Four days. Four whole days.
For those of you who are parents of young children, your whole body just tensed like when the scary music starts playing in a horror film, didn’t it? And you just checked your calendar because you were a little worried that you, too, might be faced with a four day weekend, right? Yeah, you guys know.
For those of you who aren’t parents of young children, let me explain.
I love Iris. I love her with all my heart and beyond all reason. I actually enjoy spending time with her and talking with her. Just, maybe, not all twenty-four hours of the day.
You see, Iris has no siblings. So, four days off school means four whole days where I am the entertainment. And I can’t tell her to “go play with your sister.” Because she doesn’t have a sister. Four days off school means I am the one who has to either play every game ever created for or made up by a preschool-aged child, or I have to plan enough fun activities to exhaust the average decathlete, or I will be punished by having to listen to Iris recount exactly how bored she is (spoiler alert: bored enough to whine a lot, but not bored enough to clean her room, make her bed, or learn to read).
The hell of it is, even if I play every game and exhaust the decathlete, it will not be enough. It will only last half the day. And Iris hasn’t taken an afternoon nap since she was three.
I miss the nap. I really miss the nap.
Honestly, I am not up to this. I haven’t even fully recovered from Winter Break, yet. I’m still experiencing flashbacks and I get the shakes every time I even look at Candyland.
When I was young, I loved winter break. Looooooooved it. I mean, seriously, a bunch of time off school in the middle of which people give you a crap-ton of presents? What kid WOULDN’T love that? Back then, I did not keep a diary. But, if I HAD, my winter break diary would have probably looked like this:
Back then, I did not know that winter break was not really a thing for parents. Back then, I did not realize that my parents were still having to do all the things they usually had to do while they were coming up with things for me to do because I was soooo boooored. Back then, I did not know that there is a reason that Winter Break and Water Boarding have the same initials.
The winter break diary I would have kept this last winter break? Would look like this:
I can handle this, right? It’s only, what, seventeen days?
Crap. Really? Seventeen? Are there really SEVENTEEN days before school starts again? That has to be wrong. It can’t be that long.
It is? Seriously? Oh, God.
Okay. I can do this. I just need a plan. A plan and lots of playdates. That’s all. It’ll be fine. I enjoy spending time with Iris. She’s great. And I can play with her. And read to her. And we’ll snuggle up and watch movies. It’ll be fun. Right?
I did not know it was even possible to play Candyland that many times without dying from acute monotony. And the box says “fun for the whole family.” Really? Which whole family? I have a law degree! I used to do criminal jury trials. For a living. I WON A MURDER CASE! Now I am spending my day worrying about whether I’m going to get stuck in the Molasses Swamp? This cannot be my life.
We had a playdate. A PLAYDATE!!!! Do you know how hard it is to arrange a playdate over the holidays? Everyone is travelling, or preparing for the holidays, or spending time with family, or singing carols for patients at a nursing home while simultaneously cooking all the food for Christmas dinner for a homeless shelter. But I did it! I secured a playdate for Iris. Two days before Christmas, I wrangled a playdate out of thin air. So, for something like three hours, Iris had someone to play with!!!! And it wasn’t me!!! And we were at someone else’s house so I didn’t even have to clean up!!!! My sanity is saved!!!!!
Who thought putting Christmas in the middle of Winter Break was a good idea? Because Iris is Stir Crazy + Santa's Coming Tonight = I really wish I had, at some point, acquired the taste for alcohol. Or that Drunk Betsy wasn’t such a crybaby.
You know, if I survived seventeen days of winter break, I can do this. A four-day weekend won’t be so bad. And I learned some stuff from winter break. I have a plan. A week ago, I managed to arrange a playdate for Friday afternoon. I’ve hidden Candyland (and Princess Candyland) behind some old golf clubs on the floor of the coat closet in our downstairs hallway. I have warned Quinten about which activities I have planned for which day. And I have a new DVD stashed away in the laundry room to be brought out in case of emergency.
Although, I just heard that Tuesday, the day Iris is supposed to go back to school, there might be snow and ice….
If you need me, I’ll just be in that corner over there, rocking and wishing I liked wine.