This has been the longest week of my entire life. I feel like the past six days have pummeled me. I last posted on Tuesday, and the rest of the week proved to still be long and ridiculous. Wednesday morning we woke to yet another wintry wonderland, everything snow-covered, all the tree branches coated in ice. School and sitter: cancelled. Andrew worked from home, but the day was just long, long, long. I have no memory of how we spent it. I'm sure it involved coloring and dancing and the Sit N Spin, maybe the Squinkie fairies, perhaps the "slide" I make for them out of an old Ikea shelf. Yes: we did the slide. I remember now. There was a lot of jostling and arguing and pushing and it all ended very unhappily for all.
That afternoon, pushed to the limit of feasible activities, I dumped the food-coloring-tinted ice cubes into a Pyrex baking dish, announced "Rainbow ice!", and left them to it. They squealed with excitement and managed to find ways to play with the cubes. They, too, are desperate.
Thursday, thank goodness, was a normal day. Normal: I mean Lucia had preschool, and we managed to get out of the house. However, the parking lot outside the preschool hadn't been plowed or shoveled, and I couldn't get into any parking spaces; I finally revved up and heaved my car into one, only to immediately realize that was probably really stupid. Nonetheless, I got the girls out of the car, high-stepped through icy, treacherous snow, and then Lucia immediately wiped out on a sheet of ice. She was sobbing, Greta was terrified, I couldn't pick up either girl because my arms were full of shoes and Lucia's lunchbox; and then when Greta and I finally got back into the car, I couldn't get out of my parking space. Of course. A preschool father had to push me out.
Then I took Greta to speech therapy, where she refused to engage with the therapist in any way. Her only spoken word throughout the session was a quiet, firm, unarguable "No." "Greta, would you like to play with this plane?" "No." "Greta--can you say 'peep peep'?" "No." Sigh.
Friday: another day at home. I thought I was going to lose my mind. It was too cold to go outside. I tried to engage them in a Valentine's Day craft, gluing construction paper hearts to a larger paper heart; Lucia was uninterested. Greta actually made quite a pretty one, methodically covering her heart with glue and sticking on other hearts, but then, against all reason, began peeling all the hearts back off. Most were stuck by that point, which enraged her, and by the time she was done her heart was a pile of crumpled, gluey pieces. We then made some paper flowers from a flower-making kit and stuck them to straws. They loved it for approximately three minutes. The day went on more or less like this.
The only thing I can count as a success this week is the girls' new collection of twelve peg dolls. I made them over the past few days, and the girls love them. Who wouldn't, really? They play with them and arrange them and let them have little tea parties. Watching them play with their "wooden dolls," as Lucia calls them, handmade by me, makes me feel like a Good Mother, straight out of Little House on the Prairie. Throwing ice cubes into a Pyrex--not so much. (However, those rainbow ice cubes were more legitimately fun today, when I threw them off the porch and they skittered across the icy snow for Lucia to run after while Andrew shoveled off the porch steps.)
More pictures of the peg dolls to come. I'm kind of obsessed with them: they've become much too real to me. Being snowbound with small children for a week does funny things to one's mind.