“It’s another cold, blustery, gloomy day. No hope to go outside for even a bit to get some wiggles out.”
Sandy turned away from the dreary early morning window with a sigh. What was she going to do with the kids today? Bobby would be nearly impossible. It’d already been two days like this—dreary and gray. That boy NEEDED to be outside. How could one 35-pound child have so much energy?
With the driving winds, Sandy knew they wouldn’t be outside no matter how many layers she could manage to pile on the kids. It was simply a matter of physics–the kids would be blown off their feet in these high winds. “Small pet warning is right,” she giggled as she remembered the meteorologist’s forecast.
She poured herself a cup of tea as she racked her brain for something interesting to do with the kids.
Days like these tested her mother skills AND her patience. How could she keep her kids upbeat when she was fighting cabin fever herself?
“Well, we can definitely have hot chocolate. It’ll be a nice treat on this gray day.“
“They could play with Play-Doh©.” She shuddered at the thought of the mess. But it would keep them occupied for at least an hour.
Yet, by the time they did all this, Bobby would be climbing the walls—literally.
What could we do to get the wiggles out?
“How about hide and seek? I’ll have to set the boundaries clearly – which rooms are off limits. But this would be fun and the kids could run a bit. That should help with the wiggles.”
“I know! Bobby and Jimmy have those light sabers. They love them. How about if we have a light saber contest? I’ll clear the coffee table – put it in the corner of the living room. We’ll create a ‘fight ring’ by putting the kitchen chairs in a square and tying sheets between each chair like a rope. Before we have the contest, I’ll let Mary create the winners crown. The boys can ‘practice.’ Whoever wins the contest will get to wear the crown all day and can choose what they’d like to have for dinner tonight. Maybe Mary and I will get in on the contest, too. Hopefully I have all the ingredients on hand for that favorite meal. Could be risky but also fun. Who knows? This could be the start of an ongoing competition.”
Sandy’s spirits began to soar. She was excited for the kids to wake up. Her husband came out to the kitchen and Sandy related her plans.
The kids got up and looked outside eagerly. Sandy watched as their little shoulders slumped. No going outside again today.
As they sauntered listlessly to the table for breakfast, Sandy began to entice them with her plans for the day. Pretty soon she saw the anticipation light their eyes. Her husband actually seemed sad to leave for work because he’d miss out on all the fun.
Breakfast done, Sandy sent the kids to change their clothes, make their beds, and brush their teeth, encouraging them to do it quickly so they could get on to their exciting day. No arguments. No whining. Amazing. They’d caught her enthusiasm.
It was going to be a great day after all.
I relate to Sandy’s predicament.
All my children were blessed with abundant energy. Days like these truly tested my mothering skills, patience, and attitude. Yet I found when I
- had a positive attitude
- chose to be fully present and engaged with my children, and
- remembered what it was like to be a kid trapped inside in the middle of the winter,
we had really fun, exciting days.
Days like these meant I had to set aside my “list of things to do” and enter into my children’s world. The “to-do’s” would always be there; my children needed me to show them how to capture the hidden joy in this kind of day.
It’s always a matter of perspective isn’t it?
Each day comes with challenges. It’s what you choose to do with those challenges that are important. Choose gratitude.
Are you facing a blustery, gloomy day today? What can you do to turn the day around? What would you do in Sandy’s situation? Leave a comment below so we can learn from you.
Capture the extra-ordinary in the ordinary today.
Great ideas and what a terrific perspective -shaper! Thanks! And also very well written!