Because of snow and extreme cold, my kids were out of school for an entire week (technically, they only missed four days due to weather because they were out Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, but the other four days seemed like four months). I can say with some authority now that Dante overlooked one of the circles of Hell.
Day 1: Everyone was initially pretty excited to have a snow day. Well, not me, really, because I had to cancel a desperately needed hair appointment. We slept late, I made pancakes, and everyone hung out in their pajamas for a while. When I suggested that my kids may want to go outside and build a snowman or something, they refused. Much whining and gnashing of teeth ensued, and then my daughter threatened to call 911 and report me for child abuse if I made her go outside. I briefly considered going outside myself and leaving them inside, but I had to admit that they were right—it was too damned cold out there. My son spent the rest of the day either begging to play Minecraft or freaking out because he was playing Minecraft and things weren’t going the way he wanted them to.
Day 2: There were many complaints of boredom and more Minecraft drama. I was asked to provide a snack roughly 348 times. I considered taking them somewhere, but figured every place in town that kids like would be cram packed with other kids, and that we most likely wouldn’t have a very good time if we were surrounded by screaming hordes of potentially flu-ridden children. We did get out later in the day because we had an appointment, and then my husband took us down the street to a nearby restaurant for dinner so we could have a little more time out of the house. I told the kids that tomorrow we would make banana bread. I don’t usually enjoy cooking with my kids, but I was desperate for something to do with them. I was feeling like I had a handle on things and that we could make it through the next day. After we got home, my daughter suddenly threw up. The next several hours were filled with fever dreams and lack of sleep.
Day 3: My daughter felt much better, but now we were all sleep-deprived and surly. I wished that they could each have a friend over to play, but since the girl had been sick just a few hours before, I didn’t want to expose some other poor kid to her germs. Or the head lice. Did I mention the head lice? Yeah, over the weekend we discovered that both my kids were infested. I decided to 86 the banana bread-making since eating food prepared by someone who had recently puked didn’t seem very wise.
It would have been nice to snuggle up on the couch and watch movies, but our TV is located in the coldest room in the house and no one wanted to be in there. Because of the lice situation, I wasn’t too keen on huddling under a blanket together anyway. We finally rented Despicable Me 2 on Amazon Prime and watched it on the computer in a warmer room while I kept my distance from them. Later, I dug up a jigsaw puzzle from the basement and we worked on it for a while, and all seemed okay (not good, but okay, and I was willing to accept that). But then the boy—no doubt overcome by cabin fever—suddenly destroyed the sections of the puzzle we had worked so hard to put together. Twice. We put the puzzle away and I cried and made yet another snack and we counted down the hours until another responsible adult would be home. Our entertainment for the remainder of the day was using the nit comb, worrying that our pipes were going to freeze, and trying not to kill each other. I rescheduled yet another hair appointment.
Day 4: Dad worked from home most of the day, and the weather and streets had improved enough that we were able to get everyone out for some much-needed
liquor groceries and time away from home. Things seemed to be on the upswing and surely the weekend would be much better than the past week.
Day 5: Only it wasn’t. Friday night and Saturday morning brought more snow, including near-blizzard conditions at times. My daughter’s birthday was Saturday and we had planned a lunchtime party with family, but the majority of them was coming from out of town and couldn’t get here because of the weather. We told her that we would postpone and that she still had her birthday sleepover with her best friend to look forward to that evening. But then we got word that her best friend also had lice and the sleepover would have to wait. Instead of making a My Little Pony at Build-a-Bear Workshop, eating sushi, and watching movies with her BFF, she spent most of her birthday watching old episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch while undergoing a follow-up treatment with RID. I think this qualifies as “Shittiest Birthday Ever.”
Day 6: A week stuck at home with her mother and brother, a ruined birthday, being sick, and having bugs in her hair were finally too much for my daughter, and on Sunday she completely lost her shit. One of her chores is to put away her freshly laundered clothes. They had been piled in a clothes basket for a week, and when we said today was the day they had to be put away, she snapped. By the end of the day, she had had all of her American Girl Dolls taken away for a week, lost TV and computer privileges for a week, called me an “evil demon,” packed up her stuff and said she was running away from home, and threatened to call 911 to report child abuse again.
I think I’ll move to Australia.
At least it’s summer there.