Ahhhh, March break. Nine (that's NINE) days of uninterrupted quality time with my children. Enough time to take a trip somewhere, or plan fun and exciting daily excursions. You know, museums, parks, swimming, skating, hiking, ice fishing, skiing, sap-collecting. Because spring break is about doing all the things things as a family that you normally don't have time for.
This March break was not what I'd pictured. Never mind the fact that we passed around a violent stomach bug like a diseased hot potato ("Here, you have it!" - BARF! - "No, you have it!" - SHART! - "I know, let's give it to our poor, unsuspecting cousin. Catch! - RALPH! -). We just didn't really DO anything. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that; there's a lot of pressure on parents to DO STUFF and MAKE IT MEMORABLE, especially during March break. To be honest, I don't even remember what we did last year. I asked my daughter and she just shrugged. Whatever we did, I'm sure it was at least moderately fun. Probably.
The year before that, we went to Florida. But that doesn't count as a fabulous March break, because neither kid was in school at the time. I'm sure we won't remember much about this slightly miserable break either. But man, I had plans! I had ideas! Plus I didn't realize how out of practice I was having the kids home for long stretches of time. I'm used to a nice chunk of quiet between our morning shuffle and the evening frenzy. I'd forgotten about the Sisyphean task of cleaning a house while children are still in it. I'd forgotten how much TV they want to watch. I'd forgotten how to juggle puke bowls and towels and the awful necessity of a middle-of-the-night-sheet-and-pyjama-change. Boy, do I remember it all now.
So here are 5 Things I didn't do on March break, in no particular pathetic order.
1. Go to Kindergym.
Got the kids up, fed, dressed and excited about Kindergym. Drove 20 minutes into town. Made children peel off four layers of outerwear. Realized gym was filled with women doing Zumba because Kindergym was NOT ON TODAY because TODAY WAS NOT SATURDAY. Plied kids with doughnuts and empty promises to stop the whinging.
By the time the kids were in bed, I only had the mental capacity to play online Scrabble very, very badly.
3. Do something fun as a family.
D worked the entire week, which was unavoidable but still sucky. Dylan and I made it to visit my sister Tanzi and hit the butterfly conservatory for an hour before the crowds freaked us out. I guess mooching dinner off Grandma several times that week kind of counts as a family activity.
4. Have a romantic date with my husband.
D had a worse week than I did. Plus nothing puts a damper on hanky panky quite like finding a child sleeping in your bed covered in his own vomit.
5. Swim. Skate. Go to a museum. Go the freaking library. GO SOMEWHERE. GO ANYWHERE! AHHHHH!
So what did we do? Well, we painted the hell out of every toilet paper roll and pine cone in the house. We cuddled. Imagined. Sang. Tickled. Planted. Baked. Told each other how much it stunk to be sick over March break and celebrated with chocolate cake when we got well.
It wasn't the best of times, it wasn't the worst of times. We did get to relax and hang out in our PJs with no real routine or schedule pricking us in the conscience, which was pretty cool. I think I so got caught up in what I wanted to do with the kids that I kind of forgot to ask them what they wanted to do. It was their break, after all. Turns out there's a big difference.
Last night, as we snuggled down for our bedtime routine, I asked my daughter whether she'd had a good March break, mentally shuddering as I anticipated her answer. "Oh Mumma," she sighed from the depths of her comforter. "It was SO GOOD. I got to wear my pyjamas EVERY DAY and hardly had to go anywhere!"
I guess next year I'll try not to be such a doofus and take a cue from my kids.