Last night I was up until the early hours of the morning trapped in an anticipation fueled cycle of checking the weather app on my phone and stepping out onto the back porch to monitor the various forms of winter precipitation as they fell from the sky.
Is snow a body of water? Social media loves pictures of feet next to bodies of water.
My days are numbered
Even now in my thirties I can’t help but get excited about the prospect of a snow day. I guess it should be prefaced that I am a born and raised Georgian and in Georgia, snow is magic. When I was a kid, snow in Atlanta was like the universe just giving you an extra day.
A free day. A magic 24 hour period inserted between, “Oh crap, I haven’t even started that book report yet” and “Please turn in your book reports.” It meant your parents stayed home from work and played outside with you, it meant supplementing your not so winter wardrobe with bread bags on your feet and 3 pairs of socks because you had to wear tennis shoes in the snow, it meant hot chocolate and wet gloves hanging by the fire. Snow days in Georgia are made of happy even when your mom makes you wear a pair of tube socks for gloves with sandwich baggies on top because why would you need to own ski gloves down south? Snow days meant rummaging through the basement looking for anything that could be turned into a sled and playing until your hands were numb, your cheeks were red and you collapsed into the house one big freezing, soaking, pile of exhausted joy at the end of the day.
We’ve Lost that Lovin Feelin
Remember that time that our kids went to school? I think it was called 2013 and it was neat. I admit I went a bit overboard on the whole waxing poetic about the wonder of snow up there because the truth is, when a snow day overstays its welcome, the harsh reality sets in. This is the part when you see what you are really made of, when the loving family dynamic gets put to the ultimate test. Cabin Fever.
I admit using a pic from The Shining is a bit too obvious but some things are obvious because they are right.
It starts out innocent enough; a board game, an extra snack, a glass of wine or beer a bit earlier in the day than usual, a sarcastic remark to your spouse, a snap at your kid for making a mess. We don’t catch any of the warning signs because we don’t know how long we will be here. Somewhere along the way the sanity rope feels like it is starting to fray a bit and the local weather man showing the snow in his area becomes some bizarre backdrop back drop to your family’s de-evolution.
In what feels like an instant you are turning a blind eye to your kid eating a bowl of “skittles cereal” and you are dreaming about that Amazon droid helicopter thing delivering a case of booze to your frozen snowy doorstep. You become a bit numb to what your kids are up to as long as they keep it down and don’t get blood on anything as you settle into your own little wi-fi fueled haze. Cycling through social media, weather apps, and random google searches, you are suddenly curious if the U.S. just invented slopestyle to pad our Olympic stats. Eventually you start to wonder how long you have been sitting there. When did I take a shower last? Why are my children’s collective worldly possessions all in the living room? Did I just eat this entire can of Pringles? How long have I been wearing these pajama pants? Is it still snowing? No school again? What day is it? What year is it? Netflix is the only one in this house that truly understands me. How many lunches have we had today? Is there anything left my kids haven’t fought about?
Sound familiar? You start organizing games like the nap game and the prize is whichever kid falls asleep first doesn’t get a spanking. You gather the family around the table to work on a 1000 piece argument. You start wondering if you should send the internet a Valentine’s day card. You try to make the best of it by thinking of all of the great family memories the snow storm has provided but get interrupted because now that your kids have not played with every single toy that they have, they have resorted to taking breaks from fighting and crying to climb on stuff and jump off of furniture and you are pretty sure you need to find an ACE bandage so you can tie them up with it and MAKE IT STOP.
RIP Snowman, gunned down by the glorious thaw.
Being cooped up for days on end can push us right to that edge but somehow we hold on. Sibling rivalry wears itself out and sleep gives us the short respite we so desperately need. The thaw is coming and we just have to hang on and one day we will look back and only see the happy. When you are in the moment though, cabin fever is completely weak.
19 Comments | tags: activities, Atlanta, Blog, cabin fever, family, food, funny, Georgia, humor, ice., kids, netflix, Pax, Random, relationships, siblings, snow, snowman, technology, valentines day, weather, wi-fi | posted in Uncategorized
Hello There Resolution, I’ve Been Waiting for you.
It was Sunday evening and our sweet little 16 month old angel was being anything but angelic. She seemed to be trying to make a statement to the family that this was her show and we were lucky just to have supporting roles. She was cranky and whiny and just couldn’t get right. She didn’t want to play and the only time she smiled was when she was taking something that she shouldn’t have and throwing it on the floor when we said no.
She may be the smallest member of this family but on Sunday night she was taking more than her fair share of the pie. Our oldest just wanted to sit and color without prying crayons from her little sister’s mouth and the evening’s soundtrack of constant crying and bickering was putting everyone on edge.
