There’s nothing like a snow day. The snuggles. Nestling up to a warm fire. Spending all day in pajamas. Sipping hot cocoa and watching movies. Making snow angels and eating snow ice cream. Soup on the stove. They really are the best. The mere anticipation of school cancellation is exciting just by itself, then add in a few (or several) inches of perfect igloo building material, and you have a household of very happy kids. It’s magical.
After a packed holiday season, the January and February storms that hit the Midwest are usually a welcomed sight. A day off from commuting, homework and after-school practices can be a relief. It makes us stop and enjoy a few slow moments of being together.
That’s day one, maybe day two.
By hour 49 of confined family time, parents have hit their max and are ready to revolt. It’s science.
I pity the superintendents drafting emails informing parents this particular frigid ice storm means they are housebound for the long haul. Subsequently, I would be curious to see how many Amazon searches take place researching dog sleds and whether or not they qualify for Prime shipping.
The perfect social media moms who are raving about the uniqueness of snowflakes and sharing their homemade hot chocolate recipes are leaving out some very important realities of multiple unscheduled days off from school and work.
So what might they be leaving out? Let’s start at the beginning.
On any normal morning, moms across the country can be seen gently trying to shake their kids awake for the 15th time while their Wheaties get soggy waiting for the little angels to finally wake. Cue a snow day, and the same child can be heard swishing through the hallway, snowsuit on, at 5:30 a.m. ready to rage as if they just chugged a Mountain Dew.
By 11 a.m., we have dressed and undressed children approximately 34 times for the Snowpocalypse. Every pair of gloves and socks in the house are soaked. We have broken up fights because “he put ice down my underwear” and “she broke the carrot nose off my snowman!” Well, sorry to tell you kid, but that snowman was subpar anyway.
On the afternoon of day three, we have done all. the. indoor. activities. ever. invented. *See exhaustive list below.
- Immersed ourselves in a snow sensory bin
- Baked cookies
- Built elaborate Lego cities
- Pieced together giant puzzles
- Constructed forts
- Enjoyed living room picnics
- Played board games
- Watched every Disney movie ever made
- Read books
There’s nothing left people!
By dinnertime, we have made and cleaned up three fun and inventive meals, from snowman pancakes to Yeti shaped pizza. Yes, you read that correctly. Like I said, out of ideas. It’s starting to feel like a round of Hunger Games every time the refrigerator is opened, which is approximately every twelve minutes with sneaky little hands looking for a snack. Apparently making mediocre snow forts drums up a robust appetite. A grocery store run is out of the question thanks to treacherous conditions outside. Time to dig through the freezer and hope for some hot dogs that are not expired.
Bedtime has finally arrived, and the house is trashed. Not just a little cluttered with organic, free-range, compostable STEM toys, but every single piece of plastic found in the Wal-Mart superhero, truck and Barbie aisle is strategically strewn over every surface of the home. Open snack containers are stuck to walls. I’m not sure how they got there, and quite frankly I don’t want to know. The dog is delirious from playing tag inside for two hours straight. The baby somehow has lipstick on his feet. Little puddles of melted snow and mud can be found at each entrance, next to the mountainous pile of snowsuits, stocking caps, boots, sweatshirts, jeans, underwear and gloves.
This is the point where parents dig down to find their deepest Batman voices, grab a trash bag and start threatening to light everything left on the floor on fire so that the sugar filled kids will snap out of the snow day haze and start to help get everyone’s life back in order. Quick, get in bed everyone, before Mom loses her marbles!
Come morning, the snow is melting, the school buses are running, and life feels normal again. We get back to our routine, the hustle and bustle.
And it just so happens, by the time the weatherman (or woman) starts to predict the next storm, we feel ready to embrace Snowmageddon 2.0. all over again. We miss the snuggles. We are ready for another cup or two of hot cocoa and a day of fort building. We are ready again for the magic.