Sunday, February 15, 2015

Parenting the High Energy Child During the Never Ending Blizzards of 2015

Stop Snowing Already!

Those are just a few shots of the three major snow storms we've already experienced here in the northeast. Now of course, it's snowing outside as I type this, yet again. By the time this storm ends, we will have approximately 70 inches of snow on the frozen, icy ground that will need to be plowed and shoveled somewhere. To put this all into perspective Boston normally gets 42 inches per season and since it's only mid-February we'll (probably) more than double that before winter comes to a slow painful end. I checked this morning and found out that there's more snow already scheduled for next Tuesday and Sunday so my prediction of doubled snowfall is fairly safe. Sigh. Anyone want to move to Florida with me?

I took this photo in front of my house after storm #1. Yes, this is how much snow I had to shovel in one two-hour session:

The arctic temperatures are not helping either. Yesterday I decided to help out my running club with water stop assistance because the Boston Marathon training team still needed to get their long run in. The run started at 7am on Saturday morning and the runners were going for 16 miles. The run started so early because the runners have to run in the street (too much snow on the sidewalks) and it's safer earlier because there are fewer cars on the road. That said, this is a picture of the temperature gauge in the car, which of course doesn't take into account wind chill. I was standing outside for two hours and it took me a good chunk of the rest of the day to warm up afterwards.

Aside from shoveling and being cold, the snow has presented quite a few other challenges for us as well. Christopher's school has already had eight snow days this season, which means I've lost a lot of work productivity so far. Through the first few storms, I worked some and played some with Christopher and I took one day off entirely. Here is a photo of my little man outside in the snow with me during storm #1:

But my work started backing up so by storm #3, I had to put in longer days on my work from home days. This past week, I've had three 12-hour work days now and the To Do list does not seem to be getting any shorter.

I feel like an awful parent on these days because Christopher is playing on his own, watching TV or playing games on the Kindle. He's not getting the stimulation that I want him to have but I am a working mom and sometimes I just have to work. I cannot take the entire month of February off so that I can be the attentive mom that I want to be.

The work is still backing up because even though school is in session, public transportation is not quite so accommodating. I won't get too deeply into the mess that is the underfunded MBTA right now but basically trains are not running and when they do, they run with massive delays. Today is the third day that the T has shut down for the entire day. I take the Orange Line to work and this past week on the days the train was running, my normal 40-minute commutes have turned into hour and a half commutes. Each way. With three hours of commute time, I get into work late, have to leave early-ish to be able to pick up Christopher, which means logging into work from home in the evening in order to catch up. Needless to say, I'm exhausted all the time. I'm just glad today is Sunday and tomorrow is Presidents Day because I won't have to battle into work until Tuesday, which by the way, is the day of the next forecasted snow storm. Ugh.

Even on the days when I try to be attentive to Christopher, I end up feeling guilty yet again because his high energy is really trying my patience. I may feel stir crazy sitting at home but Christopher is really, really, REALLY stir crazy. Yesterday he was up by 5:30 am, looking for attention. And today it's only 7:30am on a Sunday morning but I have already told him at least 10 times to stop yelling. This weather pattern is really pushing me to my limits in way too many ways.

The US Postal Service doesn't help much either. Our mail is also either delayed or not showing up at all. I requested a refill of Christopher's medication from Boston Children's Hospital last Monday and a week later, the prescription still hasn't arrived. (Because his medication is a controlled substance, I have to call it in to a prescription line voice mail, they fill it and mail the hard copy prescription and then I have to take the hard copy to the pharmacy to be filled). Christopher will take his last available tablet on Tuesday morning, which means I've got to call the Hospital tomorrow, leave a message, wait for them to call me back and then drive there to pick it up in person. The trip alone will take two hours, there and back, plus I will have to pay for parking. All this because our mail isn't getting to me.

The storm is getting expensive for me as well. With each storm, we have to pay a plow company $150 to plow our parking lot. We also just had to pay someone $400 to shovel our roof, so that it doesn't collapse under the weight of seven feet of snow. Since my condo has only 3 units, our account will be soon depleted and we'll need to add more money outside of our normal monthly condo fees in order to cover the costs. I will say, at least we are lucky that our roof isn't creating ice dams because those telltale icicles cause leaks in your home and require costly repairs.

I just checked the weather report and it said that the temperatures will drop as the day goes on and it's best to get your shoveling in as early as possible so you don't freeze. Considering it's only 18 degrees out right now, this is a bit disheartening. I've just eaten and I'm dressed so although it's only 7:47 am, I might as well get a jump on the shoveling process. It's probably a good opportunity to get Christopher out of the house for a bit so he gets that energy out before the temps drop even lower though so off we go.

However, in an effort to end this blog post on a positive note, at least New England has this to savor during our cold, blustery winter days:

Way to go Patriots! I got to sleep in after the game too because it was yet another snow day.


  1. A day late, but never, ever a dollar short :)

  2. It is crazy. I feel for you! Doreen

  3. I wrote this almost a month ago and since then we've tallied up 102 inches of snow here in Boston! Oh and also that day that I had to drive into town to get Christopher's prescription was the day that my pipes froze and burst. So I had to deal with that before I could leave. Thankfully all is fixed now and the weather seems to be improving but that was just a really trying time to be sure.