By February it has been cold for a very long time. When it's nice, kids can play outside every day. By mid to late November, they can play outside sometimes. But not almost every day. They also are more bundled when they do play outside. This year was warm enough where December was like an average November. But it has still been a long time since Zach was able to play outside for a long time. It's been warm, but there is still a lot of melting snow. Its too wet to play.
missing outside: point February!
Zach is one of those kids that hates to bundle up. It's easy to get him ready for school when the most he needs is a short sleeves shirt, a flannel shirt and a jacket. But even with winters like this one he has to wear more cloths then he likes! Example, he hid all his long sleeve shirts so he could wear short sleeves! We found them and started keeping ALL of his shirts in our room after that! But I can't blame him. The weight of even a lightweight coat can be frustrating. It's also frustrating for him to need to wear a long sleeve shirt inside.
Too bundled for too long: point February!
Then there is the magic that suddenly happens with homework. For September through sometime in November or December Zach plays afterschool for a long time. On average he played for an hour. One Friday he played with a friend for TWO hours on the school playground! When he got home, homework took half an hour. But it's winter so that means even if I let him play for an hour after school in his room, homework takes an hour and a half.
I've been thinking about why. It's Mommy attention he's looking for. He's even doing it while I crochet and knit in the living room. In the fall he never did that. He has a nice desk in his room. It was just right back then!
When he's on the playground, he knows I am paying attention to him while socializing with at least one other adult. At home I give him more time to play by himself. But he doesn't have to elongate homework to get my attention.
Three years ago I did a blog post in March about what Zach has in common with my Pansies. The problem started in February. Every February it becomes a popular post. I think I know why. In it, I mentioned how Zach, then three, would bring me his transformers to transform for him a lot. He would also show me his toys.
In February kids seek more parental attention then other months. I think some parents can relate to what I was saying. His constant interruptions were getting annoying. Something had to change. That's when I realized he just wanted more of my attention. I always have paid attention to him. He just need more of it in February. So I started paying more attention to him.
Need for more then the usual attention: point February
Since Zach is an only child I think he feels the loneliness by February. But, even siblings tend to fight more in February. They are simply tired of each other! But play dates aren't easy to schedule. Even kids in aftercare are different in February. I used to work for an after school program so I know. They have been playing in the gym too long. Gyms are much louder then the outdoors. All that loud chaos for that long is frustrating. The indoors can be claustrophobic after too long.
Too much time inside and no end in sight: point February
I always say fresh air is the key to happiness. There is a reason that what we need most in February is the outdoors. Like I said, the indoors can become claustrophobic. By February it feels like a cage. It gets annoying bouncing between heated indoors and freezing outdoors. But it's too cold to be outdoors for long! Going outside on a warm and sunny day in February feels like you are being released from prison! Kids behavior changes in February because they are like inmates with 60 days left on their sentences. Almost over but still a long time left!
|February 2010 8 months old|
|February 2013 3 years old|
|February 2014 4 years old|