Tag Archives: Snow Day

Seriously though…

The groundhog saw his shadow yesterday.

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(Pic courtesy of Sid’s pre-school teachers who sent home this insanely cute groundhog.) Six more weeks of winter, according to Puxatawney Phil, Groundhog in Chief.

A little closer to home: Apparently there is a Staten Island groundhog who did not see his shadow, meaning that Spring is around the corner.

I’ll let the hogs hash it out. I like winter (there, I said it) and am ok with several more weeks.

A few confessions though:

— I have no idea what black ice is. I’ve never seen it and am not sure anyone has. But people like to pepper it into conversation in a knowing, smuggish way. (She was fine until she hit that black ice; watch out for that black ice…) Frankly, I think it’s all a hoax. A smug people hoax.

— I am hungry all the time in the winter. Snow days are basically an excuse for me to eat the entire contents of my fridge, pantry, and Costco overflow while simultaneously slipping on snow the kids have trekked through the house and yelling at children to turn things off.

— As the season of indoor fire, winter makes me nervous. And not surprisingly (given that Hannukah is basically an excuse for my boys to try to set the house aflame), my phone now corrects “season” to “arson.”

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— The longer you spend out of a bathing suit, the more likely you are to look awful in one.

— As a friend pointed out recently, snow days take on a different meaning as an adult. Yes, there is still a frisson of excitement when snow falls, when it’s announced, when the day is stretched out in front of you, but a few hours in when you’ve run out of marshmallows and feel more like a disenfranchised short order cook than a giddy child, when all the things you have to do get pushed off to another day, displacing all sorts of other things you have to do, it’s time to go back to school.

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Snow shoes, snow day.

It’s that time of year again.

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Which also means this.

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.. Turning my sneakers into show shoes so I can get out and run.

It’s our first snow day of the year and I volunteered to shovel just to get out the house and away from wiping kitchen counters and responding to the near-constant calls for help and attention. To be clear, shoveling snow is yet another thing at which I’m complete rubbish. Still, it beats “she got more than me,”or “he took mine,” or “I tried to spread the jam but it slid off the bagel and onto the floor,” or “I tried to wipe myself and now it’s all over the outside of the bowl,” (How in God’s name does that even happen?”) or my own personal favorite, “I refuse to eat a bagel with seeds.”

I’m attempting to enforce some child labor (their words) around here. Oldest child made crepes last night and then I actually made him clean up (no, that is not what I’m for).

Him: “hey, this is really cool. What do you call it?”

Me: “a dish rack.”

My work is long, people.

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Banana Update

There were many, many bananas. Now there this only one.

When two naturally competitive people get together, you don’t always get greatness. Often, you get petty. Often, things like THIS happen:

Me: You bought 4200 bananas. We will never eat these. Clearly there must be something wrong with you.

M: Watch me make this happen. I am right about everything.

It happened, people. In about three days.

It happened because not only did Snowmageddon have us house-bound and in perma-snack mode, but also (mostly) because any time a child muttered the word “hungry,” M would shove a banana at them. Sometimes, he’d sneak up behind them and shove the banana in their mouths before they’d even finish saying the word. Sometimes, he’d even shove it in unpeeled.

With each eaten banana, M would announce the BANANA TALLY. (I write this in caps because his announcement was often made at full volume, so all those present in the house could hear.)

Our cleaning woman was in the house yesterday. I looked at the pile of bananas, which was still daunting, and offered her a few: “Here, take some of these home with you.”

The sentence had barely left my mouth, when M yelled: THE BANANAS MUST BE EATEN IN THIS HOUSE! SHE CAN EAT AS MANY AS SHE LIKES, BUT THOSE EFFING BANANAS DON’T LEAVE!

Poor woman felt compelled to eat three on the spot.

The children have eaten so many bananas this week that nobody has pooped since Monday.

But here it is, THE VERY LAST ONE OF ALL: (I have promised M that I would save it for him)

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Snowmaggedon 2.0

It’s beautiful.

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But it’s a logistical mess. The kids went to bed positive that today would be a snow day; only to discover this morning that all that awaited them was a late start to school. (I can’t fault the kids. In Seattle, FEMA would’ve been called in to sort all this out.)

A late start is the best of all worlds, if you ask me.

Because it is rare for me to see my children engaged in any sort of labour, be it manual or otherwise, I could not resist the urge to document driveway shovelage.

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Even the girls got in on it.

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Proof.

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Snow Morning

I think I spoke a little too soon about the paltry snowfall.

I had a semi clever idea last night. I quickly realized that once my kids knew that it was a snow day, that they’d be up and in my room way before I was ready to experience them. For a reason that I will never understand, I had to drag their zombie asses out of bed yesterday (and all school mornings) at 7.15, but come weekends, holidays and snow days, they leap out of bed and into my face at 6.30. (This phenomenon is in a category with photosynthesis and the process by which chicken lays eggs that turn into other chickens, and eggs that don’t: Things that I acknowledge, but will never understand.)

“The school sent another email,” I said last night, as I was putting them to bed. “The snow day is being reconsidered due to paltry snowfall.”

“Nice try,” said one of the boys. “You just want us to stay in bed past eight.”

