QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snow Days...

So many moms, myself included, hold ourselves up to these ridiculous idealistic expectations. June Clever, Carol Brady, and Martha Stewart have just messed it up for the rest of us.

Today is a snow day, conjuring idyllic visions of children playing in the snow, throwing snowballs, sledding, frolicking, playing with the dog who loves the snow so much…the family cuddled up, spending quality time together.. fire in the fireplace.

Here’s what really happens…

The alarm goes off… I crack open an eye, fumble for the remote control, and verify that school is, indeed, closed due to the 3 inches of snow outside.

The husband goes off to work.

The kids sleep in until 9ish… and then the sibling wars begin…

“Get off of me,” I hear from the 12 ½-year-old’s bedroom.

“Get out of my room!!”

“Mooooommmm! Make him get out of my room!!”

“Mommy! He punched me!”

Ahhh… a snow day.

I hunker down at my computer to work and bribe the 10-year-old to shovel the driveway. We negotiate a bit; he wins. As far as I’m concerned, the benefits of having the boys separated AND the driveway’s getting shoveled are priceless.

While the 10-year-old gets ready to go outside, the 12 ½-year-old informs me that he has a demonstrative speech to give tomorrow; do I have any ideas? (He has known about this speech all year long).

I roll my eyes, sigh, and navigate away from my work emails to google: “demonstrative speech topics.” I suggest a few ideas that he can ponder while I go back to work.

Moooommm! Where are my boots?!”

“In the garage where they’re supposed to be,” I answer calmly. And I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee.

Back to work…

Moooommmm! I can’t reach the snow shovel..”

The dog barks, knowing that signs are in the air that someone will be going outside. She doesn’t want to be left behind.

I go out to get the snow shovel. “Put your coat on.”

“I don’t need a coat.”

“Yes, you do.”

“It’s not cold out.”

“Cold is a relative term. It’s 29 degrees outside; I think that qualifies as weather necessitating a coat. Put on a coat, no arguments.”

“Then you’ll have to pay me more.”

I’ll omit my reaction to that statement…

(the dog is now barking incessantly. The phone rings. I cannot answer it because I cannot hear.)

The 10-year-old, at last, goes out to shovel the driveway. He has his coat on. I have not increased his salary.

I sit back down at my computer to tackle work that actually pays me. I actually get 5 minutes in…

“Mom – I picked a topic. We need to go to the store for some supplies.”

I drop my head to my desk, then slowly pick it up and sip my coffee. Thank God for coffee (and wine).

I let the dog out to be with the 10-year-old. She is barking, unceasingly, at the snow shovel, prompting the 10-year-old to insist that she come back inside.

“Sophie!” I yell… “No! If you keep barking you’ll have to come back inside.”

Sophie hears: “Sophie! No! blah blah blah blah,” and barks some more.

“Mom we hafta go to the store…”

[Calgon, take me away….]

I pour myself a travel mug full of coffee and off we go to Michael’s craft store for supplies, leaving the 10-year-old to shovel industriously.

Upon returning from Michael’s, the driveway, I must admit, is pretty well-shoveled. The walks, however, are still snow-covered.

I enter the house: “what’s up with that?” I question the 10-year-old.

“I’m tired,” he explains.

(At this point the two boys enter an argument as to what amount of energy the shoveling of the driveway and the walks exacts from a human body. Predictably, there is no clear winner in the erudite debate).

It is, by now, mid-day. Thank goodness I have no conference calls scheduled.

I earnestly encourage the 10-year-old to finish shoveling the walks and direct the 12 ½-year-old to write the outline for his speech as well as practicing the demonstrative aspects of it (he will be demonstrating how to fashion a native American dream catcher).

I now have a good hour or two to work while the 10-year-old shovels (with great drama and pretense of being near death from the caloric expenditure) and the older son works on the speech. Aaaahhh.

Then.. good feeling’s gone. Moments of peace are a memory. Shoveling finished, speech mostly finished.

“Why don’t you guys go out and play in the snow? Go sledding?”

“nah. The hill’s too far away.”

“How about if you make a snowman?”

“Snow’s too dry.”

Sigh. How about some hot chocolate?

More of the same occurs… and, needless to say, not much of my paying job gets done.

I get dinner going and the husband walks in.

“Hey!” he says animatedly, clearly energized by having had his entire day with grown-ups and not having been interrupted, “did you read the article in the paper about blah blah blah?”

“No,” I answer, “I didn’t have time to read the paper.”

Maybe tomorrow...

And so another snow day has come and gone…


  1. Yep.

    I think it's a permanent snow day around here!

  2. Love it. Thanks for checking out my site. I had the same experience as you with the positive feedback and then taking the leap to a site. Keep writing! I will put a link to your site when I get back to my computer and am not trying to do things remotely from my iPhone.


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