Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Maybe Next Blizzard

We've been snowed in for a few days. We knew it was coming -- I'm secretly very into meteorology, so I had been following the forecasts, waiting up to see the weather models, and the consensus was that the DC area was going to be hit by a blizzard.

And this is the part where I should have just bought chips and candy and built a blanket fort in front of the TV for the children, but instead of that, I googled and Pinterested.

I've always had kind of an issue with Pinterest. It probably all started because frankly, I think Pinterest is a super stupid name. I have a lot of issues with social media names. I don't even want to acknowledge Tumblr because VOWELS ARE IMPORTANT.

But anyways, yeah, I have a bit of a thing with Pinterest. It's not that I hate it, but I just feel weird when I use it. I feel like I do when I go clothes shopping and I try on new clothes. I look in the mirror in the changing room and when I'm wearing the new clothes, everything is ok, but as soon as I put my regular clothes back on, I look like garbage. I almost feel embarrassed to walk out of the store in my troll clothes. That's basically how Pinterest makes me feel: like I'm wearing troll clothes. I thought I was doing ok, but then I see these pins and oh crap, why am I not making biodegradable dish soap??? Why am I not doing freezer meals?? Why haven't I taught my kids math with spaghetti noodles and magnets and why doesn't my hair look angel-blessed because I saw that you can use tin foil to make your hair look angel-blessed?

I do use Pinterest occasionally, but usually only to find ways to over-celebrate mundane events. Pinterest is really good for that. Pinterest is probably behind the high amount of celebration that St. Patrick's Day gets now (Adam asks me to celebrate it and I always respond that we can start celebrating it when we start getting more Irish because sometimes I'm a jerk, but I do always make corned beef and cabbage but that's because I just really like cooked cabbage and not enough holidays allow me to embrace that and wow this sentence is super long and not at all flattering) and I did check and there are boards dedicated to Flag Day. So watch out for that, because it's coming and you heard it here first.

But I fell into a snow-day Pinterest trap. Sometimes I'm a jerk, but sometimes I'm a schmaltzy little gumball and I just wanted to make our blizzard magical. So I decided that we would: make igloos! Make colored igloos! Make snowmen! Make snowmen that make regular snowmen look like garbage! Sled! Drink hot cocoa! Do crafts! Eat comfort food! Bake! Do puzzles! More puzzles! My, what a quiet and calm time we're having doing all of these puzzles! Screen time need not apply! Magical memories, check!

The first little bit was nice. We loved watching the snow fall. We stayed in our pajamas. The kids and I painted hearts and decided to Mod Podge some tissue paper on a box because #memories and this may not be the place to admit it, but I'm still not 100% what Mod Podge is. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's just fancy glue, but I bought some because my stupid Pinterest crafts keep calling for it. Despite the fact that there is now just a random cardboard box decorated with tissue paper on the living room floor, the first little bit of being snowed in was very nice.

But the snow kept falling. And falling. And falling. It pressed high up against the patio door and when it got to three feet and Jeff couldn't find the shovel, even though it had been visible -- and leaning upright against the house -- a few hours ago and I started to feel disquieted. We weren't staying inside using fancy glue because we wanted to. It was because we couldn't leave. Honestly, it started to feel a lot like the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring where they're all just stomping around the mines and then they realize that everyone is dead and they read the journal with the "We cannot get out," and then the orcs come and Gandalf yells at them and falls down a hole with a hell-demon. That's how I started to feel.

And maybe you may be reading this and may remark on how messed-up it is that I compared having to spend time with my family with falling down a hole with a hell-demon, and that may be a fair criticism. I mean, Gandalf does miraculously survive the fall, if that makes it any better. And I do love my family tremendously. But our foibles do seem to become more pronounced when we haven't left the house for five days. I get grumpy, but not in a charming way. I say things like, "Eat your beans so you don't die" and "I ate all of the candy, suckers." I also frequently also go upstairs to "get something" and "fall down" on the bed and play Bejeweled.

