Thursday, August 30, 2012

What I've already nixed off my list of "fun" things to do on a rainy weekend with kids

I already have anxiety about Labor Day weekend.

It's a day off work.
I get to sleep in (at least until the stupid dog starts whining).
I only have to make the kids' lunches four times next week.
I don't have to forcibly drag my oldest out of bed.
After a drought-ful summer, I suppose we need it. 

According to the National Weather Service, the "remnants" of Hurricane Isaac pass through Illinois at a snail's pace throughout the Labor Day weekend. (Note: Though this post pokes fun at my rainy predicament, my heart goes out to the victims in Hurricane Isaac's path as they suffer through this horrible natural disaster.)

Not since I was a stay-at-home mom with two little kids have I had such trepidation about a weather forecast. I remember days gone by waking up to the sound of rain pattering on the windows in the summer or on a weekend and my heart would sink as I would realize that it would become a day of me getting nothing done but trying to find ways for my kids to entertain themselves. And yes, all you old-timers, I know full well that it is not my JOB to entertain them, but it IS my job to make sure they don't squander 48 hours or more of their lives away on video games and crap TV.

Plus there's this other thing: I LIKE doing stuff with my kids. The problem is, they sometimes don't like doing stuff with me.

So give me some ideas. And to let you know that I have already thought this through as much as I can, here's a list of already-discarded activities:

1. Bowling (youngest hates it)
2. Movie (they've seen them all already with their dad)
3. Read books (say whaaaaaat?)
4. Starved Rock in the rain with the dog (I don't think it's going to be the "fun hiking" kinda rain)
5. Board Games (I'm game - them not so much anymore)
6. Trampoline in the rain (Please. They don't call me "Captain Safety Kennard" for nothing)
7. Rock Climbing (this was high on my list by nixed by my son who strained his back doing #6)
8. Build a fort (this could happen, but again it just houses the drones that play the video games and watch TV for 48 hours)
9. Make cookies (The last thing my hips and thighs need is to turn my 48-hour + weekend into a feeding frenzy)
10. Organize their bedrooms (again, this was high on my list but nixed by BOTH kids - imagine that!)

Even when I Google "Things to do on a rainy day", stuff like this comes up:

This is not me, nor are these my kids.
1. Put on your own play (um, really?)
2. Create a family recipe book (pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, DONE.)
3. Do a craft. (Back in the day, I was all over this. But now, unless we are experimenting with combustible materials or sharp objects, they're not interested.)
4. Tell family stories. (Uh, we don't even want to GO there.)
5. Make shadow puppets. (Have you seen the kind of shadow puppets teenagers make with their hands? Gross.)
6. Get pizza delivered for lunch and eat it picnic style on the floor. (We call this "Tuesday".)
7. Teach mom how to play the video game all the kids are playing. (That's called "becoming an enabler" and I won't have any of it, with the exception of perhaps the Wii, and then I'm only good for about 20 minutes.)
8. Start a new hobby like brewing your own beer. (That's not such a bad ide.......wait. No. That's not family-friendly.)
9. Go to an arcade. (I'd rather do the craft using combustible materials.)
10. Use modeling clay to create mini sculptures and take turns guessing what everyone's creations are (see "shadow puppets".)

 I'm sure I'll come up with something; I always do. And I'm sure we can squander the day away doing bits and pieces of things, like building Legos, playing around with the dog, and perhaps watching a little bit of TV. It's just so much easier when you have three days at home to have the option of spending it outside at a place other than your postage stamp backyard. According to the forecast, though, if the three of us live through the weekend, they're predicting Isaac to have vacated by Monday and the forecast is calling for 83 and sunny. Keep your fingers crossed, for my kids' sake and the sanity of their mom. And if you have any brilliant ideas in the meantime, let me know.

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