As super-storm Sandy continues her collision course with our area, with storm surges predicted to travel straight down into the river a few blocks from my house, I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to whether the storm inside.
The generator is ready to go, sump pump tested, water jugs are frozen, bathtub is full, flashlights on the counter, fridge filled with milk, and most importantly, a new book uploaded on my fully-powered kindle. Now who is going to save me, my husband and our property from our children?
I heard a lovely little report on NPR this morning about how to keep children occupied during the storm. She told me to make tents. I do plan to make tents, to hide from my children in.
You know what really burns me? Having to keep hearing about using the storm as a time for quality family bonding. I get literally all the bonding I can handle. Typically, tomorrow morning, my babysitter would arrive, and I would skip off to work after three full days of family “bonding.” Tomorrow, that’s not going to happen, and that, my friends, is a state of emergency.
Honestly, I’d like to officially ask folks who want me to make the most of this time to do art projects with my children, teach them about whether, enjoy imaginative play, and generally bond as a family, to bond with my fist. Those people clearly do not have two almost-two year-olds reeking havoc on their tiny homes.
Seriously though, I resent that while trying to figure out how to survive the storm physically, keep my family safe, and keep my sanity, I also have feel pressure to make this “special time.” Sounds like typical mommy madness to me. I’m going to settle for getting through until I can get the hell out of this house.
My babies are incredibly cute right now. Their cuteness is rivaled only by their incredible capacity for menacing. The say adorable things and snuggle and hug, and you just want to eat them up… until you don’t. Five minutes is about when the cuteness wears off and the inevitable shrieking and demanding begins. I actually think they both do it less than half of the time, but see, they take turns, so that makes about 80% of the time there is demanding, yelling, shrieking and whining.
I am trying to figure out how to convince my husband that I do, in fact, have to work tomorrow – that I have clients who can somehow get to the office despite the river flooding its banks making the entire area impassable. He doesn’t have to know if the power’s out up the street where I work. I don’t care if I have to walk there! I will sit there in the dark with no power, no patients, and no heat and enjoy some “quality time” with my self and my nearly-defunct eardrums.
Still listening to the radio, although it’s mostly incomprehensible over the repeated demands of “Up-y, up-y, up-y, up-y,” and “Ba-ba, ba-ba, app-le, El-mo (which they somehow learned even though they’ve never watched tv!), book-ie, book-ie, book-ie now mama, done, done, done, up-yyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” Then, of course, there are the resulting shrieks, whines, and thrashing when those demands are not met immediately. All I can make out from the news is a few key words, “Blah, blah, blah storm surge, blah, blah, blah wind gusts, blah, blah, early voting, blah, landfall, blah, blah, first responders…”
I would feel better knowing first-responders were preparing to peel me off the floor if I don’t make it till bedtime and take my children to an emergency shelter.
I’ve heard those places have cages for pets, but what about toddlers?
Seriously, anything to get out of the house. All of my typical emergency rain escape locations are closed. Even driving around while feeding my kids repeated snacks to drown out the exuberant chants of “open the door” isn’t an option.
Reading through all the emergency preparedness emails I’ve gotten, I am told repeatedly to stock up on any medications we might need. Luckily I do have some things on hand just in case of a true emergency. There’s always sedation, right?
As my husband hides in the basement “working from home” (which appears to consist of obsessing over electoral map projections, reading cute, weather-related facebook posts, and criticizing governor Romney’s primary debate commentary on “disaster relief”), I am stuck up here herding a bunch of wild animals through an ant farm, needing some disaster relief of my own.
I don’t mean to make light of a dangerous situation. Sandy has already caused damage and cost lives, and none of that could ever be compared to a few frayed nerves and my mental state deteriorating just a bit further than usual on a Monday. Still, these are the parts of parenthood they don’t tell you about.
Just once I’d like to hear someone on the radio tell me it’s just going to suck, so batten down the hatches, and prepare for the toddler storm, instead of adding guilt over not “making the most of it” to my already insane to-do list and baseline level of guilt over my preference for wandering through streets during the Frankenstorm rather than staying in here for 48 more hours.
With two scary toddlers in here and one nasty storm out there, I’m starting to wonder if I’d have better luck making a run for it! Who’s with me?
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