Monday, January 05, 2009

Break Ends

After three rather hairy days, the boys were perfect angels yesterday. Hallelujah.

I know I tend to blog about this after every single break, but... I never wanted to be one of those moms who moan and groan about how long breaks are. I wanted to be having so much fun with my kids when they were home that I would be as disappointed about the return to school as they were. And in some ways, I am; after all, both boys love school, so they aren't disappointed about going back.

I am also not groaning about break being 16 days this year instead of 12-14 for the same reasons as others who groan. I don't really want to relinquish my children; if I thought they would like it, I would cuddle them at home every day forever. Or take them all over the place. I'm not ready to return them to school to get them away from me, because I feel I have better things to do (what could be better than boy squishing, 24/7?)

I groan because I see what it does to them to have so long away from routine, schedule, and learning.

In my short summer break, I do everything I can. I will be saving my pennies this year to take them to Wakefield, to Williamsburg, to Maymont, to Colonial Beach, to the zoo, to the Baltimore Aquarium, to the farm, anywhere and everywhere I can think of. Keep them moving, keep them engaged, keep them having fun, and everything is wonderful. Winter break is different. Being outside is harder, because it is colder, or rainy, or you are trying to get decorations up and down. Everyone else is having the same problem, so they are crammed into the same indoor activities you are trying to get into, and the boys don't do well with crowds. Trying to get them to do crafts and things at home is a bit of a challenge. Andy is better about doing things than Joey (it takes more effort for Joey to be successful, so he prefers other things at home- like his beloved and predictable computer games from Noggin and Starfall.)

Consequently, with no schedule, no routine, everything in holiday upheaval, we end up with major meltdowns, long whiny days, and general malaise that is not good for anybody. An extra three days of a break means my boys have three extra days of being unhappy and uncomfortable, three extra days of me trying to schedule and structure, and failing.

I gotta figure this out. We can't be doing this every Christmas break for the next 12 years.


Cathy said...

I so hear you--I feel like I survived winter break, and feel sad that I feel that way. But being indoors more and being out of routine is hard. We did have some good days, though.

Niksmom said...

You'd think someone, somewhere would hae a solution for all of us wouldn't you?! Like a two week gymnastics/sports/art/whatever special interest workshop/camp... sigh.

I have this trouble a lot with Nik during the winter. The bigger and more active he gets, the more he needs LOTS of gross motor activity and there aren't many places to go in our area that he can tolerate. *sigh*