Jeff chomps on ice and cleans up things that I'm currently using. Basically, if I need to open the fridge to get milk and eggs, I'll pull out the milk and he'll swoop in and shut the door as I put the milk on the counter. If I ever open the fridge AT ALL, Jeff is convinced that I will leave it open forever. And that's just really unlikely, because the fridge beeps at you if you leave it ajar for like 5 minutes. Not that I EVER WOULD.

Adam runs around a lot, and not in a figurative way. He literally just runs around in a circle. He says he needs his exercise.

Avery throws a tantrum whenever we ask her to eat. I can't really make any jokes about it. It's part of the reason I say stuff like "Eat our beans so you don't die." One of the only ways to get her to eat is to ask her a math problem she doesn't know and not tell her the answer until she takes a bite. The trick is to make the answer higher than ten so she can't use her fingers to figure it out. If eleven wasn't a number, Avery might never eat again.

Ben is just so cute, but he does sometimes start crying when I turn away from him. I don't even have to move, I just have to turn my head away from his adorable little face and he cries. I'm impressed by his devotion, but it really makes it hard to play Bejeweled.

I'm not sure what conclusions to draw from this experience. I'm always looking for conclusions and I almost never find them. We didn't go sledding, because Avery kept getting trapped in the snow. Turns out three feet of snow is actually pretty daunting when you're just over three feet tall. Adam eventually just curled up in a ball in the snow and looked like he was trying to survive a bear attack, and I realized that our magical memories would have to come from somewhere else until the children become hardier. I hope that they'll have magical memories of the things we did do.

We didn't build a snowman, but Adam collected bits of ice that had fallen from the roof and I kept looking up to make sure that there were no more shards coming down. There were, but we got lucky.

We didn't bake anything homemade, really, I bought some Pillsbury cut-out cookies and we burned them but ate them anyway because Pillsbury knows what's up.

We watched TV. A lot. And it was fun.

We didn't make snow ice cream. We probably could have, but I'm only so-so on eating snow. I used to judge kids who would do it in Alaska. I just felt like the chances of eating moose poop were higher than they would be if you didn't eat stuff off the ground.

We fought. Is it ok to admit that? Avery told me to go to time out by myself for the rest of the night and I was like, "THAT SOUNDS AMAZING."  

We loved each other. We spent time together. We squabbled. I did eat the last of the Reese's. We laughed as Ben did this flappy arm dance. Avery pretended to be a chicken. Adam built a very functional booby trap that kind of hurt my leg a little. Jeff and I took a nap on the couch together. We read books, cried, laughed, fought, changed diapers, looked out the window at snow falling and maybe it was magical a little. Maybe we don't need Pinterest-ready days.


But it is a bummer that we didn't build a multi-colored igloo.

Maybe next blizzard.

At the beginning

I wish I could say this was at the end.

The amount of shoveling that Jeff has had to do in the last few days is insane. Bravo, Jeff.


Cassie Worwood said...

I love you so much. This post made my day. I almost choked on my lunch when I read the phrase "I ate the last of the candy, suckers!" You, my friend, are a beautiful person.

Gretchen Alice said...

When I was 9, we suffered "The Great Blizzard of '96" in Virginia. We had just finished Christmas break and the snowstorm cancelled school for two full weeks after that. I don't remember any specific magic moments, but there was lots of laughing and fighting. I do vividly remember my mom leaving us at home near the end of it and coming back with a pixie haircut. I think she literally went a little bit insane. I think about that a lot whenever I think about motherhood.

Gretchen Alice said...

Also, I still continue to enjoy hearing about your life through your blog and instagram.
Also also, I'm gonna cross-post my previous story on fb because I think it's funny.
Gretchen out!

Natalie said...

You're my favorite. Pinterest takes too many hits on my self esteem too. All you needed to do with your kids is exactly what you did! Well, with the exception of eating the last Reese's. That's just cruel. .... Who am I kidding, it's awesome, I'd do it too. I love the questionable LOTR reference:-)

Natalie said...

You're my favorite. Pinterest takes too many hits on my self esteem too. All you needed to do with your kids is exactly what you did! Well, with the exception of eating the last Reese's. That's just cruel. .... Who am I kidding, it's awesome, I'd do it too. I love the questionable LOTR reference:-)