Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Hate Spring ...

Really, I only mean sometimes. And mostly just specific instances. I never thought I’d say that I didn’t like spring, but children and spring aren’t the greatest mix, for anyone who doesn’t know. The mud, rain, cabin fever, and so forth just don’t mix well.

My biggest issue is that I live in Chicago where we get hourly updates on the daily forecast. This morning, I was listening to the radio as I was taking my shower. Admittedly, I may have had soap in my ears, but I swear the radio weather person said “And this just in, we have an updated forecast today. Our new high will be 63 degrees.” That’s one of those times I really wish I had Tivo for my radio. I believe the previous high forecast had been either 61 or 62.

This morning, it was 32 degrees when my children left the house. I’ve tried sending them in their winter coats then placing more windbreaker type coats in their backpacks for when (ok, if) it warms up. Inevitably, there is no changeover of the coats. And periodically, I then have to go to the school in search of the missing coat. Considering how well I’m doing with my keys, I decided this wasn’t worth the risk.

By the time I went running after dropping off Little Miss at preschool, it was 45 and I ran without a jacket. By the time I ran a few errands and picked up Little Miss at 11:30, I couldn’t justify her wearing a coat at all.

At that point, I decided a picnic was in order. As a family, we loooooove picnics. Actually, spending time outside in general is pretty much a favorite pastime. (I’ll admit, Little Miss wouldn’t come inside after we got home from Language Stars this afternoon until I closed the garage door and went looking for her out the front door.)

When we got home, I brought out our Little Tykes picnic table that spends the winter as a craft table. Since we usually have a laid back lunch where they can choose (within reason) what they want to eat for lunch, I asked Little Miss for her selection and what she thought Mister Man would want. I was expecting Tacquito’s (her personal favorite), but she surprised me today. She went for cheese. Really, that means crackers made into a cheese sandwich. And for Timothy, no surprise, she chose Chicken Dinosaurs.

She was in charge of watching for the bus while I started “making” lunch. As I sliced the first piece of cheese, I asked Little Miss if she saw Miss Nancy yet. “Nope. I just see the picnic table.” Had I been thinking, I would have realized that meant she was fixated on the picnic table and looking at nothing beyond it. About 5 seconds later, I heard the beep that meant the bus was sitting in my driveway waiting for me. She’ll never make a good watchdog.

Herding the cats inside to wait for me to finish making lunch was a chore. Mister Man interpreted it as he had to come inside to take off his coat and put his backpack away but was then free to go back out to play. Not surprisingly, that infuriated Little Miss, so she tried to go outside but can’t quite manage to pull the lever and push the door at the same time – yet. Fortunately, Mister Man noticed her plight and helped her outside.

It was about that point that I realized someone (meaning not me) had used up the last of the Saltines. Fortunately, the oyster crackers were still there. I hadn’t tried that combo on her before, but usually if I don’t make a big deal out of making a substitution, she manages. Yep, it was a hit.

In fact, Mister Man wanted some for himself. As he asked – oh so politely – if she would share some crackers, his hands closed around several. She magnanimously agreed and put one cracker on his plate. He then let go of the crackers in his fist, and she shared more with him. Then he shared a chicken dinosaur with her. Then she tried to share cheese with him. You’d think she’d know by now that he won’t let cheese pass his lips unless it’s melted in a sandwich or on pizza. That started off a lovely exchange.

(Nope, we don't sit still for photos in this family, and we tend to not have normal facial expressions either. And you wonder why Little Miss was 2 1/2 before I had her 2 year photos taken.)

As happens in about three-quarters of the meals we eat, drinks were spilled. In fact, Mister Man spilled his cup first. It landed on his pants, too. For anyone who’s ever seen this child, he hates being wet, although I’ve gotten better at convincing him that things like water will dry. This was a particularly large spill, so you’ll notice that the pants change as time goes on in our picnic.

Since I was making watermelon granita for dessert for dinner tonight, I had cut up some extra watermelon for them to eat, as well. By the time we got to the point of eating the watermelon, the wind had picked up, and I was starting to get a little chilly.

And since I'd stopped at Clarke's Bakery to ask them for a donation for Mister Man's school fundraiser (and they gave me one), I had to come home with some sort of treat for them. They recommended the smiley face cookies, and they were certainly a hit with my angels. Actually, I was really proud of them. Rather than stuff their faces, they both decided after eating about half the cookie that they were full and wanted to save it for later. Actually, they wanted to save it for me to eat after dinner. Here's hoping they still know when they're not hungry anymore as they get older!

As I was getting the cookies from my car, Little Miss was definitely chilly. She let me know that in no uncertain terms. In fact, she went from winter coat to no outerwear to spring jacket in matter of two hours. Really, it’s pretty par for the course here.

And tomorrow? 70. That’s simply because I’ll be locked inside a building working the entire day. We go back to thunderstorms and low 60s for Thursday and Friday when I’m at home. I think that really about sums it up!


Jeff April 16, 2008 at 9:58 PM  

Cute pics... You can't second guess Mother Nature, especially in Chicago. The minute you try to make plans, the faster she'll screw em up!

Michelle April 16, 2008 at 10:10 PM  

Thanks, Jeff. Today it was in the low 70's but I still had my leather jacket on because it was so windy. Here's hoping your snow is gone for good this winter and MSP starts to warm up for you!

Shelley April 17, 2008 at 10:14 PM  

Hey, I have those same cups...IKEA, right?

Michelle April 17, 2008 at 10:20 PM  

Why yes, yes they are from IKEA. As are the plates. And their bowls. And their utensils.

I love IKEA. Good eye!

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