Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Forecast

Snow had fallen,
Snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago.

I have just discovered Accuweather, and I wish I hadn't. Before I could blithely go from day to day, thinking the cold would surely lighten up in a day or two and we could go back outside. Not that DOB didn't warn me that it's a bad sign when birds go about their daily activities as if everything wasn't frozen solid. Maybe the birds were wrong.

Anyway, now I've looked at the official forecast, and it shows ice and cold continuing for weeks and deepening in the next few days. After the first glorious play-in-the-snow day a week and a half ago, I was satisfied. After a week of intermittent snow to no purpose and uninterrupted cold, I was done. Add some runny noses and another week, and I'm running close to desperate. (Oh, Accuweather forecasts health, too. High chance of colds, very high chance of flu. Lovely.)

Actually, it's not been too bad. But it does seem like this will be easier when the ducklings are a little older. If they were older, we could read The Long Winter and Snow Treasure and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. We could construct a city out of old boxes or make ingenious little paper toys or decorate elaborate cookies or get ahead on schoolwork so that when the weather does warm up we would feel no guilt about spending all day at the park.

We do have books to read, we just have to read the same ones over and over. (Yesterday it was Kitchen Words. Cup. Spatula. Whisk.) Playdough remains popular, and so does coloring. I think I'll move the picnic table up from the basement--even there is too cold to play these days--to the living room, so they can color without imperilling their heads in falling off the dining room chairs. I have been making progress on the filing while they play in the attic.

The good news is, the washing machine has been fixed. It turned out to be a hose plugged with lint. That sounds like a problem even within the reach of stick-poking, so perhaps we will learn how to fix it ourselves in the future. Anyway, now we have clean laundry again, although I am even more convinced of the value of wearing clothes multiple times, when possible. It's difficult when one of them is potty training and the other's drool is a major tributary of the Ohio River, but every once in awhile there's a salvageable garment that can serve as one more day's insurance against a laundry catastrophe.

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