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Voices / Essay

Snow day

My littlest snowflakes are the only real major force of nature to be reckoned with today

BETHANY THIES is a mother of four and a writer. She can change a diaper in 22 seconds and is the proud author of the chronic sarcasm and tomfoolery blog, Bad Parenting Moments, where this piece first appeared.


Schools are canceled. Children are home. Wine bottles are on display in my kitchen, giving it an air of classy disaster.

I am watching children remove snacks and mixing bowls from cabinets, their hair unbrushed, sliding in pajamaed feet from kitchen to living room to playroom, on the world’s most redundant loop of action since the film Speed.

Diaries have already been fought over, and a Slinky lay forgotten directly in the middle of the sixth stair, abandoned by the children upon its failure to make it “all the way!”

A tent and tunnel have been set up, leaving parental oversight virtually impossible, my view of the chaos restricted by blinding neon blue and yellow polyester.

Chocolate pudding sits on the baby’s pajamas and face, abandoned there as a reminder of my failure to successfully hide and administer her morning dose of antibiotics.

I might or might not have washed my hair yesterday. From where it sits today — on top of my head, disheveled, and in the hot-pink rubber band I found under the bathroom sink — it’s impossible to tell.

* * *

This is what motherhood looks like at my house on snow days. This is what motherhood looks like at my house on most days.

And that’s okay with me.

The snow is falling softly, then wildly. At times, a tornado of flakes beats against the windows, making its presence known. It has nothing on the storm inside these walls.

Surrender. My littlest snowflakes are the only real major force of nature to be reckoned with today.

I have no interest in crafting, baking, or Donna Reed-ifying away my day of diminished urgency.

There is no need to load children into a car for school pick-up. No need to shower and put on clothes, or go through the pained process of putting on the makeup I seem to use with less frequency when attempting to bamboozle the public into believing I care enough to put on makeup.

I will do nothing. I will sit with my coffee, in the middle of this kitchen cocktail of scrambled eggs and crushed Cheerios and let the chaos swirl around me.

The perfect storm.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #192 (Wednesday, February 27, 2013).

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