Mum's the Word

Do you want to build a snowman?

Posted: Jan. 23, 2019 5:25 pm

I see more snow in the forecast, and unlike so many, I'm excited. I guess it's the kid inside of me that cheers for a snow day.

Five seconds after any given snow day is announced I'm yelling at the kids to stop fighting, wondering why I was wishing for this.

Maybe it's the sick adult in me that longs for a challenge, like the people who go on "Naked and Afraid." I want to feel like my survival skills are on point. But considering my inability to open jars, I would not survive any apocalypse scenario.

If this were a TV show, I'd like to think everyone would mourn my demise because I was nice and funny, but no one would be surprised because I had no real-life skills.

Having said that, I did wow the children on the last snow day. I built an igloo, and one of the younger ones came up and said, "Wow, Mom! That's great! How do you know how to do that?"

Um, well, I went to college, and this is a pile of snow with a hole dug in it. A dog could have done this. Glad I could impress them, though.

Goodness knows that calculus class I took isn't helping me with fourth grade math. I tell my daughter that if we were ever lost in the wild we would have to do this to survive in an effort to be dramatic and ham up my value to the team.

Before igloo building, I told all of the kids they needed to go out and build a snowman. Yes, I told them. Nowadays, you have to order children to do anything that doesn't come with a smart touch or voice command. They drag themselves away from their devices, and I have to remind them of things, like put your snow pants on before your boots and gloves on last.

Moments like this make me worried for the future. The kids finally make it outside and start rolling the snow up, and I can hear their screams for help. I yell out the door to not scream for help unless they are bleeding or being abducted. After the second or third round of screaming I shout, "I'll be right there!" but then pour myself another cup of tea and smugly watch them struggle from the window some more.

This was right on the back of one of the kids having an epic fit because I wouldn't help them put on their skis. They literally threw themselves on the ground crying and threw a ski. I came to the back door that was wide open and informed that child that in life no one is going to help you put your skis on, no matter how much you scream. It's not a real problem. Now, close the back door before you let all of the cold air in.

They move on and soon everyone is playing nicely, building forts and snowmen. They are struggling to lift the middle snow balls on top of the snowman base. We Midwesterners/Northerners all know the struggle because we have all lived it. We are part of an elite group called Kids Who Played Outside in the Snow. I join in the fun remembering my youth. After I wow them with my igloo-making skills, I help reinforce the makeshift wall of their fort, discussing snowball warfare and strategy.

I adjust stick arms of a snowman and give him a U.S. flag to hold. After all, I think he inspired the wall/fort. Tee-hee. Then I clear some paths and figure out the snowblower because, well, I had watched my stepdad from the window most of the morning clearing the path and decided it was probably my turn to be a grown-up. Ugh. Maybe the snowman should have a hat and scarf.

I'd say that although it was a busy day with the odd hiccups of fights, tantrums and excessive laundry, I feel that the day was a success. I will always root for the snow day, unless it's tomorrow. Then you can build your own snowman because I can't feel my arms.

As with all things, I hope I've taught them everything they need to know to survive the apocalypse: Be prepared (gloves on last), don't cry for no good reason, no one is coming, make a solid shelter and then build a snowman. Now, to open jars.