Monday, March 17, 2014

Clover it

Happy Day of the Feast of Patrick ...

... or as I like to think of it, Five Months And Counting Until My Family Goes On Our First Beach Week Vacation In A Couple Of Years. You know, whichever. Celebrate as you see fit!

So it turns out that the subject of this post has many layers. I personally am in fact "over it" as far as St. Paddy's goes, because I had my fun back in the day but at this point I am too old for that shillelagh. However, much to my surprise I am really over another aspect of the holiday: the kiddie-version of it. I suppose technically I am preemptively over it, since my kids are all too young to really be clued in on the whole thing, with the apparent exception of the little guy.

Perhaps I should back up and come at this again from a different angle. Throughout most of my life I would have said that St. Patrick's Day was a day for city parades, Irish pride, corned beef and cabbage (I love corned beef; I loathe cabbage) and irresponsibly outsized inebriation (optional). There doesn't seem to be much in there for children, which never ever struck me as a problem! Kids get their birthdays, and Christmas, and Halloween, and Easter and Valentine's Day and summer vacations, and (our first-world) life in general is pretty sweet for them. I've never laid awake at night staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out how to incorporate more childish wonder and joy into Arbor Day or whathaveyou. However, thanks to the hivemind of Facebook, my wife has become aware (and in turn made me aware) of the growing trend of parents staying up late on the night of March 16th to dye the water in the toilets green or make tiny spritely footprints in piles of spilled flour or any number of other little pranks so that when the kids wake up on the 17th they'll know that leprechauns visited their house.

The historical record will show that I have no problem going to great lengths to convince my kids that our Elf on the Shelf is indeed magically nocturnal and flying around the house every night in December. And the little guy is just about old enough to start losing baby teeth soon, and I will similarly be happy to perpetuate the myth of the Tooth Fairy. But the leprechaun pranks have always hit me as a bit much, and wholly unnecessary. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when the little guy started asking rather a lot of pointed questions about leprechauns coming to our house, starting last week. Apparently they were talking about it at school, and I think even his kindergarten teacher was in on giving the lowdown on these (COMPLETELY MADE-UP!) "traditions". I will admit I took an unseemly amount of pride in the answer I gave when the little guy asked if a leprechaun was going to come into our house and make messes the night before St. Patrick's Day: "Oh, no, I doubt it. I think the leprechauns would peek in our windows and see the huge messes that you and your sister and your baby brother make every day and say to themselves, 'This house? We can skip - they're all set for messes!' Don't you think?"

So no, no little folk traipsed through our kitchen or made any mischief around the house. Whatever the celtic equivalent of a Scrooge or a Grinch may be, my wife and I are content to be branded as such.

And then of course there's the fact that back about five winters ago or so we had those massive snowstorms which were christened Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, and Snowver (Snover?) It. Lo and behold if it didn't snow on St. Patrick's Day this year, occasioning yet another snow day for me and the little guy, presumably the final one for the season. I am more than ready to be done with winter as a general concept, but I can't deny that I've enjoyed the frequent respites from work. In fact, it occurred to me that our weekend was extended yesterday, and last week I was home on Wednesday for the little guy's sick day, and I'm pretty sure the week before that involved another snow day. Basically for almost the past month the only reason my wife and I have been able to stay nominally on top of our housework and such is because I've only been working four days a week, and taking advantage of that extra day to catch up on laundry or vacuuming or whatnot. We're going to have to have a dedicated spring cleaning weekend (or three) sooner than later, and get organized, and then try to hold it together. So wish us some four-leaf clover strewn luck.

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