Winter is such a different time. We get stuck in the house for days because of sickness, snow, ice, or teacher workdays. At first the days seem like a blessing in disguise. We tell ourselves that we will catch up on a few things. Even a bit of a cold is OK at first because things slow down, bedtime is earlier, and meals aren’t a big concern. However, like most things, by the end of a week or two of snow days, sickness, or some combination of all, a person emerges from the house barely sane.
I know that the other drivers can see my glazed eyes on the day that I finally emerge from the depths of being in the house for too long. Perhaps it is because of my driving but I am just as certain that they can spot someone who has been holed up for far too long with three “bored” kids. As the sun warms the earth, we need specific warning signs on the roads: Watch out for fevered moms!
Watch out for the woman who has had to look at too many Lego spaceships, vehicles, and cool buildings. Much like the days off, at first the structures were interesting. But by the millionth iteration of the same structure the new wears off for a mom. For a week, sitting at my table trying to sew, the nine-year old sits faithfully by my side with piles of Legos. “Hey Mom, see if you can tell what I did different this time.” I look over and see the exact same cargo plane that has been sitting on my table for the past four days. “Ummm, did you change the landing gear this time?” I venture.
He throws himself back. Aghast! “Mom! Can’t you see that I left off the signal light right under the left wing?” He tuts and sighs and adds the smallest dot of a Lego to the underside of the wing and then throws me a look of utter contempt. I offer the thinnest of smiles and continue to sew. He tinkers for a bit and pokes me in the arm, “Hey Mom, what now? Can you tell now?”
I try to ignore him and finish my seam. He watches me patiently. As my scissors snip the thread, he touches my arm to encourage me to guess yet again. I turn to the plane and give it my best, but honestly, I don’t care and I can’t see anything different. I only want to work on the quilt for the pre-teen and be finished by the time I have to make supper. I look over the plane and point out a few things. He crosses his arms and grins his supreme builder grin.
“You give up?” The look on his face tells me that I have failed horribly, but I am more stubborn than that. I put down the scissors and pick up the plane. Now I am looking for something, anything. I point to a few things but each time he shakes his head. He begins to giggle and holds his hand over his mouth. Looking at the clock I put the plane back down and only four pieces fall off. He quickly re-attaches them and fairly screams at me, “I tricked you! I didn’t change anything this time!” He was beside himself with his own corny joke.
I looked at him very seriously and said, “You know with one large tap of my scissors, I could destroy this plane.” Silence gathered at the table and the pre-teen ventured in to see what was going to happen.
“No, I wouldn’t but I am tired of this game. I want to finish this quilt top before I have to make supper.”
“Oh, thank you mom. I don’t think I could put it all back together.” And then I felt bad for the threat but we hugged and kissed and he tinkered and I sewed and all was well until the pre-teen inserted himself onto the scene again.
“Hey, mom, look at this video I made.”
I keep sewing and he edges so close he is touching my arm. “I am sewing right now.”
He stays. I keep sewing. He stays. “What?” I ask.
“I am waiting for you to stop so you can watch my video.” And so I watch his video. It is a six second vine – something the kids do with their phones and computers. His are all about sports. “Cool,” I offer and turn back to my machine. He taps along on his phone and puts it right under my nose. “What about now?”
I have to pull back to see the screen. “Same video?”
He snorts in disgust. “NO! Can’t you see what I changed?”
So you get the idea of why on the first clear, sunny, day in February, one needs to watch out for those poor moms who have been in for far too long!