Eight? If all of you slept until eight, I’d call the pediatrician. At this point I would gladly take seven thirty. My trick kind of worked. The boys may have been awake, but they didn’t surface until NINE. I’m certain they were partly convinced that if they showed their faces, I’d tell them the snow day had been called off.

By nine, however, I’d already been subjected to over two hours of three year old, and one hour and forty five minutes of five year old. I’m done, and they’re only getting started.

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Oh, Canadia

We’ve had snow days before, so I knew what I was in for, and as always, it’s the buildup that’s the worst. Specifically, the unbridled glee of many of my Facebook friends who cannot contain their excitement at the thought of being holed up with their darling, delightful children for days on end. (“Yay! It’s snowing!!” or “Whoopee, no school today!”or, my personal favorite, “Even if there is school, my kids won’t be going!”) There are even people who brag about how late they’ll be sleeping now that they don’t have to wake up their kids for school. Oh, how I love those. They strike me as especially funny because I’ve given birth to five human alarm clocks, and even if my clock has an alarm setting (I can’t say for sure), I’ve never needed to use it.

I won’t bore you with details of the panic attack that overtook me earlier this week, when I realized that with the exception of a few hours on Tuesday, that my kids would basically be at home all week long. I won’t bore you with details of work piling up, letters unanswered, on my desk. I won’t bore you with details of the vicious snow day cycle: cook, clean up, serve, clean up, blink, repeat, a cycle punctuated by yes, happy romps in the snow, romps that come with their own cycle of laundry and muddy, snowy footprint cleanup.

Truth be told, it hasn’t been as bad as I’d thought. Yesterday the snow fell all day, and we ventured out to build igloos and a snowman and to sled around the neighborhood (a mild form of sledding given a certain broken arm). Even Francie left the house. After some mild coercion, of course.

Today, there is no snow, only freezing rain and something the weather people called ice storms, but I’m not sure what that means. I do know that none of it daunted M, who dragged us all out of the house at 8 a.m. to take us to Boeing Field where we had our interviews for our Nexus passes. These will allow us bypass the lines at the Canadian border and go through a fast track lane.

Canada, you ask? No, we’re not Canadian. Nor do we have any Canadian relatives or go to Canada with any great frequency, but there is a permit, of sorts, involved. And M, being a lover of permits and licenses could not resist. So, he chained up the car and we all trudged out. Even Sidney had an interview. The nice TSA man made the mistake of asking the famously indecisive Francie if she wanted to approve her photo, and I feared we’d be there til spring until she saw a photo she liked. When I went into the second interview with a lovely man from the Canadian border, Efram got confused, and thinking we were already at the border, asked: “You mean that office next door is Canadia?” Yes, Efram, Canadia. We don’t even know the name of the country, but we can get there quicker than just about everyone else, and that’s good enough for us.

We also have something called Global Fast Pass (I probably got that name wrong), but the kids don’t get it because you need fingerprints for it and they can’t take fingerprints until you are fourteen. So, as the first man explained to me, when M and I leave the kids with grandma and go abroad alone, we don’t have to wait in line to get back in to the U.S.

I used every muscle I had to avoid falling out of my seat with laughter. Sure thing, buddy, I’ll keep that in mind next time M and I go overseas alone. I’ve been locked inside with my kids for days on end, and I haven’t peed alone since 2002, but Rome awaits us.

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>anatomy of a snow day: Part two (Cookies?)

>Still here. Despite the fact that it’s not snowing, b/c the roads are icy, and b/c Seattle comes to a grinding icy halt when it snows even a few inches, we’re all at home. And b/c tomorrow is Thanksgiving… we’re home for the week. Whoopee.

The funny thing is that last week, M and I were brainstorming ways to survive the long TG weekend, and here we are… with a whole week on our hands.

Once again, I am pitted against all the mothers who are thrilled to have their kids home – no lunches, no carpool. But alas, no school either. (These, consequently, are the same mothers who celebrated the end of the school year and were sad to see their kids go back to school at the end of the summer. I’m clearly just made of different, meaner stuff.) At least this time I can assuage my guilt — I do, after all, have a newborn at home. A newborn who’s going through a colicky patch at the moment. A newborn who had us both up for much of the night last night. A newborn who puked all over both of us, and then herself before falling back to sleep. A cute, but messy and disruptive newborn.

We’ve played in the snow, done a boatload of arts and crafts projects, all the things you’re supposed to do on a snow day. The kids have certainly got their money’s worth — so can’t they go back to school now. Please?

Someone suggested I bake cookies with the kids. That sounded about fine when I remembered that I hate baking. OK, maybe hate is strong.. but I don’t like doing it all that much alone. Why would I enjoy it with Fiona sticking her entire head into a bowl a batter when I’m not looking (banana bread), or Bennett stealing everyone’s dough to make a giant cookie in the shape of an Indianapolis Colts horseshoe that will be too big to ever bake (chocolate chip cookies), or Efram crying because Bennett stole his dough and picking up the bowl and hurling it across the kitchen spraying the remaining dough everywhere (same batch)??

But I may have no choice. For someone who doesn’t like to bake, doesn’t eat wheat, and especially dislikes making cookies that require cutters, I have an insane cookie cutter collection. Somewhere. Looks like I’ll be pulling it out today. Wish me luck.

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