With nerves starting to frazzle is was time for dad to step up and be the captain of the ship. So, I walked into the bedroom, put on a pair of khakis, laced up my shoes and decided to make a stand. This kid needed something that we apparently weren’t able to give her so I got her dressed and we headed to church. Sometimes it is in our darkest hour that we turn to God for help.
Luckily the church is only 3 miles from the house so we made it just in time for the evening service to start. I carried our little one and a bag filled with diapers and juice and Cheerios for her to sprinkle on the floor to the church nursery. I checked her in, handed over her gear, and gave the nursery worker an apologetic nod. I should have slipped her a 50.
Then, without looking back, I walked out to the car and drove home basking in the silence and hopeful that the preacher would be long-winded. Sometimes parenting requires an outside of the box approach and the next 90 minutes of monster free peace was just what we needed. I said a prayer of thanks to baby Jesus and gloated a bit at my stroke of genius.
This didn’t really happen but when your kid is bad enough that you contemplate extreme measures it is totally weak.
14 Comments | tags: children, chocolate, church, family, food, humor, kids, parenting, Random, religion, valentines day | posted in Uncategorized
Parenting is a pretty amazing adventure. I have been a dad for almost 6 years now and somewhere along the trail of Cheerios, runny noses, and snuggle sandwiches I think I have managed to learn a few things. I have a friend that is preparing to become a father. He asked me, the other day, if I had any advice. This is what I told him:
- A sleeping baby that is starting to wake up is like an eclipse. Whatever you do, do not look directly at it.
- At some point you will be taking a shirt off your toddler and it will get stuck around their head because you forgot to unbutton the back. For a split second you will consider yanking it the rest of the way. You won’t because you aren’t a monster but you will question your value as a human being for even considering it.
- One day your kid will learn to read. Start working on your response to the “Free Kittens” sign now.
- When your baby is in that “don’t you dare put me down” stage, the most fun way to cut up a frozen waffle is with a meat cleaver.
- Realize now that anything your child brings with them to play with in the car has a 78% chance of never being seen again. Ever.
- When out alone with your baby in public you will think it is hilarious to ask another mom what flavor of Power Aid 9 month olds like the best when in front of a vending machine. Your wife will not find this as funny but you should do it any way.
- Unless you go all out with glitter and a poster board card, it is best not to mention that you sent a birthday message into the Sprout network. The only fruit you will have to show for your labor is diminished DVR capacity and disappointment.
I told him that anything I didn’t cover in that list he could probably find in a book because that is where they put advice from people truly qualified to give it. Being a parent is the best and passing along some pearls of wisdom you have picked up along the way is totally sweet.
The Last Minute Valentine
I wanted to go ahead and toss a friendly reminder out there to my fellow husbands. Valentine’s Day is next week. Now, when you are executing your poorly thought out romance action plan on the way home from work next week, don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you do find yourself scrambling at the last-minute, remember there is no time to launch an elaborate gesture of love and romance to your significant other. Keep it simple. Here are a few of my hopes for the last-minute valentine.
- I Hope the gas station sells roses.
- And not the kind that turn out to be rolled up red panties. (Unless you are into gas station underwear. If so, go nuts)
- I hope you finish your heart-felt message in her card before the light turns green.
- I hope you think of enough things to write in the card that you can draw a little arrow at the bottom signaling to the next page. ( I know as a dude when you see that little arrow you just think “great, more reading” but trust me, women love it.)
- I hope you remember that this isn’t your nephew’s graduation and putting a check for $20 inside the card won’t cut it.
- I hope you remember to figure something out for dinner. Don’t even try to find a last-minute babysitter and take her to a restaurant, that’s a suicide mission pal. Just bring something home (from a place that doesn’t have a drive through).
- I hope you aren’t one of those dudes with glazed over eyes standing in front of a mile long display in a card shop. If you are, just get one of those long skinny cards (girls love those).
- I hope you don’t, in an effort to save time, just grab a birthday card and scribble out the word birthday and write Valentine’s above it (girls don’t love those).
- I hope you remember to tell her you love her and mean it.
- I hope she gives you a few chocolates free of the exploratory thumb poke on the bottom.
You don’t have to start planning now but just remember it is coming. It may be a holiday manufactured by florists and card companies but she deserves to know you love her everyday, especially on Valentine’s Day.
It is hard to use the steering wheel as a writing surface for a Valentine’s Day card and waiting until the last-minute is totally weak.
23 Comments | tags: children, chocolate, family, humor, kittens, marriage, parenting, pearls of wisdom, Random, roses, valentines day | posted in Uncategorized