In case I hadn’t mentioned it before, keeping children alive can be a pretty strenuous position. My 4-year-old, Jrue, eats so infrequently that I actively wonder if a cloned robot was swapped with our real son without our knowledge. My almost-2-year-old, Jai, is hell-bent on obtaining the world record for the mass of inedible objects that she manages to attempt to ingest. I think the child is trying to test my observation skills. Either way, I am a mother constantly on a swivel, moving at a rapid pace from child to child, insisting and bribing and congratulating.
Young children hold the energy levels of new batteries. They often fight for that defiant independence by speeding back like a boomerang to the very occasion the parent said “no” to. My children are particularly exploratory, yet a strange sort of dependent on mommy, even if daddy is a much more logical choice. Jrue follows me around like a hired bodyguard, shooing away the “other” man in my life and asking me a barrage of questions hourly to ensure my utmost comfort. Jai has learned to run at full speed, arms hitched up like a T-Rex’s, campaigning her own decisions by sprinting towards or away from whoever and whatever she wants.
They keep me on my toes, that’s for certain. They are a mash-up of dreadful and exciting weather. My two clean out all the milk and all the bread all the time.
My kids, like many others, are like a sudden, southern snow day.
For one, I never feel as if I have enough food. Even though one child eats in spurts, and one eats arguably “everything,” I cannot keep the foods they prefer in the house. Particularly because we were out of school and jobs here in our little corner of Georgia for some days due to ice accumulation around the state, I found that snacks hurried their escapes first: popcorn, chips, crackers, cookies, and fruit chews went down tummies fast. Then went bread and hot dog buns (because…substitution) and all things chicken and pasta. When the third day found that I had run out of both dishwashing liquid and dishwasher detergent, I knew we had to venture to the grocery store. Napkins couldn’t hold all meals.
My kids ate the paper plates, too. I couldn’t believe it.
Like snow, you can see them coming, but never know the true severity of their condition(s) until the aftermath. When snow or like precipitation is forecasted for our area, we’re usually certain of two things: packed stores and zero water. Rarely is the certainty of the weather as good, or as bad, as foreshadowed…until the city shuts down. The weather rolls from quite cold to relatively mild back to “winter” again with several blinks. Similarly, kids can wake up happy and end the day dangling from a metaphorical cliff. They can be fine one second and vomiting a lung the next. My kids are generally amicable children until they resemble little killer dolls and are forced to bed.
However, like a snow moment, they can still be fun for a while. Once the shock of wintry water descending from the sky passes, and we have a layer of something different on the ground, we may endeavor to want to touch it. The first time that Jai played in the snow was a few weeks back, and she appeared pretty tolerant to taste it (of course). My children love to laugh. Our home is full of tickle fights and dance battles and lighthearted razzing. There is so much joy in unexpected kisses and hugs and high-pitched “I love you” declarations. In comparison, snow only appears in one season, like childhood. It’s fluffy and unapologetic and all-encompassing, like my children.
But, deservedly repeated: All of the above can negatively affect all money and resources. Snowfall can keep one from pursuing and can cost them money, especially if someone finds themselves stuck or, worse, capsized in vehicular misfortune. Toddlers and preschoolers, amongst other age groups, can inhale the trifle bit of money that does sneak its way into a home. They’re usually in need…of clothes because of growth…of food because it’s time…of entertainment because, if not, they will drive parents demented.
Most parents cannot afford a snow break.
Or afford kids, for that matter.
Yet, here we are.