3 kidsIt's winter here in Chicago, which means that we should have our dirty lawn along with our old lawn chairs and our left-unintentionally-outside toys blanketed in a nice, white cover. I love that part about winter: the snow makes even garbage look pretty.

Except, um, Mother Nature didn't get the memo yet. Today, I woke up, hoping against hope to see snow, and what greeted me? Rain. Lots of ugly rain. That means our lawn is all but floating away, off into my neighbors' lawn, exposing beautiful patches of dirt as far as the eye can see.

Not too jolly, right?

That's not the worst bit. Not even a little.

No, the worst bit is that I can't bundle up the kids so they yell, "I CAN'T MOVE MY ARRRMS!" (bonus points if you get the movie reference) and throw them into the snow. I mean, I spent my winters outside, building snow forts and lobbing snowballs at random passersby. The Chicago winter is a hell of a lot more fun if you have SNOW to play with.

That means my kids are stuck inside.

I can't very well send them out to the mud pit without the ability to hose them off outside, and considering it's 30+ degrees here? Probably not gonna win me Parent of the Year. So this is what my kids are doing until such time as I can bundle them up and shoo them outdoors.

1. Playing with Solo Cups. You know, the ones you used to drink out of at Keggers? They're like crack to kids. I have no idea why, but my kids can spend hours creating buildings, playing "bowling," and filling the cups up with wee toys. Cheapest way to burn through a couple of hours.

2. Complaining incessantly that it hasn't snowed. While I'd like to pretend this has been a "learning experience" for us all, that's bullshit. They're ready for snow. I'm ready for snow. Let's get this snow on, Chicago. (I just realized I doomed us to another Notorious SNOMG Blizzard, like we had last year.)

3. Running laps around my house. While running through the house, screaming at the top of their lungs isn't exactly good for my migraines, it burns off their energy and allows them to go to bed before midnight. By which time, I am a blubbering, exhausted mess.

4. Arguing. Now I have an older brother -- one that is so much older that I am technically an "only child" (tell THAT to my parents at Christmastime). I didn't spend a lot of time in the same room as him, and I certainly don't now (see also: only child), so we didn't much argue. Or if we did, he'd swiftly out-logic me and that'd be the end of that. But my kids? They can argue until they're blue in the face and then WRITE out their arguments. What about? I hear you ask. The color of the sky. The temperature in the house. Who is wearing socks. ANYTHING.

5. Creating hurricanes of destruction throughout every single room in my house. Now I have three kids. I work 80+ hours a week. I make time for housekeeping, but I'm not going to be all, "Yeah, my house is TOTALLY spotless," because that's a hot pile of bullshit. But the amount of havoc my kids can create in a few short minutes? It's incredible. They should win an award for "Best Mess Makers."

So what else should I add to my list of things to do with my kids this winter? Also: send vodka.