I think this particular school holiday was completely the idea of the teachers who didn't get enough rest during the Winter Break and now have decided they need just a little more time off because These Kids Are Freaking NUTS!!! The school kids just had the last two weeks of December off, and now, two weeks later, they get a four day weekend after two half days. What are these school teachers thinking?!?!
Seriously, I just spent the last two weeks recovering from having the little trolls, er...I mean DARLINGS creeping around here all day. What am I supposed to do with them for FOUR straight days again? I can handle weekends (mostly 'cause DH is here to kick them around for me and to schedule all sorts of stuff to keep us out of the house) and the occasional three day weekend is doable (I am the queen of Holiday Monday Do Nothing Days,) but this fourth day has got me running up the walls. What am I going to do with them to keep them from killing each other (or me stringing them up like so many fish caught in the river?)
I am all out of ideas for arts and crafts, games that they can play outside, interesting things to do for lunch, and now I am even running out of "Crazy Things to Let Them Do That I Normally Won't Let Them Do," like watch the entire "Fellowship of The Rings" trilogy or the "Star Wars" two part trilogy beginning to end. (Having nerdlings is so convenient sometimes.) They don't like to play outside for extended amounts of time, and I sure don't blame them. We are all very fair and even during the mild winter months the sun gets to us. This also means that they have limited space to release their extensive store of kinetic energy. They are getting so stir crazy that they pulled out my Yoga video and completed the "Fat Burning" routine before breakfast and the "Yoga Love" routine before snack time.
Now they have decided to pull out their supply of beads and are making "jewelery" for me and each other. By the time we get to lunch I will probably look similar to a Christmas tree (that just got taken down to days ago) because of all the homemade earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that are being made for me today. If any of you parents have seen "The Wizards of Waverly Place", just take one look at the best friend named "Harper" and you will understand what I mean.
I think I might have to pull out the "games of last resort." I like to use the Carrot and Stick policy (show them the carrot, then hit them with the stick!) I will give them permission touse the living room to make "The Fort" and then I will give them a list of things they must do BEFORE they are able to build said fort. If I am fortunate, they will spend all afternoon lingering over my list of demands so that the fort might get forgotten in the fray. Probably, though, I will not be so lucky. Most likely, they will give my list a cursory sweep and then demand that I give immediate permission for the building of the fort. I will probably give my blessing, regardless, because I just want a few minutes of peace and quiet.
I know. I am a pushover. There comes a point when it just doesn't pay to fight. I like to call it "choosing my battles." (Others might call it a sign of weakness, but I never listen to them. They all have bratty kids.) It boils down to two things. 1) I am a fan of anything that keeps them busy for more than 30 minutes (that doesn't involve the television.) 2) I really like to say "yes" as much as I can so it doesn't hurt as much when I have to say "no."
Think about my logic here for a moment. If I let them use paints for an art project in the afternoon they are in much better moods when I have to say "no" to ice cream sundaes for dinner. (I will not discuss why they actually BELEIVE they can have sundaes for dinner...that is a whole different topic.) Here is another bonus - by letting them make messes, I can get them to clean up those messes afterward (provided I include the clean-up time in the schedule for the rest of the evening.) Sometimes, during the clean-up of their play mess I can actually get them to keep going without realizing it and WHAM! I have a clean living room and I didn't have to lift a finger. I know. I'm sneaky that way.
An additional bonus to all of this is that I have a digital camera and I am not afraid to use it. (I often hide the flash so they don't know I have taken the picture until they hear my maniacal laughter.) I have some amazing shots that I am keeping just for First Date and Prom Night but the potential use fort these snap shots is unending. Since LH is now old enough to like boys and actually has a "steady" boyfriend, I already have the leverage I need to get the job done. For some reason, she doesn't invite this BF over very often (I wonder why...) The other two girls are too young to be able to use this kind of leverage, but I am building my portfolio for That Day. I have an entire thumb drive specifically for naked baby shots and faces covered with flour and food coloring. My girls think those shots disappeared from out online photo album, but, I have them here, just waiting for that special moment to use them to their full potential. Beautiful moments like these are like a fine wine or rare whiskey - they get more potent with time.
I just can't wait.