Skip to main content

Cabin Fever - Day 12

Anyone starting to feel the tell-tale signs that come along with the cooler temperatures. An ache in your bones, a niggling in the back of your brain, the growing sensation that you might have to scream soon?  Dr. Lori can diagnose your situation, it's the early stages of a very common preschool Mom malady - 


cabin fever

 noun

:  extreme irritability and restlessness from living in isolation or a confined indoor area for a prolonged time


If you're not feeling it yet, file this RX for future use.  And don't think you southern moms are off the hook, hurricanes are coming and the flu germ is no respecter of persons.  If you aren't feeling the symptoms, chances are good that one of your little people will come down with cabin fever and if you don't deal with it quickly, it'll spread like wildfire.  Moms everywhere need to be ready for an outbreak.

I learned the two most effective treatments for cabin fever from Pa Ingalls.   Remember the year they got snowed in at Christmas and Mr. Edwards braved the blizzard to bring gifts?  After he thawed out, Mr. Edwards told stories and then they ended the night dancing to Pa's fiddle.

"Laughter and sweat are two great cures to cabin fever."

Here are a few ideas to get your cabin fever medicine cabinet stocked - it would be awesome if you-all added your own ideas in the comment section below!

1.  Grumpy Old Troll - This is the Smith family version of the Tickling Game.  Dad or Mom hides around a corner or behind the couch on their hands and knees, growling and snorting.  In theory, the kids' goal is to run past the Grumpy Old Troll without getting caught, but really everybody wants to get caught and tickled by the Troll.  The Troll tickles until a sibling comes to the rescue or you fear someone will wet their pants and ruin the fun.  Running and giggling, can't beat that.

2. Active Games - Two games to put on the gift idea list for Grandma are Cranium Hullabaloo and Elefun.  Both of these games get little bodies moving and provide reasons to laugh.

3. Popsicles in the Bathtub - When I started doing this with my kids they thought I was the most fun mom around. In reality, I was just trying to contain the drippy messiness of popsicles into a place easy to clean.  Popsicles with every bath became a ritual in our house over a decade ago. It's known to many a Florida-kid babysitter.  Don't put my kid in a bathtub without a popsicle close by or they'll feel like you ripped them off!

4.  Playdough - Every Christmas stocking should have a fresh batch of playdough so that you can let your kids spend a whole morning at the table with rolling pins, forks, butter knives, and cookie cutters.  Soaking up that smell is one of the rites of passage in childhood.  (My favorite time to say "yes" to playdough is just before I was planning to sweep and mop!)

5.  Dining Room Chair Train - When you move all the dining room chairs in order to sweep and mop, make a big deal about setting up all the chairs into a train for the kids to play on while you work.  They can bring all their favorite stuffed animals with them as they travel the world.

6.  Sock Surfing - That clean floor is shiny and just begging for some sock surfing.  Fuzzy slipper socks are the best for this!  You can have all kinds of contests: farthest slide, fanciest slide, backward spin slide - whatever.  Just watch out for any forehead-height counter corners. A trip to the ER for stitches takes a lot of the fun out of an afternoon of sock surfing!

7.  Homemade Zoo - My kids grew up in the years of Beanie Babies.  Those things seemed to multiply in dark corners and there were more of them every morning when we woke up.  My kids redeemed the Beanie Baby craze in my eyes by making up the brilliant activity of playing zoo.  They set the animals up in "cages" or "habitats" all around the house - under a coffee table, sticking out of the couch cushions, wherever! And then my little zookeepers cared for them all day.  They fed them, exercised them, took them to the doctor, and just let their imagination run.

8.  Hot Wheels Tracks - You don't have to be a preschool boy to appreciate the appeal of Hot Wheels.  Spare change you find in your couch crevices can buy a few cars. These cars can be played with alone on the kitchen floor or with the help of a Hot Wheels track.  Putting that car through a loop-d-loop can be exciting for a much longer time than you would think.  And the motorized tracks that send the cars blazing around the course are mesmerizing!

9.  Exercise -  Yoga and Zumba are the hip ways for moms to work out today, but in my day it was Billy Blanks and the famous Tae Bo workouts.  On rainy, cooped up days, I'd pop a tape in the VCR and the boys and I threw jabs and punches all morning long.

