Monday, February 16, 2015

Snowmageddon 2015

Quick!  Run to the store!  There’s gonna be a snowflake!  Yeah, yeah…that’s probably a little harsh, but having grown up in the North, a couple of inches of snow didn't mean utter and complete panic.  Sigh.  That’s probably a little harsh, too.  I live in the South now, and they’re really not panicking, I suppose, but it’s a near thing.  As soon as someone even mentions the word snow (or it’s bigger, badder Evil Twin: Ice) there’s a run on the nearest grocery or convenience store for the basics: bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper.

I remember once, many moons ago, just after I had moved from North down to the Washington, DC area, we got nearly three feet of snow.  The Federal Government shut down.  I recall sitting in my street-view bedroom, looking down on the scene below, and watching people try to drive like it was an ordinary day.  I imagine they were quite puzzled when their normally well-behaved vehicles skidded sideways down the street.  Huh.  How about that?  But if the DC area was bad, it’s worse here.  (I’m sorry – I’m just making a blanket generalization.  Please don’t chastise me…yet.) 

As a kid, I (and the rest of my peers) lived for snow days.  But, being from North the Snow Day was the Stuff of Legend.  (It happened once.  People still talk about it.)  Now, as an adult with children, I look at snow days in a completely different way.

The Preemptive Strike
The Preemptive Strike occurs when the just the threat of inclement weather (take your pick from a myriad of options) is enough to close down whole school systems.  I understand that those in charge of making such decisions are merely doing so for the safety and security of the children who attend said systems.  As a parent, I appreciate knowing as far in advance as possible.  Truly, there’s not much worse than a phone call at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning to let us know that school is cancelled for the day.  Actually, worse would be the call that happens just about the time your kids would normally get up for the day and therefore negating any possibility of them going back to bed for an hour or two allowing you a brief respite.  Anyway, I like the Preemptive Strike.  Mostly.  What I don’t like is when the decision makers call the game (if you will) and then absolutely nothing happens, weather wise.  That’s just annoying.

The Early Out
The Early Out occurs when kids are already at school, but the powers that be decide the impending weather situation is enough to warrant sending everyone home early.  Again, I understand that those in charge are making such decisions for the safety and security of the children and I am absolutely in favor of that.  But, a couple of years ago they let school out early and there was a mad rush to pick up kids, causing a worse problem with cars and traffic than the weather would have.  In response to that situation, most schools around here, when faced with an Early Out, stagger the releases of kids.  First this school, then that school.  First these grades, then those grades.  It seems to help and, though parents really have to pay attention to the times their children are being released, the staggered pick-ups seem to work.

But, regardless of the weather situation, kids are still up to their old tricks.  Mine do The Snow Dance, which involves hands waved in the air and little kicks and wiggles that is, quite simply, hysterical to witness.  They wear their pajamas inside out and backwards and flush ice cubes down the toilet.  They are glued to the weather channel or the weather on the local news in an amusing, innocent way.  Boy-child even loaded a weather app on his tablet (a tablet which, btw, he saved for and purchased himself) and has been our very own, personal Weather Man for the last two days.  And if, by some miracle, a snow day does occur (as it did this morning), they then believe that all their tricks and nonsense worked because – POOF! – no school.

Snow days, while somewhat miracle-like for the children, admittedly test the sanity of the parents.  It’s a stressor for those who have to take time off work to look after their kiddos.  Some parents may even lose business when snow days occur.  Some parents struggle to find stuff that’s interesting for their children to do all day.  That doesn’t mean that snow days don’t affect me, either; they totally do.  But Hubby gets the short end of the kid stick.  Hubby is the best Stay at home Dad in the whole wide universe.  I’m totally lucky in that regard, and so are my kiddos.

Anyway, here’s hoping your pantry is stocked, your family is home safe and sound, and you have lots of fun indoor activities to do.  Snowmageddon 2015 is upon us!.


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