I've learned some lessons and have been reminded of things I had forgotten. One being that small kids don't understand sarcasm. Note: When you say something like, "Oh suuuuuuure, I think it's a greeeeaaaat idea to eat Oreos for dinner. There's probably at least one whole nutrient in there! That should be enough!" and their little face lights up with excitement , well, you went and dug the hole deeper you big dummy.
Mostly, though, I learned how to roll a bit better with the punches. I mean, when you've had Norovirus, two bouts of food poisoning, the flu, fourteen colds, bronchitis, random rashes and sore throats all in the same winter you learn that the Universe has a sense of humor. Sure, it's the humor of a total ass-face, but you can't win 'em all.
When things began to descend into the great abyss of sickness and despair, I ended up re-discovering some really fun things to do with these kids despite the mud flows of snot, gagging coughs and fevers. They are pretty versatile too! I'm looking forward to taking number two outside this spring and summer (Whoa, that typed bad. Then I read it aloud and giggled. For the record, not A number two).
Anyhowzer, here's a short list of activities for those moments when you have to break out of a bad time because everyone around you is crying. They're old school good times. Not a Pinterest craft in sight. Because, well, I am a walking talking Pinterest fail and when the family sanity is on the line, you need to play to your strengths. So these are the top six kid tested and mother approved fun times we turn to when the witching hour strikes.
2. Flashlight Scavenger Hunt: Same as above but the whole house is fair game. No need to set up things to find because it doesn't matter what you look for. It's hunting in the dark by flashlight that makes this an adventure.
3. Dress-up Goofy Yoga: First let them adorn themselves however they choose. Or they could choose to be without clothes (as is common in my house). Then clear a space on the floor and turn on some music and start doing some goofy stretches. I'd bet money they will join you. Then let them make -up their own stretches. Make sure you do the stretches that they do. You will love the looks of pride on their faces (and giggles because you look ridiculous) because they are leading you. You have become their puppet. Kids love this sort of thing. They love to tell their parents what to do.
4. Selfie-Photo Shoot: Sounds simple enough. Do a make-up session before hand or plaster some temporary tattoos or face-paint. Be sure to let them take the pics. Turn the camera around on ye olde smartphone and let them do their thing. Take video too.
5. Air-Bed Gymnastics: Got an air-mattress? Pull that sucker out and have some bouncing fun. Just because. For obvious reasons this one needs some safety planning. Variation: Camping family movie night. This requires all blankets, and pillows in the house, lots of snacks, your air mattress and everyone participating. Variation: I am totally planning on taking the old air mattress into the yard this spring and summer. I have a feeling that amazing-ness will happen.
6. OMG! The Floor is Made of Lava!: Build bridges (we use books and shoes for this) and throw pillows down. NO ONE TOUCHES THE FLOOR! Be sure to use your dramatic voice and insane face. They will find this hysterical and mimic it. In turn, you will find THEM hysterical. Hilarity all around, man. Note: Beware a shoe bridge. It's pretty impossible and is usually guarded by trolls.
And that's it. The most important part about all of these is that YOU are in it to win it. If you are, 99% of the time, the kids are going to follow suit. Because kids want to play with you. So throw off your crabby pants and slap on a temporary flying dragon tattoo right across your forehead and go all in. I bet you'll have just as great of a time as they do.
Go forth! Have Fun!