Have I mentioned that this is the winter that will not die?
I couldn’t remember. I feel like I’ve complained about it inside my head forty-two thousand times, but I’m not sure that I ever made my opinions known in a public forum.
Only when you’re a weatherman, can you do a job completely wrong and still come into work the following morning, because you still have a job. Our local weathermen let us know that we were going to get dusted with another one to three inches of snow a couple of days ago. What followed was a fresh foot of snow on Tuesday, chased by another fresh three inches on Wednesday. While we were outside plowing and shoveling and blowing snow into mountains along our sidewalks, our weathermen were sitting in their offices, having coffee and discussing the end of droughts and the rumors surrounding Scarlet Johansson’s split from her husband. Those lying weathermen didn’t have a single care that the boy’s car was stuck in our cul de sac, because the two days of glorious sunshine we had last weekend melted the first layer of our winter accumulation, which then froze to our streets.
I hear the Olympic luge team has booked hotel rooms in Small Town, USA, so they can practice here.
Where the ice is fresh.
And where there’s plenty of it.
The new foot of snow on top of the luge run created the perfect storm for cars to go nowhere. Our cul de sac has just enough slope to it that nothing but an armored tank with chains on its tracks was going to get out. While the boy stomped on the gas pedal and spun the steering wheel around wildly, Hubs and the cute neighbor boy pushed for all they were worth. They both have an impressive display of guns beneath their shirt sleeves, yet all the bicep strength in the world couldn’t get the boy’s car to clear the cul de sac and make it out into the city, filled with lights and sounds and obnoxiously slick roads. Since the cute neighbor boy’s car doors were frozen solidly shut on HIS car, Hubs used my Suburban and its elderly four-wheel-drive mechanism to get the boys to school.
Our superintendent will not sacrifice the education of our students for a little snow. There are no late start days in our neck of the woods, and a real Snow Day is something that only children from the ’70s whisper about having experienced a couple of times.
This all makes me laugh, because a friend of mine, who lives in Alabama, said a couple of weeks ago that, ON THE EVENING BEFORE THE PREDICTED STORM, their schools announced that they would be closed the following day. She’s a guidance counselor at a private high school, so she was perfectly happy with their superintendent’s decision to just shut ‘er down. As in, the schools were already announced as CLOSED, and the storm HAD YET TO HIT. Clearly, they hold more faith in their weathermen in Alabama than we hold in ours.
They woke up to a SKIFF of snow the following morning, which could only be described as A SOLID QUARTER OF AN INCH, WITH DRIFTS NEARLY THREE-FOURTHS OF AN INCH HIGH, WHERE THE WIND BLEW.
She posted pictures to her Facebook page.
She and her thirteen-year-old son were out trying to use metal garbage can lids as sleds on their sloped yard and their street.
God bless them for trying.
She told us all, through Facebook, that no one knew how to drive in the snow, and that they all felt like the Apocalypse had struck. Their grocery store shelves were empty, and everyone was hunkered down, prepared to wait things out until June arrived, if need be…
… because of that solid quarter-inch of snow, with drifts nearly three-fourths of an inch high, where the wind blew.
I told her, “Listen. We were out pushing a car up a hill, in FOURTEEN INCHES of fresh snow this morning.”
She said, “Folks here can’t drive if we get a dusting. They suffer Driving Paralysis. We all have to stay home, because we all just skid everywhere and run our insurance premiums up.”
I told her, “BUT NOT YOU!!! Suck it up and pay tribute to your roots… FOR THE LOVE!!! You have roots OUT HERE, where it snows real snow! Get out there and show them that you grew up driving through drifts, and that you know how to turn the hubs on Ford trucks made before Starbucks was invented! Save your Alabama people! Get out their in that quarter-inch of snow and get them all some bread and milk from the grocery store!”
She told me to stop talking like that, because their district’s superintendent was one of her good friends, and she didn’t want him to know that she was actually capable of coming into work when the rest of the city was pulling the plug on life.
Not that there’s much need for a guidance counselor at a school where all the kids have stayed home.
Her Yankee ancestors have rolled over in their graves with shame.
