Wanted: winter time activities. Must require massive amounts of energy and take place away from my house. Preferably cheap or free.
We have officially crossed the threshold when winter has worn out its welcome. The days of it being too cold or too wet to kick my children out of the house to go play have remained for far too long.
Our home, while lovely, is modest and ill equipped for four children with an excess of energy. Please do not mistake my comments as children behaving badly. They are not. They are just kids being kids, but…
Four kids plus 1,800 square feet equals sensory overload. We are not talking about kids being a little loud. No, our house in winter would constitute a full on assault on your senses. Allow me to provide an illustration.
As you enter my home, the first sense under attack will be your hearing, not just by volume of voices but by also combining a multitude of octaves. The 5- and 7-year-olds are probably fighting as they attempt to violate the laws of physics and occupy the same physical space. The same two children will add to the auditory carnage by allowing their respective video game systems to run at full volume while they sort out their differences. Oh, and the baby will probably be crying.
As you move on to the living room, your eyes will feel the strain caused by the explosion of color created by the toys spread throughout the house. The children in a state of constant motion will also prevent your eyes from focusing… on anything.
Touch can be among the most intimate of senses… that is if the method of touch is not eight little hands grasping, poking, and slapping you as you go by. It’s kind of like a mosh pit without the benefit of music.
The 3-year-old will overwhelm your two remaining senses as you pass into the dining room. You will not see this child, but you will know he is there. The smell will be coming from under the table as he hides in order to poop. Febreeze will not protect you from the stench of toddler constipation mixed with poor parental dietary choices. You will even be able to taste it.
Now that we have concluded our sensory tour, I’ll turn to another law of physics that states, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only harnessed and directed.” And for the love of all things holy, I need a damn good harness.
Chris Donnelly is married with four children. You can read him every Thursday on momaha.com
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