climbing thingy, you name it, it was in the basement. It helped my sis maintain her sanity.

  25. liz

    How about an indoor, teeny-tiny trampoline? Jackson got one for Christmas with a handle on it. It’s GREAT for jumping out some extra energy. Trust me. I know. Although I myself haven’t actually had enough extra energy that I need to get rid of.

  26. jennielynn

    Oh hades. You have my complete sympathy. We’ve been stuck inside for two weeks and I got so desperate I took a preschooler, a toddler and a great dane for a walk in the rain.

  27. Tracy

    Hope the weather is better for you today. Here in Louisiana, it’s cold and windy but so far no rain. We don’t get the snow but on special occasions I know what ya mean by cabin fever though. There is nothing wrong with playing Wii all morning. But my kids would only end up fighting over that too! Too much togetherness sometimes is NOT a good thing! Enjoy your Monday!

  28. Susie

    Well, I’ll bet your kids are happily playing by now, what with the 6-7″ of snow here. This is simply surreal for Athens…

  29. Scottsdale Girl

    Um this is when I won’t tell you it will be 90 degrees here today. Um and Sunny.

  30. Katie in MA

    Oh, sure…it’s all happy bouncy house today. Redrum and balloons tomorrow! (Because I? Would seriously have to kill my children. I am soooo looking forward to 100* summers. Again.)

  31. ImpostorMom

    OMG were all us skeptics totally wrong about the snow! my husband and i both were all “yeah right, we’ll believe it when we see it.” and then here it came, 9 hours of uninterrupted snowfall with snowflakes as big as my palm. oh yeah and yesterday…i totally set up my son’s bouncy house in the den. desperate times after all.

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