If you’re reading this, it means you’ve now endured more than three consecutive snow days. The days are blending together. No one remembers when they last bathed and a sticky substance, a combination of old hot cocoa and pancake syrup, covers every surface in your home. If you’ve reached day four, you’re likely hearing voices by now. The tumble of the dryer as it warms snow covered clothes for the tenth time drones on in the background. You are numb. If you’ve surpassed day four you are now digging ten year old coloring books out of the craft bin in the hopes you find something to entertain your teenagers. Your children are subsisting on the powdery remnants left in the bottom of the chip bags. If you’re facing day five, may God be with you. Your home looks like a frat house. Dirty clothes are in a hundred small piles all over the house. The air has an unrecognizable sour smell. Dishes are amassed in the sink. Empty bottles roll through the house like tumbleweeds. There’s the sound of running water but no one knows (or cares) where it’s coming from.
As children, most of us prayed for a snow day at least once. The thought of missing school to stay home, be lazy and watch Gilligan’s Island reruns danced in our heads. However, as adults, the mere mention of a snow day can strike fear. The reality of five consecutive snow days is like a horror movie trilogy. Or in this case quintology. (If that’s not a word it should be.) Recognize that I KNOW your fear is not born out of a lack of love for your children. It is not that you wish to avoid spending free days with them. It is not that they’re little punks. It may simply be that you want to protect your built in snow days so you can love those children when it’s 60 degrees outside versus 6 degrees. Or perhaps you and your husband both work and securing childcare is a nightmare in and of itself. Maybe you just know your kids and realize they turn into Gremlins at the sight of snow. Or maybe they are little punks. Regardless, after several snow days, the pristine white blanket and magical mood has been replaced with yellow or gray slush and snarky attitudes.
I don’t know your life, people, but I know mine.
So please know you’re in a judgement free zone. I’m here to help in a ‘blind leading the blind’ kind of way. If you’re doing well, you may have read the White Snow, Surviving and Thriving version of this post. However, if you’ve landed here it means you’re hanging on by a thread. I’ve pulled together a handful of ideas to get you from 8 AM to 8 PM tomorrow. It’s a long stretch but together we can do this. It will take some initiative. If you’re walking aimlessly in circles, mumbling incoherently, you may need to phone a friend. No doubt there’s another parent down the street in the same mental state. Combine efforts. This is not a divide and conquer time of life, folks. It’s a combine and crush time. So, here’s what I’ve got…..take it for what it’s worth:
- Thank you notes. Now is a great time to have your kids write those notes for the gifts they received for Christmas 2014-2017. It should take them at least four hours to remember what they got much less who gifted it to them. This should buy you anywhere from five to eight hours, depending on how quickly they write. Our home is filled with nothing but unsharpened pencils so we’re looking at a six to nine hour span by the time they find the one remaining manual pencil sharpener buried in a school box from 2013. We’re lucky like that.
- Speaking of thank you notes, think back to the conversation you had with your spouse when you chastised him/her for the unwillingness to add more children to your family. Write a love note no less than three typewritten, single spaced, Times New Roman font pages. Profess your undying appreciation for the fact that your spouse realized you could not handle more kids during a multi-day snowpocalypse. Then pray and thank God for giving you a wise spouse. While on your knees, pray for the power to make one more batch of hot cocoa versus Nyquil popsicles.
- If you have not yet had the aforementioned conversation with your spouse but find yourself overwhelmed with your kids during this never ending snow week, now would be a good time to evaluate the efficacy of your birth control method. I have four kids and a couple kind of just showed up so I’m not real great at doling out advice here. Talk to someone more reputable but get this figured out stat. Birth rates climb approximately nine months after a good snowstorm. Be vigilent, people. Be. Vigilent. Your lack of attention could make future snow days really crazy. This activity takes no time……because the idea is that there is NO ACTIVITY.
- Document the slang used by your children. Google and report back to another less slang fluent mother. Philanthropy is important and no mother should be left behind. We all deserve the opportunity to understand whether we should be punishing our kids for the terms they’re using. Be in the know cause it’s lit. This activity should take anywhere from two to four hours depending on how long you have to listen to your child to decipher and document the slang.
- Readjust summer vacation plans. We all know the high hopes of a family vacation have now been dashed after watching the volatile mood shifts expressed by every living thing in your home. Dog included. Cancel the trip. Lottery tickets may be a better use of your money. Cancelation of plans should take one hour minimum. Crying in the bathroom because the lady on the phone told you it’s currently 76 degrees in Miami will take up another thirty minutes.
- Using empty toilet paper rolls (cause you know you’ve amassed sixty with everyone at home all week and not ONE has made it into the trash can) create one of those paper link thingies where you count down the days til spring. Link them all up on a string and remove one per day. This will remind you that spring is less than 60 days away. It may also remind you to have the ‘you don’t need three yards of toilet paper on every visit’ conversation. This activity should get you to bedtime. Who am I kidding? No one goes to bed before midnight anymore…..
- Using everyone’s input, make a grocery list. You are living off of hot dog buns and the last remaining can of tuna at this point. You MUST get food. This should take nearly an hour for compilation. Two hours if you include the pauses to break up multiple arguments over which type of cereal everyone deems most important. (The answer is always Cinnamon Toast Crunch or granola.) If your kids can stop yelling about cereal and are willing, take them to the store. The roads are passable and you have only one day (IF kids return to school tomorrow) to regroup before…….wait for it…..the weekend begins and you hit repeat on this entire event.
God speed, my friends.