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Mom's Time Out

I canít believe it is spring already

Mary Angel

(5/2015) The trees are covered in green leaves and there are flowers blooming everywhere. Not to mention the baby birds and warm breezes blowing through the open windows in my houseÖwait, what?!?! The trees are still brown (although I noticed some buds), the only flowers I see are a few early blooming crocuses, and the temperature is 30 degrees as I am typing. Once again my kids have acquired spring fever and jumped the gun.

Every year it is the same thing and the same time, just before spring hits. The girls start asking if they can wear their flip flops. My sons start appearing ready to leave the house decked out in shorts and a t-shirt. I guess you canít blame them after a long winter, especially when all of the stores are riddled with swimsuit departments that are overflowing at the gills. I, of course, inform them that this attire will not work for me. If for no other reason than the temperature is below freezing and there is still snow on the ground. They are always prepared with a rebuttal of, "But mom it feels warmer than it is" or my favorite, "this is what everyone is wearing". In the end they change what they are wearing and they are granted permission to leave their winter prison.

The spring fever doesnít end there. The other day my husband came home from work and found me "spring cleaning" the basement. I came up to greet him and we both walked to the back of the house to discover it was extremely cold. After examining the thermostat to make sure it was in working order, we started investigating to discover the cause of the refrigerator like temperatures. It didnít take long before we found several windows in the house had been opened by our 13 year old son. We were lucky that it was on one of the 50/60 degree days we had before spring hit. When we inquired why he would do such a thing (especially with the furnace trying so desperately to compensate) he informed us that it started because "his room smelled too much like a boy", he then went on to explain that the breeze felt so good that he opened another window, and another, and another. After he grasped the concept of it not even being spring yet, we sent him around the house to close the windows.

On the very first warm day before spring hit I knew they had been bitten by spring fever. We had finished homeschooling for the day and I was doing laundry. From the window in the laundry room I could hear giggling. When I came from the laundry room and glanced out the slider I saw the three youngest had broken out all of the balls (soccer balls, basketballs, baseballs, kick balls, whiffle balls). If you can think of a type of ball, they had it out covering my yard like a mine field. Everywhere I looked was a different sport being represented and they were so infected with spring fever that they were playing with one for a few minutes and then jumping to another. They stayed out the rest of the day until dinner and came in a muddy mess (it was adorable, albeit slightly gross).

I am still being asked on a daily basis if they can wear flip flops and shorts and I am still saying no. I have however, downgraded their outerwear to a jacket when we are going to be mostly in the car and also on days when the temperature reaches the 50s. I know, I know, I am one of those momsÖI blame my mom. I do make a silly little exception which seems to thrill them; they are allowed to wear flip flops and shorts for their homeschooling day indoors. Sometimes it is about picking your battles and sometimes when spring fever is around silly compromises are the way to go. This was just like the time my 10 year old made a deal with me to tell her when we were leaving on our surprise vacation in exchange for her being super focused and diligent for the next week. At the end of the week on Saturday morning I would tell her when we were leaving on our trip. I totally made the deal. Of course I also knew we were waking them at 5 a.m. that Saturday to leave on our vacation. It was an easy compromise to make.

I didnít realize how much spring fever had affected my youngest (our seven year old daughter) until she shared with me her excitement about the first day of spring quickly approaching. She anxiously shared with me, "I canít wait for Friday since it is the first day of spring. I am going to get out of bed early so I can go outside and see all of the flowers on the tree." I was puzzled and asked her what tree she was referring to. After she described where it was in the yard I knew she meant our cherry tree, which gets the most gorgeous white blooms on it. This is when she went on to tell me all of the other things she was excited to see on that first day of spring, including but not limited to flowers in the flower beds, green grass, and weather she could most definitely wear shorts and flip flops in. In her world the first day of spring and all of these things would happen simultaneously. Talk about disappointing a little girl when I had to explain the reality of the situation to her.

She handled it very well, as did all of my spring fever sufferers. This is one mom, though, that may have caught the fever from her kids. I am ready to throw open the windows, turn off the heat, Iíll skip the shorts in lieu of capris and will definitely don some flip flops and reign in Spring time!

Read other articles by Mary Angel