We have another snow day. I know this because I have developed a tic (or is that “tick”? Or is that a vermin? Oh, who cares?) on my face near my right eyebrow, and also because I hear the sound of sick cats fighting in the alleyway (ie: the cherubs going at it downstairs). They are not supposed to be here—the children, I mean. Sick, fighting cats I would now welcome with open arms.
We are all here and accounted for, unfortunately, trapped in some kind of an Ice Cyclone. Let me just say, I don’t even mind the Cyclone itself. I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which recently was colder than the surface of Mars. Carpe Cyclone, I say, except when it comes to multiple snow days, piled on like hoary professional wrestlers trying to squish the living dilly out of each other. Give me an occasional snow day to sleep in, lounge around, watch movies etc. But this surplus of snow days has simply got to end.
I adore my kids. I really do. I would take a bullet for each one of ‘em. But they are so much cuter when they are at school. Here at home, on our fourth day of togetherness, they are looking less cute by the minute.
The 17-year-old is spending his snow days eating food in a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” fashion, food meant to last for the next three weeks, food that is dwindling by the hour. At this rate of consumption, we will be lucky to be left with a half can of breadcrumbs and an iffy jar of mustard. He’s lolling around, watching fishing shows on TV, clutching the remote and saying nonsense things like “I’m gonna name my child “Remote” but pronounce it “Re-MOTE-ay. Hey, Re-MOTE-ay, what’s uuupppp?” He has reached the lower circles of boredom, his only entertainment naming future children and reminding me on the half-hour that there’s no more milk.
We have one TV and nobody else wants to watch fishing, not even re-MOTE-lay.
The 14-year-old is trying to be alone in his room, listening to music on his devise and beating his little sister off with a variety of weapons and threats, which leads to escalation of the conflict, as CNN might phrase it.
The 10-year-old is The. Worst. I could deal with Mr. Lollygagging-No-Milk Pants, and his brother, whom, left to their own devises, so to speak, would leave me in peace for most of the duration. But the little one? She who is spring-loaded for a fight on her best day, and declares boredom by 10 a.m. is truly my Snow Day Waterloo. When she gets bored, and she gets bored all the time, she finds a way to torment her brothers and therefore me in short order.
This dispatch was just caterwauled up the stairs:
“Mooooommmmmm, Phoebe’s SO annoying. She licked my arm and it’s dis-GUST-ing…Oh my Gosh! She just licked the DOGGGGG!”
(The Japanese exchange student is disturbed and appalled.)
So, now the dog no longer has to wonder why no one licks her back. Because a young human under my watch has licked her back.
We are now dog licking folk. (Somebody call TLC: This needs to be on television.)
You may be wondering why I’m not frolicking with my angels, playing snow badminton, building forts, crafting the Liberty Bell out of Popsicle sticks and recycled milk jugs.
If you have to ask, I’m guessing you’re living in a clement weather zone. Texas. Florida. Bora Bora. I applaud your good sense. I hate you, too, but just a little bit.
I’m also guessing you aren’t working from home, as I am, nor have you begun hissing the words “Even though I love you very much I need you to not be in my office right now” after saying them nicely the first 20 times. So now it comes out “EventhoughIloveyouverymuchIneedyoutonotbeinmyofficerightnow,” somewhat strangulated and sick-cat-like.
When I voiced my “concerns” about another snow day, this is what my DH had to say: “Think of the Natives. They didn’t even send their children to school. It was just everybody in a wigwam, day after day after day.” And yet I remained non-violent in my response. I attribute this to the sanctification process.
I love my husband, too. But obviously the dear man doesn’t get it. He gets to drive away from this dog-licking maelstrom, and sit by himself in a cubicle all day, without children whining in his ears like the sound of ten thousand mosquitoes. His co-workers don’t turn on each other like orangutans cooped up at the zoo. He’s still blissfully unaware that one day we will have a grandchild named “Re-MOTE-ay.” Or that we will soon be on a reality show called “The Cray-Cray Crakers and Their Little Dog Lickers.”
Tomorrow, if there is yet another snow day, I may snap like a dry twig and run down the street, possibly naked (I did grow up in a perpetual Ice Cyclone, after all). But something tells me we won’t. Something also tells me that tomorrow, when it’s just me here (and one confused dog), without people busting in every ten minutes and without even the noise of a fishing show to disrupt my work hours, I’ll think to myself that my kids are really quite cute, and perversely, I miss ‘em.
PS: I will not lick the dog, no matter what.