We are literally days away from Spring Break. And? We get a snow day. Tons and tons of snow piled up on us. This snow’s redeeming value is that it looked really neat the way it stuck to everything. But come on Mother Nature, show us some signs of Spring! Here I post this the day after I got stuck half in and half out of my driveway…
They called it “Snowmaggedon”. They told us to batten down the hatches. We were going to get feet of snow. Travel would be impossible. We were all going to die. For someone like me who only appreciates the first snow of the year and the potential to reenact Calvin and Hobbes “Snowman House of Horrors” when we have large amount of snow, I wasn’t looking forward to it. Not only was I not gleefully anticipating the snow, I was fretting about the fact that this was the first year that I’ve had to drive to make it to work in snow AND figure out childcare arrangements for a kid in a long time.
But let’s back up a minute to what happened BEFORE the storm. A storm of a different kind. We had a series of unfortunate events that made me look like a total blithering idiot.
We had a snafu with my phone the day before the alleged storm. Two days in a row, the sitter had tried to contact me and strange things had happened. The first day I had not plugged the charger into the portal on my phone in all the way, so it shut off. I discovered this that morning as I was getting ready to leave. I grabbed it and plugged it into my car and let it charge, figuring I’d turn it on after it had a little juice, because it was deader than a doornail. When we arrived, she asked me if we had got her message. I felt so bad. It was nothing at the time-her son had been sick and she was on alert just in case she had to cancel (like if he spiked a fever or got worse). I went to work, and turned on the phone with a partial charge to see her message-she had texted me. I meant to text her back and tell her that it had been an isolated weird thing, that I almost always get texts and that was the best way to reach me. I must have started the message three times when I was on my break, but kept getting interrupted by phone calls.
The next morning, the day of the supposed superstorm, we arrived at her house and there was no one there.
(To clarify things, this time my phone was on…)
So here we were, 40 minutes before I had to be at work a half hour away, with two confused kids. The Professor was freaking out-no so much because his routine had changed, but because he didn’t get to eat a second breakfast at the sitter’s house. Princess Difficult was mad because we were in the car and not going anywhere. After all, it was her fourth day of being the Shining Star at school and she was missing out on important time where everyone is focused on her! There was whining and complaining and crying. I pulled back into my driveway, turned around and told them sternly: “No one is getting out of the car. Everyone is going to be quiet while I try to FIGURE THIS OUT!!!!!”
And then there was silence. Thank you.
I began the work as only an expert in miscommunication can do effectively: 1) I texted my husband and asked him if she said anything the night before. No. 2) I scrolled through my missed calls and found out that I was never informed by my phone of this missed call or message. Stupid phone. I am still not 100% sure of what happened, but obviously her son was pretty sick. 3) I called work, explained what happened, and told them I would be in as soon as possible. 4) I emailed the school, and let them know that my son would be coming to and fro on a different bus. 5) I texted the sitter, telling her I hoped everything was ok with her poor kid, and that texting really is the best way to get a hold of me. FINALLY, I went in, got both of the kids a waffle, and we got to the school, parked, and waited until The Professor could be dropped off.
Meanwhile, while I was panicking over this, everyone else was panicking over the giant storm coming to kill us all.
The Professor went to the middle school to wait for his bus at 8 am sharp, the earliest time he could be dropped off. The Princess and I went to preschool. We were there a whole 3 and a half hours. This was because the monster storm scared every school into closing early. Our school, one that rarely closes early, rarely delays, and rarely cancels decided to let the kids out at 1:15. Since I have to take a break anyway and have to be home not long after that, I left at noon. Besides, I’m scared of driving in snow. When you drive a car into a ravine when you are young and total it in snowy weather, you tend to be a BIT leery of such weather. But that’s another future post…
So we rushed home. Princess Difficult was OBVIOUSLY in need of a nap-she was pretty impossible to deal with. I made her lay down on the couch and she slept for a very long time. The Professor came home and is even quiet for a change (whispering is not one of his strong suits.)
Meanwhile, I kept looking outside the living room window, waiting for this massive snowfall to start. It was supposed to come so fast and so suddenly that people would be stranded and not able to go anywhere. I worried about Evil Genius getting home. I worried about losing power. I worried about having enough caffeine to get me through the next few days that we would be stranded.
There was not a flake. I was getting mad at the weather.
Evil Genius came home around 4 pm. Still no snow. I kept checking. Finally at almost 6 pm a gentle little snow shower started. Not too terrible, just some snow. Really? You got us all worked up for this? Surely some schools around the area are feeling REALLY stupid.
I should have listened to the meteorologist. One of the children in the preschool has a father that works for the National Weather Service. He had told me earlier in the week that he thought it wasn’t the big deal they were making out of it… That night on the news, the weather guy seemed almost disappointed. Crestfallen, he says “We have some light snow falling around the metro area.”
Yet the schools continued to be fooled. They all delayed the next morning, compounding things for everyone. Maybe it was a little tricky, but it really wasn’t what the soothsayers had foretold.
