Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Third Snowday of The Year


Oh, I can hear it now through my computer - the dreaded sounds of collective groans.... I know what you are saying "Enough already!  We get it!  You live in a cold, snowy place.  Your kids have snowdays.  Stop - please stop - writing about snowdays and what you did to entertain your children.  The next thing you are going to write about is your umpteenth visit to the local skating pond!" 

Um.  You may not want to read my next post either. 

I get it.  I'm as bored with the whole Winter In New England subject as you are.  But we've had endless snow storms this year and .... what else am I going to write about?

Last week, we had the craziest of all snowdays - the kind of snowday that didn't actually need to happen!  I may be wrong about this next fact, but I think the school system builds in two snowdays per year when the calendar is being scheduled.  Every snowday after those allotted two, pushes the last day of school back a day and gives you one less day of summer vacation.  All children understand this concept and so the first two snowdays are always fun and light-hearted;  any day after that is just mean and torturous.  Last Thursday's school cancellation was equally ridiculous because by 9am all the snow had stopped falling and even our tiny, one-lane street had been cleared.  It was definitely a good day for a delayed-opening.

Alas. 

The Children Elliot spent most of their morning in high dudgeon.  There was fighting, arguing and a large dollop of tattling.  No activity was interesting, no art project seemed enticing, no board game was capable of making things better.  The same went for playing outside, reading a book, playing with playmobile or anything article found in the dress-up bin.  All motherly suggestions served only to fuel the boredom and the fan the anger. 

I was forced to do what any sane mother would do.  I left.  And I don't mean that I just left the room or left them to their anger and hostility.  I physically left the house.  I went outside to shovel and to enjoy the sunshine and the blue skies.  It was the first day in weeks when the temperature rose above 32 degrees and I was determined to not let three whiny curs bring me down.


This has been the craziest year.  It feels like every week since the end of December, we've had somewhere between 6-10 inches of snow.  Our snow drifts have snow drifts and our icicles practically touch the ground.  Since it's also been below 20 degrees for the past month, none of this snow / ice ever melts and it's almost impossible to see oncoming traffic when you drive and don't even mention parking to me (I'm still nursing deep wounds over the attack of my precious automobile).  This is the view from my back door - there is literally a wall of snow that keeps you from moving out of my house.  I'd measure the snow to give you an accurate description, but I don't have a yard stick.

I was greatly pleased, therefore, to have one "warm" day to shovel.  It's been so long since we could see the pavement on our street, let alone our driveway.  I knew if I could scrap the snow down far enough, the sun might just melt it the rest of the way. 

As I chipped away at the melting mess, the children realized that it's just not as fun to argue without the judge there to hand down sentences and add to the choas.  If they wanted to make my life as miserable as theirs, they had to join me outside. 

Inspired by his good friends, Ethan and Reed and their spectacular snow forts, Henry built a Snow Tunnel in one of the mounds left by the snowplow.



Henry also made a Snow Slide which Georgia really enjoyed.  (but don't worry, this doesn't mean that she has forgiven him his bossy, older-brothery ways).


Josie just enjoyed trekking around the perimeter.  At one point, I thought she might be stalking me like a hunter stalks its wild prey, but she smiled at me and allowed me to look into her eyes.


I was right about the whole sun / snow melt thing -- this is what our driveway looked like around 4pm.  See that wonderful asphalt!?!  I've never been so glad to see blacktop in my life.


To celebrate, Josie and I ventured outside again to ride these fantastic scooty things that Elsie gave the girls for Christmas this year.



Henry and Georgia remained inside where they could practice their fighting and arguing without the neighbors hearing them.  It's probably what they would be doing in June anyway, so the day wasn't a total waste.


And thus another snowday post comes to an end.  You're welcome.

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