In the past two weeks, my kids have been home more often than they’ve been at school. The week before last it was a scheduled break due to conferences, last week it was because of the snow. The news had been warning us about it for almost a full week. This was to be the winter storm to beat all winter storms. Snow falling at a rate of 2 or more inches per hour. Total accumulation of up to 18 inches to fall over the course of Thursday and Friday.
People started going crazy around Monday. I went to the grocery store because we needed groceries, and half of the shelves were empty as people stocked up and hoarded food. By Wednesday they’d scaled back the estimates on the storm some, down to 12 -14 inches, which was still a significant snow fall. The timing of the storm kept changing as well. At first it was supposed to start in the wee hours of Thursday morning and by the end of the day Wednesday they were predicting it wouldn’t start until noon.
So then the big question became, what would the school district do about school? Since it wouldn’t be snowing on Thursday morning and there was no guarantee it really would snow (though with the size of the storm it seemed pretty likely to) would they go ahead and have the kids go to school and run the risk of the weather being really bad when school was dismissed for the afternoon? Or would they go ahead and hedge their bets and call of school for the day, risking the wrath of parents everywhere if the storm didn’t pan out. At 8:00 Wednesday night, the reports started coming in from all over the city. Every school district in our vicinity called off school on Thursday due to the impending bad weather. Brendan was crushed. He loves going to school and hates when they have snow days. I sent him off to bed with the promise that we would make Thursday as fun as we possibly could.
Thursday morning, Matt went to work as normal. He was in the midst of a training class, so working from home was not an option. My alarm was turned off since there was no reason to get myself or the kids up early. I figured they’d enjoy the opportunity to sleep in a bit. Around 7:30, Cameron came to my door and began whining immediately. In my half groggy state it took me a moment to grasp what it was he was complaining about. And even after I understood the words he was saying it took me a few more minutes to sort out just what in the world he was talking about.
According to Cameron, Brendan was trying to “pillow fight” with him, and he was very unhappy about it. I told Cameron to just go to the bathroom and we’d talk about it in a few minutes. He wandered back towards their bathroom and I lay in bed a minute longer trying to will myself out of bed. About that time, Brendan came to the door. Issuing him the same order I did Cameron, Brendan wandered into my bathroom. When they were both finished, I asked them what had happened to cause the fight. The full story came tumbling out.
Apparently Brendan had woken up and thought he was the first to be awake (a rarity, because Cameron usually gets out of bed before anyone). By the time he’d climbed out of his top bunk Cameron was awake (it’s still in debate whether Cameron was awake before or after Brendan woke up) and also started to climb out of bed. For whatever reason this really upset Brendan. He was hell bent on being the first person out of bed. So, in order to prevent Cameron from getting up first, he began to throw pillows to keep Cameron contained within his bunk.
I could not believe what I was hearing. All this fuss over who got out of bed first. I rolled my eyes, and told the boys they could go and play their video games for a little bit. I figured it would keep them out of my hair while I got the baby up and made everyone breakfast, and had the added benefit of distracting them from their fight. Or so I thought. Within 5 minutes they were bickering again about who got up first. I broke up the fight a second time, and this time Brendan lost it. He absolutely freaked out. I was finally forced to send him to his bedroom in order to calm down as there was no reasoning with him.
It took more than 20 minutes for him to calm down and be able to join us for breakfast. Once he did I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, he’d gotten the issue out of his system for the day but no such luck. He was extremely crabby and quite irratible all day long. I think part of the issue had to do with the weather. It’s difficult to explain to a 9 year old that school was cancelled because of the snow when there isn’t a single speck of it on the ground.
But despite his attitude I worked to make the day as fun for him as I had promised, hoping that it would make him feel some better about being forced to stay home again. Cameron and Kaylee were content playing with their toys, but Brendan wasn’t. I finally got him interested in doing an art project he’d been asking to do for a couple of days. He’d been wanting to make a triorama, and I just hadn’t had the time to sit down and help him with it, but with the impending snowstorm we had nothing pressing on our time that couldn’t wait for a few more hours.
I’d never heard of a triorama before, but Brendan walked me through the process of creating one, and they’re actually really neat. Basically you take a large square of paper (or in our case a poster board) and fold it in such a way that you make a 3D triange, then you create a scene inside the triangle just like you would a diorama. He spent most of the morning on it, creating the scene from Fablehaven where Seth, Newel, and Doren visit the 7 kingdoms of the Nipsies. He was very proud of his project and took it to school this morning to show it off to his friends and his teacher. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of it too.
By noon the snow had started falling and things had finally calmed down in the house. The kids had resigned themselves to the fact that they were stuck at home (and entertained themselves greatly giving us hourly updates on the depth of the snow in the yard). Matt made it home before the snow got too terribly bad, and so we waited to see just how bad this “mother of all storms” was realy going to be. About halfway through the storm, the news started reporting that our city was in a dry pocket, and that the snow we would get would be considerably less than originally anticipated. We ended up with just over 8 inches of wet, heavy snow.
By the time the kids were heading for bed, the bulk of the snow had fallen and was starting to taper off. We began to wonder again if the kids would have school on Friday. Nothing had been reported, or even speculated so we assumed that perhaps, because the storm had been only half as bad as they’d originally thought, school would resume as normal. But about 30 minutes after we’d put the last kid into bed, the notification came in, school would be cancelled again on Friday.
And so I went to bed that night hoping against hope that Friday would go a little smoother than Thursday had.