How to lure Spring out of hibernation

My kids and I have been ready for Spring since approximately 8:07 a.m. on January 7th (their first day back to school after Winter Break). In February, my son C asked me when he could go swimming. In March, my daughter E wondered when we could open the windows. Earlier this month, my oldest son M sighed when he had to wear his winter coat again to school. It’s been downright depressing.

I’ve tried everything to cajole Spring to arrive here:

  • The Winter Coat Two-Step: I put away the winter boots, the snow pants, and the big fluffy winter coats. Then I had to pull them back out. In and out, over and over. This little two-step I danced with our parkas kept going until I was so frustrated that I gave up. Defeat never felt so cold and bitter.
  • The Storing of the Snowboards, Shovels and Sleds: I was also determined to put away any item that had anything to do with playing in the snow. Yeah, that worked about as well as the winter coats.
  •  The Return of Summer Food: Then I realized I was working the wrong angle. Instead of trying to put away the winter stuff, I doggedly decided to start springtime activities and food whether the weather was ready or not. I thought if I made pasta and green salads, grilled hamburgers, and ice cream sandwiches that I could tempt Spring to come on out and have a picnic. No dice.
  • The Great Summer-Clothes-Try-On Event: I don’t know if you do this in your house, but in preparation for warmer weather, I make the kids try on every pair of shorts, every T-shirt, every polo and swimsuit to what exactly we’ll need to buy. It’s futile, really – for the most part, they always need everything new because the cold promotes growth spurts in our house. But I still make them go through the hated ritual because I always think that I must have bought some clothes that will still fit them. Just FYI — it apparently doesn’t hurry Spring along at all (even if I might have used that as a rationale for doing this annual event).
  • The Annual Bike-Tire Pump-Up: We tried this one in March over Spring Break. Even though it was so cold that it made your eyes water and then made your tears freeze, the kids wanted to get their bikes ready. Does anything say “freedom” to a tween like having your own bike to ride? Six frozen hands, three red noses and two bike pumps later, the tires were ready for the road. The kids, however, were ready for hot chocolate and a midday showing of Iron Man 2.
  • The Summer Knitting Switch: I gave up on cowls and mittens and gloves in favor of lighter scarves. I thought about knitting a summery little shrug but I was forced to rethink when the winter wind cut right through my forehead as I walked Louie. Back to making winter hats.

I was baffled. I thought we had tried everything we could to lure Spring out into the open. And then it hit me – the one thing that I hadn’t done, the thing I abhor that might just make all the difference: spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning strikes fear in the hearts of my children — and myself. I love a clean house but hate the actual cleaning part. So we grit our teeth, grumped a lot, and did it all. We washed the windows and vacuumed the miniblinds (ugh!).  We purged the old, filled up the recycle bin as well as the minivan for me to drive to the Annual Recycle Event in our town. We scrubbed, washed, dusted, straightened, organized, painted and polished everything in the house from top to bottom.

 At one point I heard my younger son C talking to his friend on the phone: “No, I can’t come over and play. My mom is making me straighten and dust and vacuum my room!”

To which his friend replied: “Dude, that’s like torture! You gotta get out of there.”

That’s right, folks. I am the Meanest Mom in the Entire World because I made my kids clean their rooms.

We took our cleaning force outside. We weeded the horrible flowerbeds, throwing mulch around the little Japanese irises and daffodils that were trying to survive. We mowed the lawn, picked up sticks, cleared the old dead leaves from the perennials. And we planted flowers – pansies, petunias, and geraniums in pots – for my daughter to tend (I’m thinking that she inherited her grandparents’ green thumb).

purple pansiesspring flowers

The outcome of this frenzy of cleaning and sprucing up? An absolutely gorgeous weekend. What’s more, I didn’t wear a coat to the bus stop today — and I wasn’t even chilly. Tomorrow it may even be warm enough to wear shorts.

I never knew Spring was so fussy about clutter and dust, but I can’t argue with the results. So my apologies to everyone for keeping the warmer weather at bay. Next year I’ll start spring cleaning on January 2nd, and that’s a promise!

Do you enjoy spring cleaning or are you like me and loathe the process but love the result? Is it finally warmer by you too?

About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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24 Responses to How to lure Spring out of hibernation

  1. Micha says:

    You are too funny. We do the big try-on event as well. I’m so ready to put those bulky clothes away already that take up way too much room in the drawers and washing machine!

    • My younger son C mentioned this morning how much he loves summer because all you have to do is throw on a pair of shoes to head out for the bus stop. We’re all so over the winter hats and coats. Of course, our gorgeous weather of the last 5 whole days is going to leave us and we’re heading back to rain. But at least it isn’t snow!

  2. I started Spring Cleaning this week…hopefully the warmer weather will follow around here as well!

  3. mtetar says:

    Personally I do the try on it helps with purchasing, and maintaining my weight. Thanks for sharing Joan. A little more patience and things will be alright. Be Blessed, Mtetar

    • The Great Try-On is not one of my kids’ favorite events in our house, but I totally agree with you — if something still fits, I definitely want to know it and save that money! And I know you’re right — a little more patience with this weather and all will be well.

