5:30ish I am awakened by a hungry baby.  I feed him in bed in a stupor, wondering if the forecasted snow has started yet, and listen to the equally awakened three-year old chatter nonstop to her father while he tries to convince her to just pee on the potty, please kiddo, please just pee, stop talking and pee.

6:02 I stumble downstairs, plunk the baby down with some cereal, pour coffee and stare out the window at three inches of snow on the deck.  To go to work, or to not go to work, that is the question.  Must decide soon.

6:12 Still deciding.

6:22 Still deciding.

6:27 Still deciding.  Husband shovels off deck and leaves for work.  I watch the snow begin to pile up again.

6:28 I make a decision. I’m not going to work. I start second-guessing decision.

6:32 Coworker calls and lets me know the office is closed.  Thank goodness for decisive people.

7:32 By now I have folded two loads of laundry and put one in.  Kids have destroyed and picked up living room twice.  Sam is starting to fuss for his first nap, which is what happens when you get up at 5:30, SAM.

8:13 Sam is refusing to nap. Annabel has already had snack, which is happens when you get up at 5:30, ANNABEL.  We are all staring at each other.

8:39 A game of Memory is attempted and abandoned only three matches in.  I make another round of coffee.  Gonna be a long one.

8:42 An entire cup of milk is spilled in the living room, as I was too distracted by writing a post to notice that Annabel has broken the “no cups without lids outside the kitchen” rule.  I briefly ponder going somewhere more relaxing, like a firing range.

9:11 Post is done.  After a brief “oh my god, just GO PLAY” lecture, both kids are now happily engaged.  Annabel is filling a piece of paper with star stickers, Sam is chewing on blocks.  Intellectually stimulating, no.  Relatively peaceful, yes.

9:12 I check my work e-mail.  Mistake!  Mistake!  Unsee!  Unsee!

9:28 Way back around 7:15 or so, I told Annabel that when Sam went down for nap we would go outside to play with the dog and feed the chickens.  It’s now clear that this was a tactical error.  Sam’s never going to nap.  She’s never going outside.  Resentment is building.

9:47 There may be no napping, but there sure can be dancing.  The Cure to the rescue!

9:52 A Cure-inspired chase around the house leads to our first injury of the morning.  Guess that’s why responsible people have “No running in the house” rules, eh?  While comforting Annabel, I notice that Sam is trying to ingest a toy fishing pole.  Oh, yes.  It has been a while since you’ve eaten, huh, boy?

9:53 Code brown! Code brown! [One moment for some editorializing: I have long believed that we should keep track of the more disgusting diapers during each week and, on the weekend, whichever spouse had the misfortune of the worst one should get a small treat.  A back rub, say, or a pint of ice cream.  I really wish we did that because I WOULD TOTALLY HAVE WON THIS WEEK.]

9:56 Changing Sam’s diaper reminds me that I need to wash diapers, so I throw them in.  Please note that I am now on laundry load #3, and it’s not even 10 a.m.

10:01 Snack time!  Bananas all around.  Yes, this is Annabel’s second snack of the morning. Do you see what I am saying about 5:30, Annabel? Do you see?

10:23 Please nap. Please nap. Pleasenappleasenappleasenap…

10:30 Nap!  We have nap!  Annabel and I fling on snowpants, hats, jackets, mittens, scarves and boots (as much as you can fling any of those, of course) and head out with the dog.  I shovel off the deck and note that it’s about four inches deep.  This, combined with the three Michael shoveled before he left, raises the snowstorm on the Cherie Rating System from Just Annoying (6 inches or less) to Proper Storm (6 to 10 inches).  I feel gratified and justified in being home.

We work our way up to the chicken coop where I feed and water the girls.  I open their door and they stick their heads out one-by-one, cluck in disdain, and go back inside.  I collect only one egg and cluck in disdain right back.  Ingrates.

We stumble around and undertake general frolicking for a bit, then pull out the sled and make multiple passes down one of the mountains left by the plow guy from previous storms.  General snowy merriment ensues.  I have brief, wet-jean-inspired moments of regret that I didn’t bother to dig out my own snowpants, but I carry on in the grand old tradition of pooping out the preschooler.

11:22 We both decide we are cold and head inside for the lunch.  I shovel another inch off the deck on the way back in.  8 inches.The stomping off of snow and rustling of shedding snowpants wakes Sam.  We all focus our energies on lunch.

11:37 Annabel fails to entertain my Norman Rockwell-esque fantasies by utterly refusing to have tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch.  We compromise on canned minestrone and a tuna melt.

12:28 I commence warnings about impending Quiet Time and make pizza dough for dinner.

12:40 Quiet time.

12:41 I said, quiet time.

12:42 QUIET TIIIIIIME.

12:43 Quiet.  Sam, of course, had a late morning nap so he’s still quite perky.  I let him butt scoot around the kitchen while I make some bread and prep cookie dough for today’s round of Snow Day Cookies.  Having learned from last time that the attention span is short for this sort of thing,  I’ve planned ahead.  When she wakes up the tedious mixing portion will be over and we can move right into the baking portion of the event.  I believe that it is this sort of strategizing that is going to move me right into the Clever Mothers Hall of Fame.  Today the Snow Day Cookie selection is gingersnaps.

1:23 The dog needs to go out, so I take the opportunity to shovel off the deck again.  We’ve got at least another 4 inches, making a minimum of a foot of snow.  This, of course, exceeds Proper Storm levels and is well within the Good Stuff range of 10-14 inches.  It is still coming down heavily, so I have high hopes of reaching full Whopper status (14+ inches).  I go back in and clean up the kitchen.

2:00 Sam is beginning to look a bit peaked around the edges, so I put him down for a nap.  I would like to tell you that I continued doing very useful things, like picking up my house, which at this point is, to put it politely, a disaster.  But I am an experienced parent of multiple children now, and experienced parents of multiple children know that a double-naptime is a rare and sadly short affair.  Thus it is advisable, when you are blessed with one, to immediately get started on whatever is #1 on your child-free priority list.  My #1 item is always sitting on my butt and reading.

2:01 I sit on my butt and read.  With tea.

2:03 The Plow Guy arrives, waking up both children.  I consider killing, or at least firing, him.  Then I remember that 1) he is a 20-something male who is much bigger than me and 2) he is plowing what is now close to 14 inches of snow off my driveway.  So instead I think very bad thoughts and get the kids.  What a refreshing half-page that was.

2:15 Gingersnap time!  Operation Short Attention Span is a success!

3:00 I have no idea what happened at this point.  It’s a blur of puzzles, yelling from an over-tired Sam, straightening up, Wonder Pets watching, and other assorted afternoony-type things.

4:17 Michael gets home.  From this point on it is just another Friday night.  Just pizza and beer and running out of propane and early bedtimes because of meltdowns and “Sam, stop touching meeeee!” and a movie, maybe, if we can both stay awake long enough and about 16 inches of snow.

And, really, who cares about any of that crap?

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