Surviving “Family Week”

If you live in Canada, chances are that your Province uses the third Monday of February as a means of claiming another statutory holiday in order to get a paid day off. I’m sure that’s important to some people but given that my salary doesn’t change regardless of holidays, I could care less. In Saskatchewan as well as a number of other Provinces, It’s referred to as “Family Day.” Setting aside for the moment the fact that if you’re married with children EVERY day is Family Day, the school systems seem to think that it’s appropriate to include a week-long break for kids to add insult to injury.

My opening sentence may catch some people by surprise since most would be inclined to ask, “But Shawn, don’t you WANT a paid day off?” Hey, I love a paid day off as much as the next person, but if you look up Family Day (or Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Nova Scotia Heritage Day in Nova Scotia and Islander Day on PEI) there are some Provinces that were specifically pressured by their population to name a holiday as well. Some folks just can’t stand it when others have something. But I digress…

Nathan and I enjoying a whirlpool

Just to be clear, I love my sons and a week off with them at home wouldn’t be a problem if the fates didn’t feel compelled to make a whole bunch of shit happen at once. The week started decently, with Valentine’s Day and a particular family event taking place. Due to restrictions outlining the number of people permitted within a household at once, Nathan and I had the opportunity to spend the night in a hotel room once we were done.

Since we had the chance to see people, eat food outside of home and enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool and whirlpool, Nathan became enamoured with the concept of hotels and seems to be of the opinion that it’s a repeatable holiday. Not to mention he enjoyed having a queen-sized bed all to himself and thinks we should get one for his room. Bloody hell. That was our overnight and the trip back home was reasonably uneventful as well so, no harm, no foul, right? But the rest of the week would turn out to be a bag of smashed ass.

Trying to take a photo with Alex (His right had is reaching for my energy drink).

If this week off happened to take place during ANY other season, it wouldn’t be an issue. I’d be taking Nathan to the park, playing in our backyard, taking walks and hanging out in our garage working on projects of some sort (see my post about building a Makiwara with Nathan). But since the Prairies love to do that whole “freezing weather” thing, there’s little to be done outside the house since it’s too cold for Nathan to be outside for longer than ten minutes or so before his face starts to go numb.

This leaves him inside the house to serve up his usual cocktail of making noise, banging into every object in the house while the baby is napping and effectively training his infant brother to become a destructive dynamo as they both whip through the house, destroying everything in their path while making enough racket to shatter glass. Fun times. Not to mention the fact that Nathan feels compelled to say he’s hungry almost every hour, mostly due to boredom. Sometimes I can sucker him into sitting still long enough to ALMOST get through an entire movie, but that’s usually pretty short-lived.

The boys being goofy together

In the end, a combination of frosty, winter weather, a lack of indoor activities and a hyper-active child made for one hell of a long week. To add insult to injury, Alex seems to have started this thing where he goes to bed at night only to wake up screaming blue murder an hour or two later. He seems to be enjoying a particular period of sleep regression, which is just LOADS of fun for the whole family. That’s fine; I’m sure four hours of sleep per night is more than enough for the average adult in his forties (cue the sarcasm).

Nathan gets another week off in April in combination with the Easter long weekend. I don’t know about y’all, but I sure as hell didn’t get all of this time off school when I was his age. Man, that makes me sound old. But they seem to hand out days off for school kids like it’s tap water. At least the weather should be seasonally warmer by April, allowing for more outdoor activities and fresh air. My wife and I survived the week, although I don’t know if I can say it was unscathed (I can’t seem to stop my left eye from twitching) and I’ve come to appreciate the school system and the fact they seem able to deal with my child, five days a week. ☯

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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