February 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s good to have goals. Mine today (it’s now the day after) was to create a blog post. I haven’t done so since September of last year. Time flies.

And here I am, at past 10 p.m. (yesterday), drafting a post I hope to publish tomorrow (now today). Which is another snow day. Despite my intention to post something today (or at any time during this period of extreme white and freezing temperatures).

I’ll explain.

Some years, Portland kids usually get one or at most two snow days. Barring full days away from their institutions of learning, kids here at least once a year enjoy start times delayed by two hours.

And sometimes, it’s Snowmageddon. Which it is right now. Since last Thursday, we’ve experienced a confluence of storms that’ve brought snow, high winds, freezing rain and black ice, all of which ensured school closures, “emergency” runs to the grocery store, dogs incapable of smelling out their usual pooping spots and thus going canine-crazy, lots of jokes between moms about higher-than-usual tippling rates and too much TV time. (Sure, the Winter Olympics are on from Sochi, Russia, but there’s only so much hockey — or curling?? — I can handle.)

Cocoa gets air trying to get snow

Cocoa gets air trying to get snow

Hayley and Alyssa didn’t have school last Thursday or Friday; every activity this past weekend got cancelled; and we just learned they won’t have school tomorrow (which is today!), either. On top of that news (hooray?), they won’t have school again this Thursday or Friday to make up for the cancelled “spring” conferences that were supposed to have occurred during bouts of thrashing ice-rain pellets streaming down to Earth like mini-swords. (You’re right: I don’t own ski goggles, which most smart people were wearing on the streets when caught in that icy downpour. My eyeballs and cheeks got stung by the mini-arrowheads. Ouch. Maybe I should take up skiing just for the gear. Not.)

Five-ish years ago we had a Snowmageddon similar to this one (the girls bicker over whether it was five or six years ago). I HATED it. Then, Dave holed himself up in our downstairs office and (smartly) made himself scarce on the parenting front. After all, he was working; had the tables been turned, he’d have allowed me the peace and quiet necessary to work while he tended to the kids. This year, Dave is on a business trip on the east coast (whose weather is comparably milder than here! I love Murphy’s Law) and I’m having FUN with the girls. Have they bickered? Uh-huh. Have they whined because I’ve said “Turn off the TV!” more than usual. Uh-huh.

Frozen Fanno Creek at OES

Frozen Fanno Creek at OES

No longer 4 and 6, Hayley and Alyssa can be independent and a downright joy. They made cookies on their own when I took the bus to synagogue on Shabbat to do my part in a bat mitzvah service I’d committed to more than two months ago. They aren’t bitching when I tell them it’s bedtime. They laughed right alongside me while we watched Tom Hanks’ “Big” (from 1983, har!!! … Damn, I’m OLD) and made fun of the permed hair, shoulder pads, and that riotous beluga-gagging scene. They “got” that Tom Hanks was playing a kid — roughly their age — in an adult’s body and with a kid’s sense of the world and love and inanity of business meetings (replete with tell-nothing charts and graphs and droning colleagues).

Hayley's snow angel

Hayley’s snow angel

Still, single-parenting on a snow day means little time for the parent. I thought about this blog post since last Thursday. Its content is nothing revolutionary, but I still wanted to get something new up on francofamille and share pictures that way. But instead of getting my own screen time, throughout yesterday alone I must’ve dried off the dog’s paws at least 50 times; we tried our hands (and butts) at another round of sledding on nearby steep streets; we baked dog biscuits for Alyssa’s upcoming mitzvah project benefiting the Oregon Humane Society (email me separately if you want to know about the program she’s putting together for March 9); I supervised Alyssa baking — and eating too many) chocolate-chip cookies; our laundry got (mainly) done; I ran what felt like 13 loads of dishes; I had dog vomit and kitty poo to clean up (sigh); and there was at least one fight between the girls for me to police, break up and resolve. Did that really take eight hours, you may ask? It truly did.

Alyssa's perfect cookie

Alyssa’s perfect cookie

With school out again tomorrow (today!), we tried putting together an ‘agenda’ for our day, because we all thrive off some structure better than none at all. Hayley insisted on drawing me a scented bath. Alyssa wants to give me a manicure. They agreed to practice their instruments. Well, once all that is completed by 10 a.m., then we’ll be left to ponder how to entertain ourselves and one another until bed time rolls around again. Point is: I used to get really anxious and incredibly frustrated about all that unstructured time that was supposed to have been spent with them at school and me at work. And I no longer do. And they’re having fun. And so am I.

And school will be back in session on Tuesday, right? Right?

Hayley snowboarding on a sled

Hayley snowboarding on a sled

It’s 1 p.m., the time they agreed to take the dog for a walk. Are they still curling in Sochi?


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