Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Brrr. January 7, 2014

I know it’s not quite as cold here as it is in other places across the country, but it’s feeling pretty much that way. (Except I’m headed to Chicago tomorrow…)

We did pretty well with the first snow of the season in early December. I managed to squeak in from Albuquerque, and the 3 inches of wet snow made for a nice snowman and snowballs for tossing around. It was quite a novelty. Christmas was sort of balmy.

The last week has been challenging. Even though we’re all off and hanging out as a family, it’s better when we can get out to play t-ball, ride bikes, or just go to the grocery store. So we had more snow on Thursday, and that evening I took the boys to an indoor play place. It’s pretty juvenile for them, but there’s a challenging climbing wall that Seamus likes to practice on. Friday we had a lot of snow, so Patrick took them sledding. Gilbert’s boots weren’t quite warm enough, but we’ve solved that by giving him the slightly smaller pair of Seamus’s snow boots. Hot chocolate was in order when they got back! Seamus probably could have kept going all day:


On Saturday, it was colder and the snow was still here. So I took them back to the indoor play place where we played catch, and they jumped from absurdly high places trying to “stick the landing!” Seamus learned to traverse the wall. (Side note: I really miss rock climbing. I don’t think I’ve been since Gilbert was born. I had an awesome class in it while I was pregnant with him.)

Nap times have been necessary, but are kind of a fight for Gilbert. Seamus, having done the intellectual work of climbing was tired and ready for a rest. Gilbert, having jumped approximately 100 times, was also tired, but he manifests his exhaustion in a very different manner. Eventually he goes to bed and really quickly falls asleep. Seamus starts Kindergarten in the fall, and I wonder if they let the kids rest. I could see Seamus still needing a nap.

Sunday it rained. All. Day. Cabin fever is rough. We had guests on Wednesday night, Friday night, and Saturday night to try to break the monotony, but there’s only so many new things to do in the house. They had pancakes with their grandparents, which gave us a nice break.

Monday, Seamus had preschool in some nasty wind and hail. Gilbert and I spent the morning together. The night before, I told him, “We’re going to go to Marymount to drop off some stuff, and then we’ll go to Library storytime.” He said, “It sounds like a lot of car driving.” But he was pretty cheerful, and enjoyed doing his “work” at Marymount while I worked on a syllabus. Library storytime was supposed to be for 2-5 year olds, but most of the kids were 18 months or younger and they wiggled and cried a lot. Gilbert was uncomfortable with the crying, but he did like the stories. We picked out a book “Under New York” which was a good reinforcement of our New Year’s trip.

Today, Gilbert’s preschool is closed. They had pancakes this morning, an hour long bath, and I just don’t know how the rest of the day will go. Gah.



2 Responses to “Brrr.”

  1. shelviah Says:

    I finally took the initiative after all this time to join your blog and set it up to come to my email! How nice to read about your adventures as they happen and not in reverse order!
    Ps. It is crazy cold here! The news said yesterday was the coldest day since the ice storm of 1994! Twenty years…unbelievable!

  2. George Hardy Says:

    Since my kindergarten experience was in 1943, I think things may have changed. But we had nap time. We had 1½ years of kindergarten, but the last half year was “pre-first” — amined at making sure that we were used to sitting at desks, knew the alphabet, etc. Probably now pre-first would include computer use. One can only hope.

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