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My Winter of Discontent. And Anxiety.

By Michelle Gallerani

Publication: theday.com

Published October 10. 2012 4:00AM

So, around ten years ago, I had finally washed my hands clean of a year long break-up with my college boyfriend. I had a year and change left in grad school and I decided when I was done, I was leaving New England. Connecticut sucked (I had spent the past 6 years in Fairfield County, which does, IMHO, still suck), I had no desire to return "home" to Western Mass, so I was outta here. I was going to move to....SOUTH CAROLINA! It was a decision based on nothing but my main criteria: NO WINTER. In my then 24 years, I had had no use for the season as a whole. I didn't ski (still don't), I didn't like being cold (still don't) and South Carolina didn't seem like it would be AS HOT as Florida, but warm enough that outside of some fluke storm, there wouldn't be snow on the ground. PERFECT. South Carolina, HERE I COME!!

And then things happened, as they often do, and I met a boy. I think literally weeks, if not days, after I had had the South Carolina epiphany, I met a boy. And he had roots here and family and reasons to stay and I didn't even think twice about my short-lived dream of sunshine and palm trees. Because really, what does South Carolina have that New London County doesn't..........?

So, ten years has passed. And now I have two kids, and now I know the REAL reason I wanted to move away--WINTER SUCKS SO HARD WHEN YOU HAVE LITTLE KIDS. And winter is A LOT LONGER than you think it is. It's only October and I am already kinda pissed about winter. Fall is cool, you know..sunshine and brisk air, and apples and pumpkins...but even fall can kinda suck when it is gray and bleak and cold and damp and UGH, why didn't I move to South Carolina?

Last winter is some weird fuzzy memory of new baby and struggling to get into a routine and learning how to be a mom of two. Somehow, though, winter with a two year old isn't as hard a winter with a three year old. And I can feel winter starting to sneak up on me and I can feel my stress level rising because 1,800 square feet of the same walls is not enough space when you can't just go outside to run off some energy.

And you are going to say, "It's never too cold, you can always go outside!" and I am going to tell you that the amount of time and energy it takes to get two kids bundled up for winter (never mind the time it takes to track down boots, hats, coats, mittens) to go outside for 10 minutes because your kids realize being outside in January does, in fact, suck, is not worth the effort.

So, you know...our winter routine will revolve around visits to the library, the aquarium on the "warm" cold days, running laps around our downstairs, and trying to avoid meltdowns (from all parties, I am not exempt on a good meltdown).

As the days get shorter and colder and my anxiety about being trapped in the house with two toddlers begins to escalate, I would love to hear what your family does to keep everyone sane in the winter. Unless you plan to tell me about skiing, snowshoeing, or anything else that involves freezing your tushies off, because we are not on board with that plan.

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