Anatomy of a Snow Day

There are a number of events that just aren’t what they used to be, once kids are in the picture.  Chief among these are Daylight Savings Time (it’s either a bedtime fiasco or never seizing that “extra hour”) and Snow Days.

I’ve worked in schools for the past 9 years so I’ve had my fair share of Snow Days.  In the beginning, they were lovely.  Sleeping in, lolling about in PJs, binge reading and TV-watching, and maybe a cooking project.  But since having BRK (almost 3-year-old daughter), Snow Days lost their relaxing features, because I’m home alone with a small child and most likely, stuck inside.  (Note: My husband will go to work in any weather condition.  Four years ago he literally walked to work with a headlamp and professional Antarctica-level gear during a hurricane.  So, I’m always the sole adult home on these days.)

This year has introduced an additional twist: Owl!  (4-month-old son).  So now on the Snow Day, I’m home with not one, but two children!  As I write this,  I’m wrapping up that very Snow Day.  And honestly, it was actually mostly enjoyable.  It had its challenges, but we had a lot of things going for us.  Number One, Owl does not yet move and is generally an agreeable baby.  He will roll, once, and then just kind of stay there.  Number Two, BRK is about to turn 3 in a few days, and her temperament is in a smoother place that what one might find during the half-years.

But, there were some unique features of today, such as Number One, I woke up with a miserable cold, and Number Two, my husband is not at his office in hurricane gear, a mere walk away, but out of town and a transatlantic flight away.

Despite this, we got through it, and I would like a Merit Badge to sew onto my jacket.

Below is an hour-by-hour account of our snow day.  Enjoy!

7:30 AM: BRK is in the kitchen eating a bagel with PB&J, cut out and shaped to look like a beetle.  What can I say?  I have a lot of energy in the morning.  I’m in the living room feeding Owl and reading a book.  Damn, this may have been the most civilized hour of the day.

8:30 AM: Facetime with Grammie.  Owl does his signature move (a roll), and BRK sings 2 songs but mostly plays a game on the iPad during the call.  Ooops.

9:30 AM: Owl is napping! BRK and I are 20 minutes into The Fox and The Hound.  OK, that movie would have a lot of Trigger Warnings if shown today.  BRK and I discussed all the disturbing things.

10:30 AM: Owl still napping.  Movie break.  BRK is coloring with new crayons and I’m mainlining guacamole in the kitchen.

11:30 AM:  Owl is on the floor, rolling onto his tummy and spitting up, repeatedly, but not unhappy about it.  BRK and I are doing a puzzle but she’s made up all kinds of weird auxiliary rules and I’m longingly staring at my phone.

12:30 PM:  The lowest moment of the day.  Owl is “down for a nap” but he’s crying and I’m letting him cry it out and wondering how long I’m going to do this, BRK is talking and talking and I ask her for ten minutes of silence and she asks, “Are you happy?”.  This is all feeling dark.

1:30 PM:  (It’s always darkest before the dawn).  Owl is asleep, BRK is having Quiet Time on the couch, and I AM ASLEEP.  I actually took a nice little snooze in the bedroom.

2:30 PM: I am teaching BRK how to feed Owl a bottle.  Probably just should have done it myself.

3:30 PM:  BRK and I are baking blueberry muffins!  Owl is hostage in the bouncy seat.

4:30 PM: OK, I can HEAR Chariots of Fire playing.  We are so close — dinner is 30 minutes away!!!  Owl is rolling on the floor.  BRK is watching Thomas the Train.  I am putting her books away because tidying makes me feel I have things under control.

5:30 PM: The beginning of the mad rush to get two kids into bed.  Which I don’t mind because it flies due to so many steps.  I’m feeding Owl and BRK is still watching Thomas the Train

6:30 PM: Owl is in bed.  BRK is having a bath.

7:30 PM: I am giving BRK her last goodnight kisses.  We successfully recovered from an epic 7 PM meltdown during which I did not yell, but cursed.  Hmmmmm.  Is one better than the other?

8:42 PM:  Having a glass of wine and writing this post and realizing that the day was actually fairly satisfying — more satisfying than Snow Days a decade ago — and sweet.  Even if I can’t breathe through my nose and still am in pajamas.

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