With the northeast poised to be slammed by the type of snow storm that clears grocery store shelves of everything from cartons of milk to decks of playing cards, it seems likely many kids are going to be home from school tomorrow whether they sleep with their pajamas inside out or not.
We know there's a range of emotion that occurs when you're staring down the barrel of being snowed in with children. Panic, excitement, and anxiety, followed by a mental inventory of toilet paper, alcohol, and hidden junk food stashes. So in an effort to take some of the work off your shoulders, we've scheduled your ultimate snow day. And if your kids argue about any of the plans, well, tell them you're sorry but it's on the list.
Night before preparations
Put the cereal on the table and the milk on the lowest shelf for easy access and perhaps snag yourself a few extra moments of snow day "sleeping in".
If your driveway is long, park at the end of it. Save yourself a few feet of necessary snow removal.
In the event the cereal didn't cut it, throw down a real snow day breakfast by whipping up these no frills pancakes, or pull out the bisquick. Out of eggs? No problem. Blow their minds by using snow. (WHAT?! It's true. We learned it on the internet.) Two heaping tablespoons of it can replace 1 egg. Freshly fallen works best, which is great. You might be up to your eyeballs in it.
Challenge all participants to a winter gear round up. Capitalize on their inherent need to win and be fast while sparing yourself getting everyone dressed.
Sure, you could build a regular old snowman with a jaunty hat, carrot nose, and some rock buttons. Or you could be the house on the block that makes the rules by building one of these bad boys.
Drag your sleds to the nearest hill and bring along a serious shovel. How else do you plan to engineer an epic jump? (Pro tip: Bring some water if the snow is powdery.)
Fill spray bottles with water and food coloring. Turn the white canvas into winter graffiti. Don't use just red. Unless you're going for a look that's more hunter/maniac chic.
Stage a snowball fight, or if you want to minimize the likelihood of tears, hang a cardboard target from a tree instead.
Are they asking to come in yet?
Any dissenters who aren't old enough to stay outside alone? Haul some snow inside by the bucketful and fill the bathtub. Retrieve the sand toys you never got around to packing away properly anyway and let them have at it while you move on to warmer things.
Here's the part of the day where you get all jedi mind trick. Do you want a clean house and happy entertained kids? Inform the crew that the house is about to become a movie theater. However, first that's going to require a bit of organizing and cleaning up, for which they will earn (fake) money to be spent on the afternoon's blockbuster. Pillows, blankets and cushions can transform the viewing area, and the craftier among the group can fashion tickets and signs. The cash they earn can pay the entrance fee and all the popcorn and hot chocolate they can eat.
Post movie, turn the theater into an ultimate fort for the evening's board game competition.
Hopefully you're well stocked on the essentials. And if they're home longer than a day, remember if they're old enough to walk, they're old enough to shovel.
There is a skate park in our town, built sometime in the decade before we moved here. It’s steep concrete bowls are confined to a space that could park a half dozen cars. It’s because of this park that our youngest son received a used skateboard from his best friend on his seventh birthday. We saw excitement, not determination. That would come later. But, that skateboard, in a tiny skatepark in rural Colorado was the fuel for a dream. By his eighth birthday he wanted to be a professional skateboarder. His mind was made up.
My tiny little fighter, beating the odds from the moment you entered the world. A world you shouldn’t have been in yet, a world you fought so hard to stay in, a world that you weren’t ready for, but thrived in all the same. I know you will continue through life with this same desire and determination to succeed. My little fighter. Don’t ever stop fighting for what you want.