It’s hard to fathom that almost 2 weeks have passed Hurricane Sandy rolled through my area on Long Island and devastated it. It’s even harder to comprehend that we lived without any power for 12 days, with it thankfully returning yesterday. We had hot water and our gas stove and very limited use of a generator (limited because we need gas to run it and gas is extremely difficult to obtain in these parts) but it was still really challenging managing with 3 little monkeys.
Despite what we had going against us, we were very grateful that our home and cars are intact and more importantly that we are all safe and sound. Its unreal that the kids have only been to school just 2 days during all this time (issues with no power, no gas and trees down everywhere). But amazingly, the kids kept themselves so busy. Here are some things I’ve learned:
1-Kids don’t need TV/computer/video games/etc.
The first hour or two without power they were asking to use the computer and TV but shortly after the addiction was broken. Now, they aren’t even really interested. They are very happy playing cards (see below), playing with some long ignored toys, etc.
2-Kids love playing cards.
I mean love love love it! Our favorites are go fish, war and slap jack and they really can go for hours. They are trying to get the hang of solitaire.
3-Bubble baths by candlelight provide 30 minutes of fun.
My big kids are almost 7 and generally I know I am pushing it bathing them all together. But under the extenuating circumstances it was easier to throw them all in the together, and they loved it! They made up all sorts of games and did impersonations with the bubbles with lot of laughter.
4-Kids adapt easily.
While my husband and I were stressed to the max worrying about keeping everyone warm and fed and safe, the kids demonstrated amazing resilience. They moved about with their flashlights/lanterns and complained minimally (that is about the circumstances…they continued to complain about one another!).
5-A routine is important.
I’ve always been a fan of schedules. It’s the only way I could manage caring for twin infants and then three babies. I’ve learned kids do better when they know what to expect. That didn’t change without electricity. Though I could barely keep the days straight, we tried to keep some normalcy in our lives. At breakfast I would lay out the plan of the day and we’d talk about what we want to accomplish. Just getting out some days was an accomplishment with the gas shortage, snow conditions, downed power lines…insane!
While I’ve been eating Halloween candy and chips and dying to be kickboxing (I’m not alone in the hurricane weight gain it seems…check out this article) the kids have been thrilled with the meals without electricity. My husband, with his Italian roots, is appalled at how much the kids love Chef Boyardee. And when I say love, I mean that our power has returned and they are asking for it for lunch telling me it’s the best thing I “make” them! (Meanwhile, if I never eat pizza again I will be okay…had it 9 times over the last 12 days…)
Have anything to add?
I’ve learned so much about what I need to keep stocked during a crisis, but I’ll save that for another post. :)
It’s Saturday and I’m happy, lighted, and warm…hope you are too!