The Moms live on the Eastern Seaboard and got to experience the record-setting Snowzilla blizzard a few weeks back. Introverts love staying home, right? What could go wrong? Read on …
Snowzilla: A Multimedia Presentation
Or, How Introvert Paradise Turned Into Introvert Hell
No school! No school! No snow on the ground? Whatever. I’ll take it.
Big storm hits tomorrow around noon. I’d better start thinking about stocking up. But the store will be crazy! I’ll go tomorrow. With the kids. Even though that’s my idea of the tenth circle of Hell.
Wake up! Get going! Only four hours until The Storm Hits.
This song is playing on an endless loop in my head.
Play Doh. Check. Monster High doll. Check. Milk flashlight eggs batteries blah blah blah. Check.
Korean fried chicken. Check. Booze. Checkedy check.
OMG you guys it’s snowing! Right on schedule. This is going to be SO FUN.
Hey friends! C’mon in! Let’s have some pizza and drinks. FUN.
Look at how pretty it is! And how still everything it is outside. I am staying in my pajamas all day.
Sure, you can watch “Wreck It Ralph.” I love that Sarah Silverman.
Putter putter putter putting stuff away feels fantastic. Being shut inside is Introvert Paradise.
Who’s hungry for lunch? Grilled cheese, soup, veggies, hot cocoa!
Family time is incredible. We’re talking to each other and laughing and I love them so so so much.
Happy hour starts at 5. Oh, ok. 4:30.
It is STILL snowing. And it’s gorgeous. White and pristine and gorgeous. Snowy snow snow.
It’s 9:30 a.m. I am going to take a bubble bath. Just because I can.
You two are watching “Wreck It Ralph” again? John C. Reilly really does a great job in this, doesn’t he?
Snacks? Sure! How about popcorn and warm apple cider? Perfect blizzard food.
I’d better do some laundry. It’s starting to pile up.
Happy hour at 4:30. Who’s in?
Today is Cleaning Day! I’ve got bleach and a toothbrush and I am NOT afraid to use them, people.
Dust scrub vacuum mop …. where did all this … grime … come from? We are disgusting.
You’re hungry? Here is some cheese and crackers and an apple.
Where did all this laundry come from? I’ve been wearing the same clothes for three days. Stop changing clothes every twenty minutes!
Was that the plow? Awesome! Oh, wait. Dreamy just shoveled the driveway and it is now filled up with a gazillion feet of snow again.
Anyone want to play “Uno”? “Go Fish”? No? You want to watch “Wreck It Ralph”? Fine but this is the LAST TIME.
Is it 4:30 yet? Because I’m not having much fun right now.
No I am not making pancakes today; we had that for dinner last night. Eggs and toast for everyone!
What are we doing today? I don’t know. What day even is it?
If you guys don’t let me use the bathroom by myself someone is going to get hurt.
Why are you hungry? You JUST ATE.
See this door? I am closing it for a reason.
It’s only 2:00. Dammit. Two and a half hours to go.
Oh, Hell. Two hours.
Wait, what? You’re going to work? You’re leaving?? Don’t go, Dreamy. PLEASE DON’T GO.
If I hear Silverman’s screechy screech nails-on-a-chalkboard squawk one more time I am going to LOSE IT.
Anyone for a play date? Anyone?
Here’s your lunch. Turkey, bread, and some chips. You don’t like it? Make it your own damn self.
What day is it?
#$(&. 11 a.m.
WHERE ARE ALL THESE DIRTY CLOTHES COMING FROM?????
I don’t remember anything before this blizzard except that I hate snow and I never want to see any again. Ever.
How does one put on mascara? Oh, right.
A screwdriver. Is it too early for a screwdriver?
#($*ing snow. I hate it.
That’s it. I am done with you people. ALL OF YOU.
I need OUT. NOW. Preferably by myself. And I might not come back.
Here’s how snow days usually go at my house: iDad and I try to fit in a couple hours of work apiece, usually with a side of baking/sledding/movie time with Doodlebug. I know we’re lucky to work from home—no scrambling for alternative child care or commuting in bad weather. Honestly, though, it’s still complicated, especially if it’s a big storm and Doodlebug is off school for more than a couple of days. Between juggling schedules and the hit to my quiet time, I end up frustrated and cranky.
Here’s how snow days went during Snowzilla: iDad left for a conference in California before the storm hit and was stranded there until flights got back on schedule. I was on my own with Doodlebug for a week, a week which included only one day of school. I accomplished . . . nothing. Other than surviving.
And I actually did enjoy large parts of it. Doodlebug and I watched movies, listened to audiobooks, and got hooked on “Kids Baking Championship.” I started reading her The Long Winter, one of my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder books. She scaled snow piles and had a couple playdates with Princess Slim. I only had a few episodes of sobbing alone in my room. (Seven days of solo parenting is a LONG time, you guys. My winter hat is off to single parents.)
The whole thing was a reminder that snow days are an excuse to slow down, to blow off that to-do list, to just hang out with my family. So it was a good lesson, right?
Yes and no. I wasn’t exactly in need of a vacation—the whole thing went down a mere two weeks after our winter break, so I had barely gotten back into a writing groove when the weather gods cruelly snatched it away. I knew that things would be tough enough with iDad gone, so I didn’t even try to fit in writing time. The good news is that I didn’t feel pulled toward my office like I usually do during a long stretch of snow days. But I feel like I lost more than just work time.
Writing is special kind of quiet time for me. It lets me create stories in my head, play with new ideas, make connections, and stretch my mental muscles. And I know, from many attempts to do otherwise, that I can’t knock out a chapter or a blog post in a hurry while Doodlebug is momentarily distracted. That makes me more frazzled, not less. So even though we did plenty of quiet things during those seven days, they didn’t fill me up the same way filling a page with words does.
Was ignoring my writing the right approach for this storm? Definitely. But if we have any more multi-day snow events this winter (please no), that strategy won’t fly. Here’s what I will try—treating the first snow day as pure vacation and then playing the work-life balance game for the rest of the time.
The happy ending to this story is that iDad got home safely, we dug out, and school started again eventually. My reward: a long weekend to myself while Doodlebug and iDad went skiing with his parents. Lots of writing, no sobbing, and NO SNOW!