I’m not a big fan of winter, but COME ON! Don’t tease us with tales of killer snow.
We are finally having a real Iowa winter this year. We haven’t had a winter that has been typical in years. We had several years where we were buried under snow all winter long with many no school days. Someday I will share my story of Evil Genius and the blizzard. Last year it was warm with only one snowfall. I enjoyed the warmer weather but it was weird. This year has had cold and snow, but not too much of each.
This week we had a Winter storm Tuesday night into Wednesday. It came up rather suddenly-the winter storm watch popped up in the morning (which I didn’t know until afternoon) and then it turned into a warning by afternoon. The snow was bad enough that school was first delayed and then cancelled. Yet Evil Genius made it to work, and was the first one there, beating people that live right there in town. We live an hour south of where he works. Impressive, very impressive.
Both kids slept in quite late that morning. I was not looking forward to another day stuck in the house. We had to do something different. As they got up, I had a bright idea. I informed them “We’re going to have pajama day.”
The Professor yelled “THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!”
The Princess scrambled to find different pajamas.
It was all good. After breakfast we brought blankets into the living room, laid on the floor, and watched “The Greatest American Hero”.
Late in the morning I remembered that Evil Genius had given Princess Difficult instructions to clear a path through her room the night before. You couldn’t even walk through it. She threw a fit. “This is supposed to be a FUN day. This is NOT fun!” When she realized that her video game privileges would be revoked, she complied.
We had breakfast for lunch-pancakes, eggs, and bananas. The pancakes were good, even though I had to scramble after I started the first batch-I realized I had forgotten the egg. My house still smells like syrup. The magic sort of faded after lunch, since they got their video game time. A couple of weeks ago they pooled their Christmas money to buy Skylanders for the Xbox. They enjoy it, and it’s incentive for good behavior.
More TV, and eating popcorn and drinking juice on the floor during snack time while watching PBS Kids. The Professor said “This day just keeps getting better and better!”
And then it was over. Dad was coming home, and everything was picked up and put away. The Professor decided to put on regular clothes, for some reason he thought his dad wouldn’t like him wearing pjs. Princess Difficult was the only hold out. She changed, into yet a different set of pajamas.
These days are coming to an end, at least for awhile. That pajama day morning I received a message from a friend, and upon answering it have opened up a whole new can of worms in my life. I have taken a substitute position at the preschool I used to work for, starting Monday. I’m stepping in for a friend who has to have surgery. Good pay, and childcare taken directly out of my check.
So I have a job for awhile, 6-8 weeks. Remember that I have severe anxiety. Even though I have been looking for a job for quite some time, I am freaking out. On one hand, Princess Difficult will get to be with me. She needs to be around other children, and be on a schedule. This is very good for her. On the other, I worry myself sick. Will The Professor be ok going someplace else before and after school? Will the kids be able to get up and get ready early? Will I have enough energy to make supper and do laundry, because working with kids can be very exhausting. Will we have enough money for gas so I can get there every day? Will we be able to pay the sitter? Will I be able to be on my feet for that much time without my back killing me?
Last night I told them all about what was probably going to happen. At first The Princess, who is dead set against me working, was upset. “But Mommy, I will miss you!” When I told her she was going to come with me, she started to warm to the idea.
“Do they have a playground there?” she asked.
“Yes.” I replied.
“Do they have ponies there?” she queried.
“I don’t really remember, but I think so.” I answered.
That was it, she was sold. Now both kids were very excited. Not me, I was sick with anxiety. I was almost crying.
Evil Genius was no help. “Do you want the job or not?”
My answer “We need the money.”
His response “That’s not very convincing.”
He wants me to believe in myself. love him for seeing me as someone who still has potential and is worth something, even though he isn’t always so tactful about telling me so. My former coworkers seem very excited that I am coming back, if even for a few weeks. So much has gone wrong for so long, it’s hard for me to believe that something good is happening. What a gift this is-to be able to try this and see if I can really do it. Last night after he went to bed I called my Mom in a panic. She calmed me down, reminding me that it will all work out. I also talked to a very good friend, who was so supportive and understanding of why I feel like this!
Today everything fell into place as far as The Professor’s before and after school care. I went in to fill out paperwork, Princess Difficult saw the classroom and the kids she would be with, and it all seemed right. I’m now looking at it as all a great experiment. By the time I am done it will be Spring. The weather will get nicer, and we can get out and enjoy it again. Right now this may be just what we need to get through the doldrums of winter.
Today I filled out a zillion forms. Tomorrow I go get fingerprinted. More on that soon to follow…
So followers, don’t worry-I’ll still be blogging, I just may not post every day. This is still my dream-the writing. I am to the point where I need new inspiration, and need to not be on the computer all the time. I won’t let people down. I bet I will have lots of wonderful stories to share too! Preschoolers are wonderful in that respect-they are never boring!
And of course, don’t forget to vote! Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms Contest. I’m hanging out in the top 120. It’s all right. It’s comfortable there.