In other, non-weather-related news, I told someone at the little private school where I teach PE on Tuesday that our little family has weathered this winter (Pun, intended.) with nothing but health so far.
I believe the exact words that I uttered were, “Well, knock on wood, Hubs and the boys and I have all been healthy, with nothing more than a little stuffy nose on my part for a couple of mornings.”
That was the precise moment when Jesus said out loud in the courts of Heaven, “Knock on wood? KNOCK?? ON?? WOOD??!!!!! Did she really just say that, like knocking on a nice farmhouse table that Joanna had Clint build for a new client was what was keeping their family healthy?”
Saying that was almost as bad as moving to Alabama from a Snow State and celebrating their Snow Day victories, when you really should be laughing in the face of all those cancellations, as you showed the city what you can do on an interstate with one-fourth of an inch of snow.
Thing 2 started complaining about a tummy ache at bedtime last night.
This wasn’t unusual, because he’s four, and he doesn’t like to go to bed. He needs another kiss. He needs another drink. He has to go potty again. He has a tummy ache.
JUST GO TO BED, CHILD!
His level of complaining escalated, until it was on par with my complaining of ALL THE WINTER THINGS, and then he fell asleep at 8:00.
I had thrown back a Tylenol PM after brushing my teeth last night, because I was determined to get a good night’s sleep, so you can imagine my level of excitement when Thing 2 walked out of his bedroom at 10:00, covered in vomit and smelling of death, to announce, “I barfed all over my bed.”
People, he wasn’t lying.
He ate approximately a half cup of plain, naked spaghetti noodles and some plain, naked, grilled chicken for dinner last night. (Little Man has some FEELINGS about sauces. Lord, bless him.) It did come as a giant surprise then, when I found not the half of a cup of spaghetti noodles in his bed, but TWENTY-TWO GALLONS OF LIQUID-LACED SPAGHETTI NOODLES on full display, right smack in the center of his fitted sheet.
The math just didn’t add up.
Eat a half cup of noodles.
Projectile vomit twenty-two gallons of noodles, plus change.
It must be Common Core Math.
After that, the diarrhea hit, and Thing 2 was up every forty minutes (EVERY!! FORTY!! MINUTES!!), all night long with one or the other… or both. Don’t tell the Great Depression survivors, who scrimped and saved, but I threw away four tiny pairs of underwear AND a fitted bed sheet last night, because the volume of PURE MESS was greater than I could handle without counseling.
At 2 AM, I finally remembered that the boy had found an abandoned, already-opened package of pull-ups in the linen closet, when he gutted it and cleaned it a couple of weeks ago. I was going to pass them along to a friend, who is in the thick of potty training now, but I hadn’t gotten to it yet. I felt like this was the lone victory of the night, because I put Thing 2 in a pull-up, to save on pitching Spider-Man underwear into the trash bag.
If any of you were awake at 2:00 this morning and witnessed a mushroom cloud of nuclear proportions outside your windows, it was our preschooler’s explosive reaction to being ushered into a pull-up with Lightning McQueen on the front.
Hell hath no fury like a potty-trained kid who turns five VERY SOON, who has been forced back into a pull-up. No amount of softly-spoken words of THIS IS JUST IN CASE YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE BATHROOM FOR THE FIFTH TIME TONIGHT! WE CAN THROW THE PULL-UP AWAY AND NOT FEEL ANY REAL GUILT, could overcome his shock at being stuffed into one.
Which, you know, is why I quietly displayed all the fruits of the Spirit last night, at 2:05 AM.
Love. Gentleness. Patience. Peace.
All while I was under the sedative properties of a Tylenol PM and navigating the road between Thing 2’s bedroom and the bathroom 8.3 million times.
The rawness of my hands can attest to how many times I have washed them since 10:00 last night. I have sprayed and poured Clorox everywhere. I have washed and even RE-WASHED the four pairs of pajamas that I didn’t throw away last night, as well as the second fitted bed sheet that managed to remain a part of our family through the ordeal, as well.
… you know…
… that’s what we’ve been up to around here.
How about you?