Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nothing Like a Snow Day to Mess Up a Plan

Of course, I no sooner realize how I need to work on getting my life organized than we finally get snow. And there's nothing to put the skids on a regular life for everyone like snow in the South.

Not a lot of snow, mind you, only an inch or so, but it's enough to seriously derail pretty much everything. Especially when the temperature takes a tumble to the teens and suddenly there are three generations snowed in at my house.

What started out feeling like an adventure to the little ones began feeling like a bad dream when they were asked to sleep at Ma's house Tuesday. Seriously, you'd think they had never spent time here let alone slept. No, they don't overnight typically (the last time was when E3 was born and 1 and 2 were here nearly a year ago), but Mom was here and it is a familiar place.

Wednesday morning we were all suffering from variations of sleep deprivation, including my three house dogs who for some reason felt it was their duty to patrol and keep tabs on all the sleepers through the night.

Heck, the snow wasn't even pretty falling and didn't even amount to enough to enjoy for a snowman, even if it were significantly warmer. Still, we made the best of it. Tuesday, while Mom was sending me messages about the rapidly deteriorating road conditions -- she is a 911 dispatcher -- the baby went to bed and the girls and I bundled up in a gazillion layers and went outside.

The girls didn't have really high expectations for the snow since I don't think we've had a significant snowfall since the oldest was born, so the scrawny amount that accumulated first on the roads and driveway was enough to be entertaining.

They were delighted to follow bird tracks in the snow and examine the trails left by the yard dogs making their morning rounds. The snow was crunchy under foot and I was surprised to find it was so sticky that it made a decent snowball, but not nearly as surprised as they were the first time I pelted them. Of course, since they couldn't master snowballs, I wound up making balls that they used to pelt me -- well, try to pelt me.

E1, ever eager to experience more, had to sample the snow while little sis just got cold and snotty nosed. Still, we spent nearly an hour in the chilly temps and falling flakes before determining it was time to get indoors and thaw out. Well, that and it was nap time as well. Before going in, I let them try snow angels, although the snow wasn't really deep enough for a good impression. E1 declared they had made snow "whirlies" instead because their bodies and heads weren't visible.

It turned out not to matter a whole lot, since the snow kept falling and soon snow angels, bird and dog tracks, and any hopes of getting home for the night were lost.

Before we go further, I am a competent snow driver and have an SUV. However, after manning the 911 consoles for the afternoon, their mother wasn't eager to have them out on the roads. Plus, because of her role at the 911 center, she could get an emergency ride home or to my house without having to brave the elements in her mini-van. It was just safer all around for them to stay at my house, which only about three miles from work.

Safer, but not necessarily saner.

First of all, although our little house has three bedrooms and two baths, they aren't all functional as such. The master bedroom has become the children's playroom and the attached bath no longer has a usable tub (not an issue this time). The smallest bedroom has my husband's computer area, our Bowflex and a recumbent bike. The futon that once took a big chunk of the playroom got reassigned to storage two weeks ago due to lack of use. We just aren't set up to sleep extra people.

Still, we made the best of the evening.

After dinner, we made snowcream, scooping clean snow from the back porch where we hadn't been stomping around all day. Strangely, I had never made or eaten it as far as I know (I must have been a really deprived child but didn't know it.)

The weirdness started when Mom arrived and the girls realized they were not going home as usual. Despite the futon mattress on the floor in the playroom for 1 and 2, and baby's normal pack-n-play relocated to the smallest room, the evening went downhill quick. Only baby was happy with the change in schedule and went right off to sleep. E2 quietly fought it. E1 threw all variety of fits, including a panic attack because she wasn't at home with Mommy and Daddy...nevermind that Mommy was closer than at night at home. Mommy got to sleep on the sofa where she could hear all her girls and be harassed by my dogs who made regular use of the doggy door in our bedroom and were disturbed by the extra people in our house.

Morning was hectic. This blog, which I'm supposed to finish writing for the next morning before 9 a.m., is winding down at 12:34 p.m., although I did manage breakfast at a decent hour -- at least partially because I was fixing cereal and boiled eggs for the house guests.

Before Mommy left for work we had another snow outing, this time with a sled on the packed snow of the road. Once again, my deprived childhood comes to the front as I've never been sledding (not one of the things my dad allowed). We do, however, have a sled as a souvenir of my husband's childhood, so we put it to work on a small hill near the house. The big hill further away seemed too intimidating with preschoolers and a novice driver. It was also out of sight of the house, where baby was napping, so unnacceptable. (Still, I would love to try it after finally getting the hang of the sled, so look out next time!)

So, just as it seems some routine might help, I throw routine to the wind. But then again, I guess that's what snow days, no matter what your age or issues, are made for. And maybe, after all, that's OK, too.

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