Friday, March 28, 2008


This winter has GOTTA end. 
Both TheLimey and I are beginning to understand why people choose to move to warmer states, although we used to pooh-pooh them roundly.  Winter is tolerable when you're an adult and you can do grownup stuff.  Even fun winter-oriented stuff. 
But when you're stuck in the house for FIVE freakin' months of the year with a baby or toddler, things look otherwise.  And when you're stuck in a tiny, tiny, tiny squalid (even roach-bearing) apartment that is chock-full of things a kid really really wants but isn't allowed to have (like the stove, the soggy germy kitchen sponge, the VCR, Daddy's entire computer, the bread knives, boxes of chokey dry noodles and beans, jugs of cleansers [although of course they're way up high], rolls of toilet paper, and the toilet itself, etc.) it's very otherwise.
I've been looking online for advice about activities to do with a bored toddler.  Many of them include "go outside!"  Well, duh.  And we do take Limelet outside as often as possible: it's just such an event to get him fed and dressed to go out (and yourself at the same time).  It often takes an entire hour just to get out the door.  And then if it's really cold, he needs to come back in after 15 or 20 minutes.  And it all has to be timed around his nap, meals, and...whatever.  This can mean an entire morning revolves around taking him outside for 15 minutes.  He does go to certain activities, like some playgroups at the library or whatever.  But they are at certain times and on certain days, and therefore don't help when he's crying and cranky at some other time. 
Just being able to step outside at any time would be a HUGE help, but we can't do that so simply.
Other suggestions I've seen include letting them play with a bunch of dried beans or sand and scoop them around.  Finger-painting was also in there.  Well, I could potentially see doing that, but we really just don't have the space for him to do "projects".  Especially messy or potentially hazardous ones.  I can't emphasize the crampedness factor enough as a problem.  It doesn't help that along with the smallness, there is the fact that every room leads to every other room.  What I mean by this is, you can't get to the bathroom or the bedroom without going through the kitchen and the office.   We don't really have a usable kitchen floor.
So not only is the kitchen literally the size of our old bathroom minus the tub (for those of you who've seen our old place) it's also a major thoroughfare. And the office would be a decent size if it wasn't mostly taken up with throughways to the bathroom and bedroom, plus a big desk with our computers, and our office bookshelves.  Oh, and my dresser.  What this means is that we have to take Limelet through the kitchen and office (FULL of items he wants but can't have) to go to the bathroom ourselves, give him a bath, change his nappy, get his clothes, or put him to bed.  And the only other place, the one room that he can even freely be in is the living room, which makes him truly insane after a while of being trapped in it.  (Who wouldn't be?) 
The rugs are filthy and ragged after a winter of high use and constant food exposure, and the windows are far above his head so he can't even look outside unless he's a) being carried by one of us or b) standing at the open door, looking out the storm door (which it's still too cold to do).
Other suggestions included making playdates.  Again, duh.  I think a lot of the suggestions must be for older toddlers who maybe have slightly more "friend" relationships than "parallel play" interactions with other kids.  So theoretically, he could go visit some other kid, if TheLimey was up to organizing, initiating, and preparing for that activity.  However, I can't even imagine having another kid over to our place to play.
I guess all the suggestions simply boil down to "do something" or "go somewhere" and both options are just hard right now.  All this would be completely okay if the weather would just stop being completely inhospitable, so he could just go outside and play during the day.


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