10.  Dance - You don't have to confine your dance parties to kids' music and scheduled moments.  Rock it out whenever the mood hits and use the opportunity to introduce your little people to some classic music from your day.  My kids have all learned at least one poorly interpreted moves from my Thriller routine and watched their Dad do the Worm across the kitchen floor - it's part of being a Florida.  And sing together.  Loudly.  Whether you know the words or not.  Gestures and hand motions are always a plus. Nobody's too young to dance... or be caught on video for future family fun moments!

11.  Make Cookies - This is another good thing to do the same morning of the day you're planning to clean floors. Knowing the mess will be short-lived helps you not twitch as they "do it themselves" and spill half of the sugar across the floor.  Baking is the ultimate feel-good experience if you can un-grit your teeth and forget about the mess.  It makes the house smell yummy and you feel like you are winning at life.

12.  Doing Dishes - Push a chair up the kitchen sink, strip the kid down to his diaper or undies, fill the sink with warm water and Tupperware, and give him a sponge.  Kids will stand at the sink for-ever. The floor underneath them will be mopped clean from all they spill when they are done!

13.  Dora - Stop beating yourself up about turning on the tv every once and a while, and don't think it always has to be educational.  If a show makes your toddler belly laugh, it's as worthy as Little Einsteins in my book.  Check out some of the old slap-stick cartoons on youtube like Tom & Jerry or Looney Tunes!  I bet you could still find VHS tapes of the original Veggie Tales in your church library too!  I've taken some great rainy day naps snuggled up on the couch with a warm little person with the music of their laughter in my ears.


You don't need a lot of space or a lot of money to cure cabin fever, Mommas.  There's fun to be had within your 4 small walls and with whatever energy you have to offer.  You just need to be strategic about and sometimes embrace the mess that comes along with fun. And know that naptime is a'comin!

Now it's your turn! What cures for cabin fever do you have to share with your fellow sufferers??


Comments

  1. Thanks Lori! I'll have to keep these in mind next month when we're all snowed in! :) Our favorite thing to do is make a giant tent in the living room with tons of blankets!
    -Britt

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think!

Popular posts from this blog

The Fight for Control - Day 3

Preschoolers' bodies contain a power that defies the laws of physics.  Moms of preschoolers know there is definitely something metaphysical going on in their homes.  It's also clear to Moms like me that every now and then, a special child comes along with whom the force is especially strong. I had a cute little 3-year-old boy who often left me slack-jawed and feeling outflanked.  His will was strong and it was aided and abetted by a deft use of words and logic.  Maybe you've encountered a kid like him.....you can recognize them by the iron glint in their eyes and the furrowed brows of their Mommas.  Maybe you've got one living under your own roof. Even though it felt like Trevor and I jockeyed for position forever...but it was really just a chunk of Trev's 3rd year.  Let me tell you, it was one INTENSE year, but it wasn't eternal.  Our toughest head-to-heads seemed to always happen on evenings Scott was at a late meeting and I was flying solo.  They start

My Funeral - Day 18

Some people might think it's morbid to think about your own funeral. It's not. It's actually smart.  "Begin with the End in Mind" is rule #2 in Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I want to be highly effective.  Beginning with the end of my life in mind means I need to think about my own funeral. What's closer to the end than your own funeral? I remember being at my Great-Grandma's funeral not too long after I became a Mom.  Her name was Minnie Merrow and she lived a long life.  She outlived almost all of her contemporaries.  Most people at her funeral were family - children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.  The room was big and it was full.  Many people there I didn't even know but each was connected to my great-grandma. I only have a few personal memories of my grandma Minnie. She always kept chocolate chip cookies in her chest freezer and would let my sister and I eat all icy c

The Best Gift a Mother Can Give - The Glorious Table

The wind blew as we gathered around the graveside, and I watched this large, beautiful family say goodbye to their beloved grandmother. There was sadness and there were tears, but the most striking thing was the togetherness laced in, around, and among every emotion and experience of the day. Watching this family, buoyed by their togetherness, prompted a light bulb moment and sent my mind traveling back to my first wrestling match with a big  mom fear . “How can I possibly love my second baby as much as my first?” “Is there enough of me for both of them?” “Will having another baby rob the ones I already have of what they deserve?” I had heard it said that the best gift you can give your child is a sibling. My oldest was only nine months old when I found out number two was going to join our family sooner than my master plan called for. I felt I was just beginning to get my “mom sea legs” and being a mom to two was a bigger challenge than I could get my head around. Everything felt like