Smelly Socks: A different kind Of winter break

Jan. 9, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 8, 2014 at 7:09 p.m.

Sledding during the Christmas break.

Sledding during the Christmas break.

I knew that with Christmas break coming, it was not really going to be a break. A break from school, yes, but not a break from everything else. And winter break with boys is so different from winter break with girls.

For my boys, it all started the day before Christmas Eve. Boredom had already set in, and I was called in to help break up a fight between Adam and Charlie, so I suggested that they watch a movie.

"Jack the Giant Slayer" was playing on TV, and the boys were so drawn into it that it has now inspired a Lego castle to be built complete with towers, a drawbridge and knights and soldiers standing guard over it. But instead of giants, there are dragons.

The boys worked hard, and it took them about four hours total to complete this masterpiece, but they worked together, and I guess that's what counts.

But "Jack the Giant Slayer" wasn't the only thing the boys watched this break. It seems as if castles and dragons was the theme of this winter break, as "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy has been on some constant loop in our house - if not on the DVD player, then on regular TV. However, I did learn one thing: If you want to clear out a room full of boys, both young and old, put on "Meet Me In St. Louis" and watch them run. I had to do it, folks. I just had to.

Next came the sledding. For Christmas, Adam got a snowboard and was desperate to try it out, even if it meant just going down a small hill in our subdivision. Now, I'm not an outdoorsy kind of girl, especially in the winter, but I made an exception to in 10-degree weather with my car running and the heat on while the boys and Joe sled down this hill numerous times. Why? Because I knew it would make them happy, and as long as I had my car running with the heater on, I could at least sneak away for a few minutes and warm up.

But wait, we still had 10 days or so of stuff to come up with that would keep the boys entertained. And by stuff I mean keeping them occupied so as not to let that erstwhile monster named boredom set in.

So the next thing to do was see a movie. Adam had been dying to see the new "The Hobbit" film, but I kind of knew it wasn't going to be for Charlie. With it being a little violent, three hours long and having a more complicated storyline, I'm sure we would've left after about 10 minutes in.

So while Joe and Adam went to go see "The Hobbit," I thought it would be better for Charlie and me to go see "Frozen," the Disney movie about two sisters. The singing was awesome, the animation was great, the storyline was pretty good, and, of course, Charlie wanted to go home about a half an hour into the movie, but I had him sit on my lap and talked quietly into his ear about all the important things that were happening and made them seem cooler than they actually were.

We walked out of the theatre with a thumbs-up and a "That was a cool movie, mama," from Charlie.

So while my mom friends with girls have been going to the American Doll store, getting manicures with their daughters, ice skating, baking with Easy-Bake ovens and playing with Barbies or the new, slightly strange, alternative versions of Barbies, I've been sledding, building Legos, helping to build a snow fort outside and hearing quotes such as, "That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo . and it's worth fighting for."

Yes, Sam, there is.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs, one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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