Signs you may have PSAD (Parental Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Hey.  I’ve been gone for a while now, and while I do have a few valid excuses – traveling, busy with work, with the kids‘ schoolwork, up to my eyeballs as I actually danced in a town-wide fundraising event (more on that another time) – that wasn’t it.  This winter has sucked the spirit right out of me and I know I’m not alone.   Fellow parents, have you found yourself in tears when the call comes in that another snow day is in your future?  Have you fed your kids enough soup to sink a ship…not because it’s warm but because it’s easy and saves you a trip to the store?  Do you and your children sorta hate the sight of each other these days?  If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you may have PSAD, or Parental Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Take heed, though; there is only one cure and that’s Spring.  If you or any other Mom or Dad is showing signs of PSAD, grab something to drink, give the kids carte blanche on Netflix (no judging) and ride out the (literal and figurative) storm.  Remember that you’re not alone.

Signs You May Have PSAD

  1. You have seriously considered cashing in your child’s 529 Plan to take a weekend trip south.  Like, EQUATOR south.
  2. You’ve let your hair color go so long because the mere thought of getting into a cold car to go buy a box of 5G-Golden Chestnut is simply too much to bear.  It takes noticing the Jay Leno white patch that has sprouted in the middle of your forehead and your child pointing to the squirrel stripe along your part to finally bite the bullet and head to the store.  But by the time you’ve prepared to brave the elements and put on the various layers of outerwear, you realize that as long as you’ll be keeping that winter hat on then really, can’t this wait until spring?
  3. 20140311-221804.jpgBinge-watching has become your lifeline to the outside world.  You start with great shows like “House of Cards” and “Breaking Bad” but as the wind blows against the windows, you spiral quickly downward to Season Three of “Dance Moms.”
  4. It was your daughter who turned you onto “Dance Moms.”  She’s 8.
  5. You don’t object when your kids start playing dangerous indoor sports like “Stair Basketball.”  As your 4-year old teeters at the top stair and hurls a pair of rolled up socks down into the hoop on the bottom step that his sibling is holding, you don’t picture him falling; instead you relish in the five minute break from Cabin Fever until a fight (or injury) inevitably breaks out.
  6. You’ve found yourself picking fights with your children over the dumbest things.  “Are you SERIOUSLY still listening to the song from “Frozen?”  Good LORD, find something new to obsess over.”
  7. You despise the TV meteorologists with a fervor normally reserved for adulterers or Oprah Winfrey and would punch Al Roker squarely in the face if only you could get close enough.
  8. Your anger level has reached DEFCON 7; upon giving up swearing for Lent (terrible idea, I know), you find yourself dropping the F-Bomb to a friend and then repeating it three more times to emphasize just how &*#!ed you really are.  You quickly realize that you owe $4 to the swear jar for just one sentence.  &*#!
  9. You are quietly rooting against your child’s basketball team because if they lose this game then they DON’T have to play again at 8am Sunday morning.  And just as you are feeling really guilty, you realize all of the other Moms and Dads on the bleachers are doing the exact same thing.
  10. You don’t argue with the kids to wear hats, mittens or even winter jackets anymore because you just don’t have the fight left in you.  Your thinking is, “Fine, get frostbite, you toad…but so help me if it gets so bad that I have to go back out in the cold and drive you to the doctor, I will end you.”
  11. As you clean up the third round of projectile vomiting in a week, you think to yourself, “Well, at least he ate his carrots last night.”
  12. It’s taken you two months to write a &*#!ing blog post.

Think spring, folks.  Think spring.

Spring has Sprung!

“Spring Fever.” Here in my neighborhood, we’ve got it bad.

ba9f29c684cadcf1eccdfcfcd5d7994fGlobal warming aside, last weekend’s weather gave everyone I know an extra “spring” in their step (ba dum bum) as we got a taste of what’s to come.  As New Englanders, we’re all raised not to trust the Indian Summer or the early snowfall, as the weather can change on a dime.  We know that it can be sunny and warm on a Tuesday and snowing the following night.  We never put those winter boots too far back in the closet and keep flip-flops on hand at all times.

But still, when spring comes to greater Boston, no one can resist giving in to it.

Earlier in the month, the temperature had climbed towards 70 degrees and I was a little thrown by the fact that it was early April.  And although the official First Day of Spring was behind us, I resisted stripping the bed of the soft flannel sheets because with my EXTENSIVE meteorological skills, I came up with (what I thought was) a great explanation:

“The calendar is a bit of a man-made invention,” I explained to Andy.  “Mother Nature adheres more to the phases of the moon than whether it’s April 1st or 30th.”

He really didn’t care (nor did he buy my ridiculous logic), as he would be spending much of the month outside coaching baseball and was happy to not be fighting off hypothermia like he usually does during pre-season.

One of the great phenomenons of spring in New England is that neighbors behave like animals that have been hibernating all winter.  Can’t you just picture the National Geographic Special on spring in the Boston area:

“Like the North American Woodchuck, the pale New Englander carefully peers out her front door as the sun peeks into the dark home.  As the sun warms her pasty skin, she decides that the environment outside of her cave is warm enough to survive in and her young come scurrying through the opening beside her. They have shed their winter coats and having fully molted, are ready to adapt to the warmer climate.”

As all of my neighbors gathered in the street, we remarked on how big the kids had gotten and how long it had been since we’d seen each other.  Balls and bikes came out of garages.  Lawn chairs were pulled out of storage.  Wine was uncorked as we celebrated the long cold months apart and ushered in the spring.  The kids discussed lemonade stands and played with Nerf Guns until it got dark.  Spring Fever had taken over!

Of course, we fear that the cold will return for one last hurrah and we’ll be forced to close the windows and turn the heat back on.  But that taste of spring reminds us all that it’s just around the corner, and here in our neighborhood, we are ready to welcome it back.

But this time, I’ll keep the flannel sheets in the front of the closet. Just in case.