Last week, my husband Ian came down with a bad cold (although with hot and cold chills thrown in, it probably qualifies as a flu). I felt really bad for him. I rifled through the meagre offerings of our medicine cabinet, and offered painkillers. I hit Shopper’s Drug Mart to fulfil his requests for Gatorade and halls. I adjusted the fireplace and let him nap…I offered backrubs.
But by day four, I was tired of playing nurse. Admittedly, I was irritated that I was the sole parent to handle the kids’ morning routine – again – while he stayed in bed. I racked the whole thing up to a “man cold” and felt bitter that he couldn’t just get over it already.
And then what happened? Then I got the cold myself, of course ; it would seem karma has quite the twisted sense of humour.
So here I am – on day five of my own cold – finally feeling a bit better (I pause here to salute the good folks at Nyquil). Let me just say that functioning – let alone parenting – when you’re sick is not fun. Suddenly, all my uber-cool ideas to rent snowshoes or go cross-country skiing with the kids went out the window, and I was just trying to make it through the weekend.
As luck would have it, it was a three-day weekend (thank you, PD day – perfect timing!), and Ian was working all three days. I muddled through it – taking the kids to see a matinee of The Nut Job and bringing them to their art classes. Aside from that, there was a whole lot of time at home (yawn!), which I hadn’t really planned for.
I find January a challenge. If you’re not caring for sick family members or feeling sick yourself, you’re struggling to decide if you need a sled or skates to get to school, on account of the snow and freezing rain.
I do try to plan for fun outings, like tobogganing and other outdoor play, but sometimes the elements overwhelm me and I just end up indoors, hoping for spring (yet knowing that it’s still months away).
How does your family embrace the winter? What are your favourite activities to fill the long, snowy days – whether you’re inside or out? I’d love to hear about them.