Grumpy Granny and worry bumps

We went on a winter vacation. This is something we've never really done before. The kids wanted to see snow. They HAVE seen a couple of inches on the ground here before, but they were too young to remember. They wanted a real snow experience. So we went to Vermont. And we saw snow on the ground, snow falling, snow blowing around, snow piling up and sinking us to our knees. We saw snow!

When we first arrived at our inn, the kiddies were very excited. They went right out to play in the deep, fluffy snow. They tried to make snowballs but it was a little too powdery, so they just threw handfuls of it. They made snow angels and trails. At least, two out of three kids did these things. Orangeboy walked out in it, touched it, and decided he would rather be in our suite watching TV. He had enough of snow after about ten minutes in Vermont. So for the rest of our vacation he emitted a near constant stream of complaining. If he wasn't complaining he was pouting, with his eyes squinted and his mouth puckered up. By the second day he had developed worry bumps.

He typically breaks out in these bumps (uticuria) whenever we go on vacation or do something completely out of our normal routine and setting. The first time he spent the night at his grandparents' without us he came back all covered in little red bumps. He broke out when we went to Disney last year. We camped out one night a few summers ago and in the morning he looked like he was the sole attackee of a band of killer mosquitoes. I used to know when he was getting anxious about something when I heard him mutter,
"Ooohh! I so itchy!"

So we dragged Grumpy Granny all covered in worry bumps around with us on our winter vacation. He lagged behind and had to be waited for or dragged along. He continually muttered phrases that began and ended in "stupid" and he kept threatening to start pounding his sister with snowballs. I don't think he threw a single snowball or snow clump during the entire trip; but, as usual, his constant complaining and verbal abuse eventually drew some attention from his siblings who then pounded HIM with snowballs.

He asked frequently when we were going back to the airport and what time our flight would leave. He did say he enjoyed the plane flight. That's funny, because all he did on the plane was eat snacks, play Gameboy or do Sudoku. He only looked out the window when I prompted him and he didn't even once want to get up and check out the lavatory.

Even though it would be very tempting to leave him at home during our next vacation, I think forcing him out of his routine is good for him. He has to learn to cope with change and be a bit more flexible. He is going to have to learn to deal with his anxiety in order to enjoy life. We don't cater to him too much on these trips. He has to get through it. I think eventually he will learn his own way to cope that doesn't involve constant grumpiness and threatening his sister.

And if he doesn't, I guess there's always Xanax - for me, that is.


  1. Anonymous28/2/09

    I'm with orangeboy on this one. Snow is fine floating around in the air on christmas eve but otherwise, it is just a freaking nuisance.

    I don't ski and I hate wet feet and having to clean sidewalks and windshields.

    But for those who like it, jolly good.


  2. I feel the same way about snow as Orange Boy... But my Apple surprised me with LOVING the snow we were in earlier this week. I think it's absolutely beautiful, as long as I'm inside.

    You know, I've learned to cope with those sorts of changes and the anxiety, but I don't think my (60 year old) father ever has. I'm not sure what made the difference between us.


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