As the threat of yet another snow day looms over us, I am one mom that is NOT rejoicing. Because we were blessed enough to have a snow day on the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That was a four-day weekend. Then another storm hit. And turned to ice. And now we know there is no school tomorrow. Yet again. For the 7th day in a row. What a weekend.
Since we live in the South, people have no clue how to drive in snow or what to do about ice. The cities don’t have enough tools to deal with it because it’s so infrequent. If you dare to venture out you are taking your life into your own hands. Therefore, school is almost always cancelled before the snowpocalypse even begins.
And so the ritual activities before the winter storm arrives in the South exists. The kids all put their PJs on backwards. They shove spoons under their pillows. White crayons go into the freezer. Don’t forget, they pour ice cubes down the toilet.
And the adults have their own rituals. The main person responsible for food in every household makes a desperate dash out to the store for bread and milk. (Milk sandwiches anyone? Possibly with a side of toilet paper.) Every mom obsessively checks the weather maps, their text messages and their email to see if the they can determine whether they have to take the kids to school in the morning before they set their alarms to get up.
And then, if you listen hard enough, you can hear every kid in the county shouting for joy as the first snowflake falls.
But as I mentioned earlier, I am not rejoicing about another snow day. Let me preface this by saying I LOVE my kids. The fact of the matter is, I have felt really crumby for a long time. Now, after having my gallbladder removed and a surprise 4 inch cyst on one of my fallopian tubes, I am finally starting to feel better. I am gaining the energy to take back control of the monster that my house has become. Piles and piles (and piles) of laundry are everywhere. There are mountains of dishes in the sink. The children’s bathrooms are downright disgusting (Toothpaste. Everywhere. Need I say more?).
I digress. The looming Snow Day. Am I happy about not having to get up at 6 am to get the kids to school in frigid temperatures? Yes. Most definitely. Do I look forward to one more day of being stuck in a house where my older children bicker and fight like mortal enemies? No. I’m pretty sure they love each other, but why they must fight over such petty little things is beyond me. Do I relish the thought of constantly chasing my 3.5 year old twins out of the kitchen, their favorite place to get into things? Certainly not. I understand that they are bored out of their mind with being stuck in the house for 6 days, but the twin tornadoes are not letting me get a thing done! As soon as I turn my back to do the dishes or change the laundry over, they invariably destroy any semblance of calm and order in the house. Add to that the fact that my 7-year-old’s favorite form of entertainment is driving them INSANE.
I was cleaning the kitchen the other day, maybe day 2 or 3, and one of the 3-year-olds started yelling about his feet being wet. I looked up to find a large puddle under the table. They had been spilling drinks all day long, so I calmly asked him where it came from thinking I knew what he would say. He replied, “My penis.” HA! That was NOT what I was expecting to hear. Oh, the joys of potty training!
Into the Snow
I forgot to mention the best part. The SNOW. Or rather, a quarter inch of snow on top of 2” of ice that melts in the sun and freezes again overnight. This makes it fun to play in for the first 30 minutes. Then everyone is tired of slipping and falling and being in wet clothes.
Don’t get me started on the wet clothes! Puddles of water from the door to their rooms. There are little wet piles of shoes, socks, gloves, hats, scarves and coats that were discarded along the way. And like I said, since we are in the South, and get maybe 1-2 big winter storms a year, it means no one has appropriate waterproof cold weather gear. You can hardly find it in the stores. There are lots of those silly one size fits all “magic” gloves and some fake leather boots, knit hats and fleece coats. Which may be warm but definitely are NOT snow and ice-which-has-now-melted-to-water “proof”.
Added to the FUN of this wet bone-shivering cold mess, one of my twins has cerebral palsy and cannot walk independently yet without the use of his walker. He really prefers to crawl everywhere because it’s faster, but it’s so cold I can’t in good conscience allow him to crawl around on the ice and snow. So I bundle myself up and then the boys. You can picture herding cats here. It takes at least 30 minutes with all the excitement.
Out we go, and I hold my little three year old up while he tries to negotiate the slippery surfaces. He gets so frustrated because he wants to run and play. He wants to be like all the other kids playing in the cove. “Momma! I wanna run!” he yells and it breaks my heart. All the while his twin brother is running in the opposite direction heading towards the street or up into the neighbors garage to check out all the fun toys they have. I last about 10 minutes before my back is killing me, I’m freezing to death, and I declare it’s time to go back inside. This of course brings about a massive meltdown from two very disappointed little boys.
So forgive me if I don’t jump for joy and celebrate with the rest of you. I might have for day one. Children’s joy is contagious- I will grant that. But for this 7 day weekend… At home. Mostly inside. I’m done. I’ll take a pass on anymore “winter weather.” And if you too are dreading another snow day, please know that you are not alone!