In Minnesota where I live, we have seen 16 days in January where the temperature has plummeted below zero. We have had five school cancellations. In January. Five.
Parents. Are. Losing. It.
The first couple of cancellations were fun. “Enjoying the endless Christmas break with the kiddos!” we wrote on Facebook, as we snapped pictures of our kids, smeared in peanut butter (who cares!), covered in paint (art projects!) and clad in jammies (no laundry!) for days on end. We made silly videos. We were grateful for our lives.
But as this endless winter slowly marches on, this sinister cold snap has transformed our positivity into pure evil. We have become feral animals, snarling at school administrators and their stubborn insistence upon keeping our kids safe.
“Seriously?” we self-righteously scoff. “School was never cancelled when I was a kid, and I remember days when it was 100 below zero. One day it hit 200 below zero. You know what we did? We made a snow fort!”
We avoid Facebook now, because if we read about one more of our friends who is “still in bed at noon!” or “never leaving this blanket” or “reading a book,” our fragile psyches will shatter. And if anyone posts a picture from anywhere warm – God forbid it’s on a beach! – We will block them quicker than a school administrator cancels school.
Parents, today will not be pretty. But you can make it. You simply need to take the following survival guide very, very seriously.
1. Screen time regulations are OFF for today. When there are multiple school cancellations, God declares screen time to be good for your kids. Want to watch another Ninjago or Dora? Go for it! Brains will not rot, at least not today. You are exempt from screen time guilt.
2. Pick a friend who has been especially obnoxious about all of their free time spent underneath blankets while reading novels and sipping hot cocoa during this hellish cold snap, and drop your kids off at their house unannounced. Have they ever told you to let them know if you needed anything? Today is collection day, peeps. On your way out the door, throw two boxes of mac & cheese at their dog, and tell them you’ll be back by spring break.
3. No matter what your kids say to you or ask of you today, simply reply, “I know you are but what am I?” This tactic is somewhat controversial, but they know where the pantry is.
4. Make a video of what happens when you throw a mug of hot water off the deck. Seriously. It’s kind of awesome.
5. The answer is yes; it is 5:00pm somewhere, all day today. All. Day.
6. Play a prank on the parent that gets to escape and go to work today. They deserve it. Put all their underwear in the freezer. Put cayenne pepper in their coffee. Do an orchestrated spit take at breakfast. They get to be around adults today! Anything goes.
7. Randomly use the phrase “For British Eyes Only!” when anybody asks you a question, and don’t explain yourself. This will drive your kids absolutely crazy, which is fine, because it’s payback time. They’ve invaded your space for long enough. Your friends will think you’ve actually lost it, so they may leave their cozy, childless house to come and help you.
If you follow all seven guidelines, I promise you that you will make it through the day. Tomorrow, you will send your tinies off to school and all will be well (except of course for all the laundry and cleaning which you haven’t had time to do, but that’s tomorrow).
In it together, crazies.