March Cabin Fever

Posted by Annie on Mar 8, 2010 in Parenting, Seasonal |

Did you know that March is National Cabin Fever Month? Perhaps that is the reason for my recent bout of melancholy. Whether your corner of the universe is experiencing snow or a drizzling rain, the lack of sunshine can really take its toll. I try to fight the blues by getting outside more on those rare sunny days.  

I also tend to get chattier this time of year, calling family members, my mother and distant relatives, rarely heard from. Mom and I had a long talk a couple nights ago about ancient family history. To my delight, she retold stories I have heard many times before, which always brings back fond memories of days gone by.

My niece and I have been playing catch-up recently. She and her family moved to the Mesa, AZ area last year – an over 700-mile drive – so we do not see each other often. She has four children, who like to yank her chain and she cannot quite seem to stay ahead of them. Some of her recent circumstances have been very comical.

We had a long talk a couple nights ago. At the time, she was trying to get her oldest son ready for school the next morning and he could not find any of his school uniform shirts (he has five) that she had just washed. The one he had worn to school Friday, he had pulled out of the dirty clothes hamper – do not tell me your kids have never done that.

She shared with me that her son (the 11-year-old) has a terrible habit of stuffing his clean clothes down beside his bed, instead of putting them away in the dresser. Therefore, I gave her a little mother-to-mother advice and said she should make them do their own laundry. Maybe if they have to take care of their own clothes, they will appreciate the work she does and pick up after themselves.

Well, yesterday she had the kids sort their own clothes, into their own baskets and informed them, they were going with her to the laundry mat. The kids thought that was a terrific idea, they were excited about going. When they arrived at the laundry mat, she informed them that they were all washing, drying and folding their own clothes.

Her eldest daughter (the 14-year-old) immediately piped up and said, “Aunt Annette told you to do this didn’t she? I know she did.” Her mom fessed up to the wicked dead and admitted that I had suggested it. Her daughter was pleased with herself because she had small amount of wash to do – especially compared with her brother, who out did everyone else with the amount of laundry he had.

The baby, her youngest boy (aged 5) was comical to watch as he sat in the dryer as he pulled his clothes out. One by one, he folded them as he asked, “How many more do I have to fold mommy?” She was certain people must have thought her a mean mommy, as she made her five and six-year-old children wash, dry and fold their own clothing.

I laughed so hard, as she told me the story, I could just picture her son sitting in that dryer. We had a nice bonding moment. The funny thing is, when I gave her the suggestion, I never dreamed she would try it. I guess I had better be very careful when giving her parenting advice – she just might take it.

Only time will tell if the activity has any impact on the children’s behavior, it might help but let us just say, I wouldn’t bet real money on it.

Don’t forget March is National Cabin Fever Month, so do something fun, or out of the ordinary – heck, take the kids to the laundry mat to do laundry.   🙂

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