So, I heard something somewhere about a storm or something? Some lady named Irene was talking about it. I think.
Suffice it to say, I am not the most prepared citizen. I make a willful effort to ignore much of the hype and panic in situations like this (left). I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, but my stubborn, contrarian tendencies seem to override concern for my loved ones. So there it is.
In my defense, reports I've read make it sound as if the worst that's likely to happen to us is a power outage. When I realized this, I made a mental note to go out and buy a flashlight. Soon thereafter I read a Facebook post from someone who had been to four stores looking for flashlights and they were all sold out, so I scratched out my mental note. I've got headlamps from when I was in the Peace Corps somewhere in the house and now I've got a mental note to find them before the apocalypse strikes. Worse comes to worse, we've got birthday candles.
The only other reasonable thing I can think to do is to make sure we've got enough food to outlast the storm. I'll be honest with you, we haven't been shopping in a while. We're down to half a loaf of bread and some olives. And the boys don't like olives. Then again, the thought of going into a supermarket in the middle of all this hysteria is actually worse than the thought of us starving to death. I finally gave in and checked weather.com today and it seems the storm will pass by early morning Sunday. I think we can make it until then without resorting to cannibalism. Let's hope I can convince the boys to try olives.
With those fears resolved, we're down to worrying about what the heck we're going to do cooped up in the house for a day and a half. You may recall, the whole point of these "Keep Em Busy" posts was that I don't like it when the boys are sitting around the house with nothing to do. They get evil.
Conveniently enough, earlier these week, I held a contest for Cirque du Soleil tickets that required entrants to submit ideas for rainy-day activities in the comments. There were a ton of great ideas, from designing masks and arm bands and creating super-hero identities to pretending the floors are hot lava and coming up with ways to get around the house—click the link in that last sentence to check them out. Some other quick ideas:
-Papier Mache. It's just flour and water, and you can turn empty bottles, egg cartons, or paper towel rolls into rockets, masks, and swords, then paint them. Down side: It's messy. Jack, Benny, and I each ruined a pair of pants last time we did this.
-Smell game: Put 5 or 6 different strong-smelling foods/herbs in a cup each (lemon, onion, cinnamon, popcorn, etc.) and cover with tissue paper/napkin with holes and rubber bands. Have kid(s) smell each and draw a picture of what each smells like, either an actual picture of what they think it is or, if they don't know (try to pick at least one they won't know - maybe anchovies), try to use colors, shapes, etc. that LOOK like it smells. Downside: anchovies.
-Built a fort. The concept's been around since forever—what exactly is a "fort" anyway—because it works. There are various methods, but like to gather a bunch of chairs and drape blankets and sheets over them. Then we make arrows—just pieces of paper folded vertically as tightly as possible—and throw them at invaders, often mommy.
PS: My blog buddy, (cool) progeny has an actually helpful list of things to think about in advance of the hurricane. For sensible advice for parents, I encourage you to head there...