Monday, April 27, 2009

What to do when there's nothing you can do

Bizarre times, these days, with Mexico closing down all the schools until May 6th due to swine flu. We are nowhere near the major outbreaks, though my friend told me Oaxaca has its one and only case over two weeks ago, in which the person died at the hospital and they shut the whole hospital down. But, since then, nothing that I know of.

Not only are we to keep the kids out of school (and they've only been back one week since their two-week spring break), but we cannot go to the usual kid energy-guzzling places I adore, such as bouncy castle heaven Poing Poing, TerraLandia (Gymboree-ish, but with more challenging stuff), Cinepolis for first run movies, Pochote for old movies, toy stores, the children's library, the English library, Las Brisas swim park, the Hacienda de Santa Marta buffet and play area, the children's area of the Stamp Museum and of the Textile Museum--it has made me realize how many kids' places I'd racked up in my mental itinerary of things to do.

So, I'm digging out the old camp and day care memories, channeling Jenny who was so good of making fun out of thin air plus, sometimes, a little bit of stuff. We started this afternoon by making homemade limeade and squeezing limes, sampling the results in shot glasses and painted gourds.

Tomorrow, I think, will be fort day, with blankets and pillows and stuffed animals camping with us. Perhaps a picnic lunch on the rooftop.

There will be days lazing by the kiddie pool on our terrace and evenings around the warm, cozy DVD player. I've already looked up how to make playdough (if I can just find "crema de tartar" at the market). Perhaps some flashlight games. Build a puppet theater or, my lazy way, a finger puppet theater. Maybe it's time to sketch out a mural for the garage wall. We could plant a garden or at least get rid of dead plants and replace them with some tough cacti. And isn't it time to go through all of the old toys and clothes and make up boxes for donation?

Somewhere, in there, I will get some work done, as well as attempting to apply for a couple gigs to heal the wound of my killed story.

So, it sounds doable here, in blog land, but that doesn't account for the mess and the cranky, the bedtime fight and the homework that is still supposed to get done. Not to mention Geni's long-standing proclivity for flooding rooms. If I can make it through this week without screaming at them (you know, a bark or two is totally acceptable in my book), well, then, that would be startling. Let me make that my benchmark: no screaming. I'll check in and let you know how it's going.


mighty jo said...

im glad its not as scary there as all the news here is making it seem. ive got this playdough recipe that doesn't use cream of tartar:
1 cup flour
half cup salt
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 package of unsweetened koolaid
1 cup boiling water

mix together flour, salt, oil & kool-aid
add cup of boiling water & mix well.
knead mixture until it forms soft dough
store in sealed container in fridge.

i guess what you're experiencing there is like what i experience with 2 kids & a ton of snow up here in wisconsin. winters create cabin fever up here pretty quickly. good luck! have fun!

Clara said...

Ditto what Mighty Jo said - here the news is, in true U.S. news fashion, stupendously grim and scary. I was worrying about you.

Hey, do you have access to dry ice? If so, that could give you a day's worth of fun. Besides the usual ice-in-water routine, try dropping it in a bucket of warm water to which you've added a squirt of dish soap or shampoo.

The air in the dry ice causes the water to bubble over. And when you pop the bubbles with your finger, they each release little puffs of dry-ice smoke. Add a dab of food coloring for extra effect. And I hear that if you pour denatured alcohol (i.e. vodka) over dry ice it turns into an incredibly icky sludge. Not sure I recommend that latter one for your purposes! Good luck and stay well.

Serena said...

Hey, mj, that playdough recipe totally worked! We did hibiscus and tamarind flavors today, and it will be grape and lime tomorrow! Thanks.

Clara, dry ice is brill. I remember when my 8th grade science teacher brought that stuff in--it was like a heavy metal video unrolling right before my eyes.