The winter doldrums have hit this house. After my last entry about how amazing everything is it suddenly became clear how rubbish and depressing winter is; how it’s always dark, always a bit damp, and everyone’s faces are always screwed up against the weather assuming you can see their faces beneath their balaclavas. The feeling snowballed when a plague descended on our house just after it, er, snowed.
Snow is all very well if you’re up for a bit of frolicking, sledging and snowman-building. Usually I’m completely up for it even if I have to admit my arse doesn’t quite fit in the sledge and slows me down a bit as the overhang drags through the snow. But there’s a few things annoyingly wrong about snow if you have small children, and even more things if you and the small children get ill. These things are as follows:
Number 1. The vast amount of clothing required for any excursion whatsoever even just to the corner shop. Vest. long-sleeved T-shirt. Tights. Trousers. Socks. Wellies. Jumper. Gloves. Scarf. Gloves have fallen off. Coat. Gloves. Hat. Gloves have fallen off. Gloves. Waterproof trousers. Gloves have fallen off. Do next child. Yes, next child, you do HAVE to wear your hat IT IS COLD. Gloves. Gloves have fallen off. Put frickin’ gloves in pocket. Dress self to the tune of children wailing they are too hot.
Number 2. Let’s assume you have managed to get the children dressed and they fit out of the door in their many layers. Now, if you are just going for a walk in the snow this bit does not apply to you. You are lucky. If, however, you left the house with the explicit intention of going anywhere I hope you left plenty of time, because if you didn’t you are going to be late. I realise I sound like a right cow when I complain about my children stopping to find wonder in everything, but when the playgroup doors shut in 10 MINUTES and they will cry if we don’t get in and Pickle is minutely inspecting yet another frozen-solid dog shit I find Amused and Indulgent a difficult countenance to maintain (although I confess I did share their wonder at the pair of gloves somebody had kindly found and placed on a garden wall and which had frozen immovably to it. Yes, our gloves).
Number 3. I introduced them to the whole snowball fight thing. Indeed. My own fault.
Number 4. If the kids get ill and it’s snowy they will complain about not being allowed out. They may have a temperature of 49.5°c and be a viable cast member for a TV Dickens adaptation but they were TOLD they could build a snow man and then walk to Elvira’s 3rd birthday party in the snow and that is what they fully intend to do once they stop shivering enough to get off the sofa.
Number 5. Are the poorly kids too warm? Or too cold? Should you add a blanket and a hot water bottle or strip them off to their knickers? Should you, in fact, be putting them outside to cool down? Don’t worry I know that’s a ‘no’.
There are more, but I’m bored of my own dreariness so I’ll stop there. We’ve had five days imprisonment. There’s been telly, and tantrums, and toddlers throwing up down my top; sleepless nights, trudging, and, frankly, a bit of despair. I suppose it could be Prozac withdrawal. But it’s probably just winter being a bit shit.
We got out of the house today and we’re all feeling a bit better. Pickle ate her tea. Ziggler went to nursery. We had a nice chat on the way home.
‘Mummy,’ said Ziggler.
‘Yes, darling?’ I replied.
‘Am I still alive?’
I concede: I might’ve overplayed the poorly thing.