5 solutions to summertime cabin fever
By Erin Davis
A mere six months ago I was holed up in my house, snow blasting outside–twins and bored older sister crying inside. I found myself dreaming of a place where cabin fever ceased to exist. You can imagine my excitement then, when my husband accepted a job just outside of Phoenix, AZ. My dream of cabin-fever-free living had materialized! Insert let down noise here … waa-waa. I have been in Arizona for all of 2 months and am certain that not only will my face literally melt off, but if I have to stay trapped in the house one more summer day with 20-month-old twins and a 3 ½-year-old—I will lose my mind! Alas, I do NOT reside in the land of cabin-fever-free living (at least not May-Sep). Instead of bundling kids, I am trying to figure out how many pieces of clothing I can remove without creating a public scandal for either myself or my girls.
Whether trapped in cabin or cabana, try these 5 boredom busters for mom and multiples…
Dance like no one’s watching
There is nothing like 115-degree heat to smolder out one’s will to exercise. Still, we must wear out those kids—but how? The answer: a little dancey, dance time! Not only is it an endorphin/exercise boost for Mommy, but it might just tire out your twosome, threesome or whateversome. I highly recommend Abba. There’s nothing like a little “Dancing Queen” to break up monotony. If for some horrible reason you don’t have air conditioning or have a husband who insists on keeping the thermostat on 83 (not mentioning any names, ahem … Paul Davis), trade Abba for Harry Connick Jr., and swap the Electric Slide out for the Waltz.
Twin peak-a-boo, mommy sneak-a-roo
My twins love playing peak-a-boo almost as much as unraveling toilet paper. This is good news, as I prefer to keep my t.p. rolled. The other great thing about our version of peak-a-boo … no mommy involvement required. I simply drape a towel or blanket over the couch or bed (something they can’t bonk their heads on) and let them have at it. I am happy to report this activity lasted almost 45 minutes one day. Not only was I able to finish lunch prep with the absence of howling hunger cries, I was able to do a little sneak-a-roo to check my e-mail.
Color mom happy
“I really like to do a lot of arts and crafts type projects,” says Amanda Nethero, cofounder of Multiples and More and mom of 3-year-old twins. When stuck indoors, Amanda recommends crafts from education.com. “[The website] breaks down activities from preschool-high school and by subject,” she says. She also suggests fun “printable coloring pages” from Nick Jr.’s website.
If you’re really brave and/or ultra bored, try bathtub color time. You can find all sorts of nontoxic bathtub paints, color sticks, etc. You can also bust out the shaving cream for older kids who won’t be tempted to eat it!
Tour de House of Davis
Even though my house looks like a jungle gym with mountains of toys, play areas, and craft stations, it’s amazing how “old hat” it all becomes to cabin fever affected twins. Sometimes just a change of floor (downstairs to upstairs) or even a different room can make a world of difference. I never thought I would be the kind of gal who has toys stashed in every room (bathroom included). Today I have no qualms about Elmo staring at me while I take a shower. Since the twins spend less time with upstairs toys, their entertainment value doesn’t plummet as quickly as those in the rooms we primarily dwell in.
Hide … and seek it out
“Living in New England, there aren’t too many days during the summer that you can’t go outside because of the heat,” says Shelby Tutty, owner of Double up Books, “but we can get a good amount of rain that keeps us inside sometimes. One of my twins’ favorite indoor games is to hide something small like M&Ms or little Legos in a room and then let the other twin find them.”
Even if the rhythm doesn’t move you or you’re not enticed by hiding and/or seeking, the key to outsmarting cabin fever, is to find something fun for the three (or more) of you to do. You never know; your twins might leave you odd man out, granting you 5 precious minutes of mommy time. But you might want to stow away all toilet paper rolls … just in case.