Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Snow Day of Doom

Remember as a kid how much you looked forward to snow days? Remember waiting by the radio or TV to hear if your county was chosen by the snow gods as one of the lucky ones that was cancelled which meant that you could go back to sleep and then lay around in your pajamas all day? Well now, as an adult and a mom, snow days kinda suck. I’m not saying that it isn’t nice once in a while to be able to skip the whole get ready for school routine and hang out all together in our warm cozy house. It is nice; for about the first hour. Then the screaming starts and the tattling begins, and before I know it I’ve broken up more fights than Maury on a baby daddy episode.

Tuesday, Aaron was cancelled thanks to the extreme cold and out of no where snow that hit in the middle of the night. But as the morning progressed, the road crews got to work and I spied with my little eye a glimmer of hope to get the hell out of Dodge and attempt to avoid some of the snow day drama that is so typical. We were, after all, approaching the one hour mark and Armageddon was looming.

So I got the kids in gear, bundled them up, and headed for the van. Then it happened; the catalyst that would put into motion the stream of crappy events that would set the tone for the rest of the day. I reached for the side door and pulled the handle, but alas, it wouldn’t open. “Are the doors locked,” I wondered. Of course not silly, they are frozen shut. Super!

I could, however, get the front doors opened, so I loaded everybody up anyway which was quite an ordeal let me tell ya, and hoped that somewhere along the way, with the heater blasting and the jiggling of the road, that the doors would open up. Not while I was driving of course, because that would be bad and stuff. I just meant loosen up enough to….Oh, you know what I meant.

Here’s the kicker though…When you try to open up a door that is frozen, you unlatch the little latchy thingamagig that would normally tell the van that everything is secure and closed up tight. Once the latchy thingamagig has been released, it puts out an all points bulletin to the van in the form of an incessant beep, beep, beep noise. I drove all the way to our first destination with the beeping and the kids in the back yelling, “Make it stop! Make it stop!”

So….that was fun.

To make matters worse, the windshield wipers had ice on them too. Windshield wipers don’t like to have ice frozen to them because then they get all full of themselves and refuse to work properly and then you drive the entire way to your first destination peeking through smudgy smears in the windshield hoping that you have acquired enough skill in the last fifteen years of driving to negotiate the roads semi-blind.

Against all odds, we made it to where we were going intact, and low and behold, the doors had broken free during the drive and I was able to open up both sides. VICTORY! But it wouldn’t last long.

So trip number one to see Mom at work went well. So well that I decided we would press onward and upward and head to the post office. That trip was a little less, um, successful. I had to pick up a box to ship out a monster that I had just knitted for a knitting swap that I was participating in and I wasn’t quite sure what the best shipping option would be. Now you would think that being in a post office would almost certainly guarantee my ability to get some accurate and insightful information regarding my shipping needs, but you would be wrong.

I knew that I was screwed as soon as I saw who was behind the counter. This guy could be a model for all individuals who hate their job and are just aching for retirement. He’s a bit portly, sarcastic tone in his voice, impatience drips from his face like boogies on a toddler. He eyed me from behind the counter, mentally wrestling with whether or not I was the lucky customer who would receive his help today or if he would make me squirm.

He and I went back and forth about my options. He questioned me about the package’s weight. He grilled me about the destination and the zip code. Blah, blah, blah, I squirmed, he was no help, but I left with a box which was my ultimate goal. Of course, in the short time that I was wrapped up with dealing with Mr. Personality, the kids were able to squeeze in a game of Chase Me Until Mom Flips, Hide and Seek Before Mom Sees Us, and Elyse ripped a poster and broke a shelf.

Next stop…The gas station.

Things seemed to be hoppin when we pulled in to get gas, and there were cars everywhere. I pulled in behind a huge truck and there were two other cars next to me. As soon as I got out of the van, another car pulled in behind me. I was completely blocked in on all sides. Not to worry. I’ll pump my gas, these people will all finish up, and we will be off once again on another adventure of destruction and chaos.

So I pumped the gas, got back into the van, and everyone stayed right where they were. I started looking around and I realized that the guy in front of me wasn’t even anywhere near his truck and must be inside paying. “Gee this seems to be taking a while,” I mused. But then a while became several minutes, and Elyse is yelling, “”GO, MOM, GO!” But still no truck guy. He must be buying other stuff in there too. Wouldn’t you move over to a parking spot if you were going to spend any kind of time shopping?

Now I’m starting to get fidgety and I’m trying to figure out what in the world could be taking this guy so long because, you know, when you have been trapped behind a moron at the gas pump for ten minutes, you get curious as to what in God’s name he could possibly be buying inside of a Quickie Mart. I mean, it’s a Quickie Mart. The assortment of inventory is only so big. What kind of a purchase could be so significant that it requires TEN MINUTES of deliberation? Maybe he couldn’t decide between spearmint or peppermint, diet or caffeine free, ultra thin or ribbed for her pleasure, who the hell knows, but you bet your sweet ass that I was waiting and watching to see what the holy grail of the Quickie Mart would be as Mr. Has-all-the-Time-in-the World waltzed out of that door.

So when he finally emerged, I perked up and surveyed his person for the magic item or items that took so long to acquire that I was able to contemplate the meaning of life and sing the entire theme song from Gilligan's Island in my head. Do you know what took so long? Do you know what purchases required ten minutes of my life that I will never get back? A coffee and two Icees; blue Icees, no straws. That’s it and that’s all. There was no apologetic wave or nod. He didn’t even look in my direction. Just gave the Icees to his kids WHO HE HAD LEFT IN THE TRUCK ALONE, sipped his coffee, and got in his truck. Ass bag!

After that there was a trip to Walmart¸ but I’ll spare you the details and just say that it was full of “Can I Have That,” “But Why Not,” and many, many potty trips.

Once finally home, we settled in for lunch and got ready for Elyse’s nap. Aaron wanted to play outside which I was more than happy to allow in the hopes that maybe he would run out some of that boundless energy that had him bouncing off of the walls for much of the day. I went to the kitchen to do some straightening up. How could straightening up the kitchen go bad with one child napping and the other running amuck outside? It goes bad when the boy that is outside left five mini bottles of Sprite out on the counter and in your hurry to get things caught up you move to put the bottles back in the fridge and drop them all on the floor causing one to explode and spew sticky pop over every inch of your kitchen. It took two days, a bottle of Swiffer solution, a roll of paper towels and an undetermined amount of multi-purpose Windex to un-stick my kitchen.

The rest of the day is such a blur I couldn’t tell you anything significant about it. I think after the Sprite incident I went into auto pilot mode and just blocked everything else out.

So snow days, not the happy, fun-time, pajama marathons they used to be back in the day. It’s probably my fault for venturing out anyway. Had I just stayed put and not attempted to achieve anything, maybe the day would have rocked. For now I’m just grateful that it is weekend and Mike is home to help buffer some of the crazy, and if the van needs gassed up or if I need something from the post office, I am totally throwing him under the bus and shipping him out to do my bidding. After all, I’m pretty sure that I just heard that all moms have been cancelled today. Pajamas for everyone! Oh, not you, though Honey. You’ve got to go and get me a blue Icee.


Leslie said...

Oh, Amy. This made me laugh! Not at you. With you.

Amy said...

It's funny now, but man at the time I was loosing it.