A mother's highs and lows over the course of six days off from school
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Stage #1: Snow Day!!! Yes! No school. The kids can play outside. We can sleep in. I’ll make hot chocolate, and we’ll read books in the afternoon. Perfect!
Stage #2: Where are his mittens? Her scarf? The zipper on this coat is busted. Wear two pairs of socks! If you squeeze into them, you can still wear last year’s snow boots. I think they were your sister’s. … It took one hour to get them outside, 20 minutes before they were back knocking on the door.
Stage #3: There is no easy food left in the pantry except for tuna, pasta and oranges. But no one wants to eat the tuna, the pasta or the oranges (unless they’re cut up), and I don’t want to cut them up, because then the kids will be sticky.
Stage #4: GO OUTSIDE. Watch TV. Read a book. Play a game. Eat the last orange and all the dry cereal. Just … don’t pick on your brother anymore. We are out of most drinks. Water for the kids, wine for everyone else. But we did make a cake last night, and it’s what’s for breakfast.
Stage #5: On my honor, I shall never hope for another snow day again. In the meantime, since the favored activity of all children is fighting, any actual quarrels mean instant banishment to the outside for the afternoon — and as an added bonus, the last of the popsicles for a snack.
Stage #6: The 7-11 is open. Emergency grocery run brings back two loaves of wheat bread and the peanut butter brand they don’t like, plus three gallons of overpriced milk. But hope is restored because the forager also brought back bacon.
Stage #7: I no longer care if children are properly attired to go outside. In fact, I’m hoping they no longer wish to venture outdoors. I’m tired of picking up a gazillion mittens, socks, hats and soggy shoes. I have a pile of needing-to-be-hung-up winter coats larger than our yet-to-be-dug-out Suburban.
Stage #8: School is tomorrow. What do you mean you didn’t do the project assigned a week ago? We need to do what? I wish we had one more day, just one more day to get ready to return to normal. The laundry I didn’t do dwarfs the coat pile I still haven’t put away.
Stage #9: They’re back at school. Wish we’d played more. We could have finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia, made brownies and built a snow fort. Good news. The forecast says another storm possible tomorrow.
Sherry Antonetti is a former special educator and currently a freelance writer and mother of 10. She writes at Catholicmom.com and her blog, Chocolate for Your Brain. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.