  4. I’ve been ridiculously spring cleaning, purging, organizing for months! I kind of never stop….it’s an affliction…

    • Haha, Erin! Do you love the process of cleaning and purging or do you like the result or both? I’m all about the result, but it takes a lot of motivation to get me to deep clean everything. 🙂

      • I like the process actually, is that sad? I think I actually like doing it more than the finished product. I keep trying to find new projects and new things to purge!

      • No, that’s not sad! I’m like that sometimes with knitting; I often like the process better than the finished object. With cleaning though, it’s the other way around for me. Too bad you don’t live closer to me — my house has LOADS of things go purge/organize! 🙂

  5. Our spring has been so ridiculous that the kids’ flip-flops are now sitting beside their winter boots at the front door. It was gorgeous this past weekend, but I’m still not convinced I can put the boots away!

    • I know exactly what you mean. My mud room looks like a crazy person lives there. I’ve got winter coats stacked on top of windbreakers with boots and snowpants next to sandals. But every time I try to put away the cold weather gear, we get walloped with some northern front that wants to sap my will to live. 🙂 I think this might be payback for our insanely mild winter last year. Ugh!

  6. ha!ha! thank you Joan! 🙂 you are too funny! I really enjoyed reading your post today! ha!ha! don’t know if you know Lidia a great friend-blogger she made an offering to the Goddess of spring and since we have enjoyed warmer and sunny days! Like you we had a great sunny weekend and today it’s been a beautiful day, it’s past 7:30: the sun is still there 🙂 Well, glad you did some spring-cleaning, I did mine as well during these last few days and I tried a my clothing from last year but for an unexplainable reason they don’t fit 😉 (OK, so I gained a couple of pounds) 🙂 the flowers you planted for your daughter to tend they are beautiful 🙂 Hope you are having a great week!

    • Isn’t it funny how we all decided to do whatever it takes to entice Spring to just get here already?! I’ll have to check out your friend Lidia’s blog — if her offering to the Goddess of Spring works without any cleaning of mini blinds (one of my least favorite tasks), I’m in for next year!

      I’m a little nervous about pulling out the shorts to wear — I get that way every year. It’s too bad that pasty white legs are never ever in fashion. 🙂

      My daughter loves her little flowers. And so far I haven’t killed them just by walking past, so we’re looking good so far! 🙂

      Have a wonderful week, busy Ingrid! You have so many wonderful projects started on your blog — can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  7. I absolutely loved this post! I was cracking up the whole way through because I did every one of these things except for the bike pump up even though my kids asked a million times. We couldn’t even get to the kid’s bikes until this past weekend when we cleaned out the garage!! It was actually 80 with high humidity yesterday….loved it! Now I guess the rest of the week is going to be another cold snap…ahhhh….

    • I’m so happy that I’m not the only one who does these little rituals to try to get warmer weather here faster! How did your garage sale turn out? Did you have a lot of folks looking? Good weekend for it, I’ll bet. It was fabulous here.

      Kids and their bikes, man. My twins have been riding around the block over and over for the last few days. So funny.

      Here’s hoping that Spring is here to stay and that she doesn’t just lapse back into Winter or slide right into Summer. I’d like to enjoy a little springtime!

      • The garage sale went really well. There were tons of people who came. I got rid of all my big pieces so now I have more room in my basement….thank goodness! I made $250 too so now I’ll probably go hit up a bunch of sales and fill it all right back up…I seriously have a problem!

      • That’s awesome! I thought your tips for holding a garage sale were fantastic and I’m glad you had decent weather this past weekend for your sale. Nice little profit too! And you’ll probably strike a great deal on some new-to-you stuff, spruce it up and make an even bigger profit! Not a problem at all, really! 🙂

  8. I started spring-cleaning (in the kitchen), then I did some spring-cleaning on my blog, then I started another blog where I blogged from A to Z for April – and it is not quite spring here yet! The wind is chilly, There have been frosts overnight and a terrific hail storm in the last few days. Hardly any trees are in leaf. There is some blossom and some spring flowers. No doubt it will be lovely in a few weeks when everything comes out at once to catch up! I might even be able to put my warmer clothes away! Sue

    • Sue, I’ll have to check out your new blog! Thanks for linking to it! I saw that someone else had blogged April A-Z and I was so impressed. I think I’d get stuck on some of the harder letters and just bail out — X and Z would definitely be a challenge!

      Fingers crossed for warmer weather by you too! Let’s bring on those May flowers!

  9. It’s great to see all of your Spring start-up reminders. Having grown up in Illinois this is a friendly reminder of how the other side of the country lives. We’re spoiled here in Southern California with lots and lots of sunshine. Sending some your way today!

    • I’ll take it, Renee! Any sunshine you can send on, please do! It’s been a longer-then-normal winter and poor spring just hasn’t been able to get going. We may have turned a corner this past weekend (knock wood), because the forecast is for more moderate temperatures and the grass is greening up.

      I’ll bet it’s easy adapting to a Southern Californian lifestyle! Loads of sunshine sounds wonderful right now!

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