Saturday, December 19, 2009
If you live anywhere east of the Mississippi, you've heard about the snow blanketing us in the mid-Atlantic region. And those of you west of the Mississippi can't have missed all the chatter on Facebook. Twenty and one-half inches was the final total in Catonsville, according to my meteorologist friend.
I am one of those people who has historically thrilled to the whispered words Snow Day. I rarely complain about not being able to get out on the roads or not getting on with my previously-scheduled well, schedule.
However, snow days for the mom in the house mean something unique.
"Snow day" means staying up late the night before the forecast storm, tracking down errant snowboots, snowpants, hats-that-don't-itch, and mittens-that-will-stay-dry. It means waking extra early to someone's excited cry "Mommy! It SNOWED! Get up get up QUICK, it SNOWED!" It means explaining for the 46th time that no, we won't be going out in the snow before breakfast because Mommy HAS NOT HAD COFFEE. Once breakfast is finally dispensed with, it means a mad dash for the snowclothes, with Mommy being asked to address stuck boots, tricky mitten closures, and slippery door handles as well as sitting on the two-year-old to get her into her snowsuit. (Truly.) Once everyone is suited up, shoved out the front door, and the door slammed shut, the mom rests her head against the wall and considers mainlining the next shot of java.
She begins searching for her own warm clothes, having neglected to do this in last night's preparations. The high-tech polypropylene long underwear is packed in some long-lost box, so a pair of Donna Karan opaque tights and a crappy pair of jeans will suffice for the bottom half. For the top, she digs out a summer-weight tank, a maternity turtleneck and a too-short fleece vest to wear under her warm-enough-for-most-weather winter jacket. Twice in the course of this habillement she is interrupted by Dear Husband who wants the camera, and then wants to hand the camera back inside. Oh, and could he have a tissue for Annika's nose?
Finally finally Mommy is ready for some real snow play - having been fully preoccupied with Christmas preparations and all manner of other boring tasks in the preceding week. She ties the gum-soled Bean Boots that have worked for every snow storm since sophomore year of high school, and steps out the front door, only to greet a grumpy, pink-cheeked toddler who is incensed over the face full of snow she got when she tried to take off the snow boots that she hates so very much and fell over into a drift. She is shrieking MommeeeeeeMommmeeeeeeeMommmeeeeee and the husband gives the wife this look that says 'I could take her but you know she'd keep screaming for you.'
So the mom takes off her boots, her mittens and her hat, and struggles with the baby to get all the protective gear off, including, apparently, her underpants. (The kid's, not the mom's.) She warms up, once in dry clothes, and just as the mom thinks about getting suited up again, and asking the dad to come in and supervise 24 Month Tyrant, the big kids come trooping in, also pink-cheeked and wondering hopefully about hot chocolate, with "two marshmallows in and three marshmallows out?"
With chocolate warm in their bellies, and wet socks exchanged for dry, they watch Mommy wipe up melted snow from the hardwood with the umpteenth rag of the day, and decide it looks a little bit too much like work. "You wanna go back outside Lars?" The suggestion is met with hoots of approval, and the search for dry, non-itchy, correctly-gendered snow gear is on again. Guess who leads the search party?
And the cycle continues through the day. Happily the kids drift off to sleep, having had "the most awesome day EVER, Mommy! Isn't the snow just the BEST SNOW EVER?", and the mom drinks her mulled wine and wonders just when she became the mom who didn't exactly 'thrill' to the suggestion of a snowday.