The weatherman's been talking about it all day, with a gleam in his eye; and you know he's secretly rubbing his hands together with glee when the camera pans away from him. The sky is gray and snow is falling when I walk to school to pick up the kids on Tuesday, and all extracurricular activities are cancelled by 4 p.m.
A winter storm is coming, and the kids are ready, sleeping with spoons under the pillows and their pajamas inside out. Surrounded by their excited — and adorable — superstitions, I somehow forget that I have work to do in the morning.
After being informed of the impending snow day by seven different sources, including Facebook groups and smoke signals, I turn off my morning alarm and pour a glass of wine. No lunches to make in the morning! I quickly glance into our craft supplies and at the freshly checked-out library books. Time for a cozy day with my sweet — and currently sleeping — angels.
I smugly pour cereal when the sun comes up and open my laptop on the kitchen table, patting myself on the back for getting in two hours of work before I normally begin. What could possibly go wrong when I'm already a few steps ahead of schedule?
They're so creative! My organized craft suggestions are met with something dangerously bordering on eye rolls and exasperation. I remind my daughter 14 times to bring back the good scissors and briefly wonder how many pieces of pipe cleaner and confetti-sized bits of paper it might take to break my vacuum cleaner.
I calmly say no to a snack at 9:00 a.m., 9:05 a.m. and 9:07 a.m. By 9:08 a.m., I give in and let them have an apple. At 9:14 a.m., I toss Peeps across the table in an attempt to commit a single thought to the keyboard without interruption.
The kids are going to love learning a few HTML codes! Fine, yes, living room gymnastics sounds like a stellar idea. If I don't listen too closely, I won't hear what sounds suspiciously like a herd of elephants jumping on the couch.
Music makes gymnastics more fun, and I've always thought that I'd make a killer DJ. Five minutes later, I'm gritting my teeth. I've gone back and forth between the same three Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber songs 48 times before lunch.
Happily, I notice that my kids changed into real clothes sometime around 1:47 p.m. I usher them outside and only have to yell four times before someone runs back to close the door separating me from the frigid air.
I wonder if this counts as a failure or a major win for minimizing laundry. Approximately four minutes later, the kids are inside, shedding wet snow pants, gloves, hats and possibly fourteen pairs of socks. They quickly change into — clean — pajamas so they can "be cozy," and my laundry pile is suddenly the size of Mt. Everest.
TV? Sure! A computer game that's somehow considered "problem solving" even though it seems to be a car driving across various bridges? Sounds great. A movie, complete with popcorn and more Peeps? That works if I can just, for the love of snowplows, press send on this email.
By 3:00 p.m., when I'm normally getting ready to welcome the kids home with a smile and a — nutritious, well-planned — snack, I'm singing along to Justin Bieber, alone, surrounded by 487 LEGO pieces, a keyboard spattered with mac and cheese dust and my own tears.
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