Okay, it hasn’t been raining quite that long, but it sure feels like we’re going to float away. Southern California is having what’s being called “our biggest storm of the year”, which to someone who grew up in the Midwest feels odd, because I think of a storm as a quick, crashing downpour accompanied by lightning and scary winds, and a California “storm” is more like…rain. And more rain. And a bit of a break, and then more rain.

Rain is good! (Unless you live in one of those areas where the brushfires were burning a few months ago, so now you’re in danger of mudslides. We don’t.) We always need water here. And once upon a time, I loved a rainy day. Rainy days meant cozying up with my favorite sweatshirt and blankets and tea and a good book. Mmmmm, nice.

At this stage in my life, however, rainy days mean two darelings literally bouncing off the walls with pent-up energy. In recent days, we’ve made cupcakes, done craft projects, used up every last piece of construction paper, and played lots of board and card games the darelings are really too young to understand. (My eldest’s idea of playing crazy eights is to spend ten minutes divvying up the cards so that she gets all the eights. Unsurprisingly, it’s a no-fail strategy!)

So here we are facing yet another rainy day with no school… Um, help? Please? What do I do with these kids?

11 comments to “Forty days and forty nights…”

  1. Janga
    · February 17th, 2009 at 11:05 am · Link

    Poor Tessa! It would be easier if the energy levels were more balanced, wouldn’t it?

    A great favorite with the grands is an in-door version of dodge ball. I like it because they do all the running. We gather all the throw pillows from the couch, loveseat, and assorted beds, and I throw them while they try to dodge them. It requires moving the coffee table and a few breakables, but the grands three to nine love it. We also play animal charades, and a homemade version of mad libs where I tell the story and they feel in the blanks and scream with laughter as they get sillier and sillier. Whoever said girls were sillier had never played mad libs with a five-year old boy who thinks words associated with bodily functions are side-splittingly funny. 🙄

  2. Lady Leigh
    · February 17th, 2009 at 11:46 am · Link

    This is great practice, as it rains all the time in England. You can build more empathy for your characters. 😉 Although, having servants sure would make life easier.

  3. Tessa
    · February 17th, 2009 at 12:19 pm · Link

    Great ideas, Janga! Yeah, I’m sure they’d love that pillow game.

    This morning, we tried to play Simon Says, but my daughter just can’t quite grasp the gist of it. She’ll say, “Simon says touch your nose,” and then I’ll touch my nose, and she’ll say, “No, no, no! Simon didn’t say touch your nose.” And no amount of protesting will sway her. It’s like the Capricious Military Dictator version of “Simon Says”. This is probably how they break captured spies. 🙄

    Oh, Leigh. What a way to think of it! But yes, I’m thinking they all had nursemaids to deal with the children and thus could spend their rainy days playing naughty parlor games… 🙂

  4. Tessa
    · February 17th, 2009 at 12:20 pm · Link

    Hey, Terri! A cleaning game…hm….worth a try! Beats the usual “mess up the house beyond recognition” game!

  5. Lori Brighton
    · February 17th, 2009 at 12:21 pm · Link

    I find a closet with a lock on it works wonders. For you or for the kids.

  6. Tessa
    · February 17th, 2009 at 12:22 pm · Link

    LOL, Lori. Now there’s an idea…. I’m thinking it’s definitely for me.

  7. Janga
    · February 17th, 2009 at 12:49 pm · Link

    OMG, I just read my post. 😳 Obviously that should have been “fill in the blanks,” although the three-year-old might do better at “feeling in the blanks.” His latest attention-assuring strategy is to place a hand on either side of someone’s face, lean his forehead against theirs, stare them straight in the eyes, and say loudly, “Now listen!”

  8. terrio
    · February 17th, 2009 at 12:15 pm · Link

    Poor you, indeed. I only have one little hoodlum and she’s been good at entertaining herself from the start. Though I hear more and more these days how bored she is. Forget that she has 2 DS machines, a Wii, her own tele with DVD player in her room, and countless other things she got for Xmas that she hasn’t even opened! Too bad she has nothing to do. *rolls eyes*

    That madlib thing Janga mentions sounds kind of fun. But I recommend making a game out of cleaning. Who can pair more socks? Who can dust the most shelves? If it gets bad enough, you could pay $1 per chore. LOL! I think bribery is okay in desperate times.

  9. Maya M.
    · February 18th, 2009 at 2:09 pm · Link

    I hear you. My variation of this is when it’s too icy or singe-your-nose-hairs-off northwindy to let my juniors out. Something that eats a lot of time up is if I let them play fort. They raid my linen closet for duvet covers and blankets, toss them over the table and chairs, and construct little tunnels going in and out. They they drag bunches of stuff inside to make it cosy and interesting. The cleanup always takes a while, but it keeps them amused. Plus, I’ve gotten some really cute snapshots.

  10. Santa
    · February 19th, 2009 at 6:05 pm · Link

    Oh, I feel your pain, Tessa. Been there, done that.

    Do you have a local children’s museum? That might do the trick. I’m sure your library has children’s story time. I know that’s like being at work all the time but if they let you drop them off while story time is going on – you could escape to the stacks for a bit.

    When all else fails Elmo et al are good in a pinch. Or Thomas. We love Thomas. And when I say we, I mean me….and my kids, of course.

    Maybe some quiet time in their rooms to read or look at books or play by themselves.

  11. Tessa
    · February 20th, 2009 at 9:27 am · Link

    Great idea, Maya! My daughter loves to build “tents” with blankets, but maybe it’s time to expand…

    Santa, normally the museums and libraries are awesome, but what made things more tricky this week was that one of the kids was also sick with a fever… no public places. 🙁

    But I am happy to report that yesterday Mr. Dare stayed home with the sickos and let me write (3000 words! Woohoo!), and today everyone seems to be better and it’s sunny! Yay! 😎