It's cold outside. Our average temperature has been anywhere from ten above to ten below for quite some time now (with the exception of a couple glorious days when my mom and Mark were visiting and temps were in the 40's- I've come to believe they bring warmer temperatures with them when they venture north), and while this isn't enough to keep some people inside, it is for me.
For our children, this means they'll be minding their own business, playing somewhat quietly, when suddenly they'll surge to their feet and begin sprinting through the rooms of our first floor, doing lap after lap of the circular floor plan. Their energy is literally uncontainable.
This cabin fever manifests itself a little differently in me. Rather than running mindlessly through the house, I mindlessly throw things out of it. The more time I spend within these walls, the more cluttered our home seems, no matter how much I clean and organize.
The obvious answer is to purge, purge, purge just about anything that's not nailed down, no matter how much or how violently my family cries things like "But that's my favorite toy!" or "But how will I brush my teeth?" and "Won't we need that in the summer?" I don't care. I just want it out of my house.
Some of it's good. Like the old clothing I had saved (alright, hoarded) that no longer fit but was made of pretty fabric. Past, optimistic (and somewhat idiotic) Me had thought that surely I would find a use for it someday. Pillow covers or quiet books or whatever. Present-day Me is realistic and merciless; I now have major piles of my stuff destined for all kinds of different homes (how my past self would have cried! How my current self doesn't care one teensy tiny bit!).
Then I have other piles of stuff. These are the things that our children have objected to with protests that generally follow along the lines "But I'm going to start playing with it! And besides, that's my third-favorite monkey/elephant/completely useless plastic toy!" Unfortunately for them, Winter Mom is completely devoid of compassion. (I know this because Adelaide informed me so just the other day: "Mom, you have absolutely NO COMPASSION in the winter!" This was not due to my purging, but instead because I won't let our kids eat graham crackers in the winter. I don't know if you were aware of this, but graham crackers are the crumbliest, crumb-iest, most maddening food in the world if you like walking through your house without every step being accompanied by a nasty crunch, crunch, crunch, so I only allow graham crackers when it's warm enough for them to eat outside. The winter ban on graham crackers apparently means I'm heartless. Please pray for our children; their lives are just so hard.) If the toy doesn't have some sort of sentimental value (according to me- Adelaide will attach sentimental value to the sticks she finds in the yard), isn't well-made, isn't a favorite and frequently played with, or doesn't have some sort of capacity for teaching our children, then it's gone.
Listen to how hard-line, how intensely reasonable I sound! I think I'll wait 'til tomorrow to tell you about the utterly foolish toys Derek and I suggested our parents get for our kids (Hint: one feels curiously like thumb tacks when you step on them, and the other encourages violence between siblings).