The Phases of a Snow Day…

spirit fingers

There is supposed to be a big snowstorm this weekend! I’m super psyched! (I’m totally doing spirit fingers right now…) To me there is nothing better than the first big storm of the season. And even though I know that snow days go from awesome sauce to shit show pretty rapidly, I still can’t help loving them.

Here are the 12 phases of a snow day. (Yes, 12… So clear your schedule, find a comfortable reading spot, and let’s get started.)


Phase I starts out magical. It snowed! Look outside! They said it was going to snow, and it did! How much snow do you think we have? 5 inches? 6 inches? Someone get the ruler and let’s measure. This is so fun! (Insert merry talk of snow forts and snow tunnels and snow angels.) Let’s go get all our snow stuff on! Let’s spend the whole day outside! Phase I is awesome. I’m still doing spirit fingers in Phase I.


Where are my boots?! She’s wearing my hat! Why are there no matching gloves? (Seriously, where the hell are all the gloves? Where did they go? They were here yesterday when we didn’t need them. Where are they now?)  Can we have hot chocolate when we come in? Don’t go out without me!! Then hurry up!! I can’t get my boots on! I can’t find my other boots so I’m wearing my sneakers outside. (Fine. Five minutes ago I would have said no way, but things have gone rapidly downhill, so now I’m saying fine. Fine.) Let’s have a snowball fight! Yes!!! (No!!) Boys against girls! (No!!) Fight to the death!! (oh, hell no!!) Phase II begins the descent. But they are so excited that I can’t help doing spirit fingers still with one hand.


There are no spirit fingers in phase III. Phase III starts with a snow covered child busting thru the back door (even though I told them to use the side door) crying because someone threw a snowball at her. ON PURPOSE. A quick reminder yelled outside that not everyone wants to be part of the epic snowball fight (i.e. stop throwing snow at your sister who is just trying to build a little snow castle for her barbie doll to live in), a quick reminder to the crying child that if she doesn’t want to be part of the snowball fight she shouldn’t be building her castle in the MIDDLE OF THE SNOWBALL FIGHT AREA. And off she goes leaving a huge watery snowy puddle in her wake. Phase III is when I remember that a snowy day means I’m going to need a gazillion towels to mop up the floor constantly. Phase III has me searching for towels.


Snow is cold. Real cold. And everyone is freezing. And someone thinks they may have frostbite. And everyone wants to come in. And suddenly there are snow covered hats, and gloves, and snow pants, and boots, and scarfs, and jackets EVERYWHERE (except on the towels that I so loving laid out.) The door is left open behind them as the mass undressing occurs. The arctic air is blowing in. The “one who cries” is crying again. But wait, where is the 4-year-old? She’s outside, she doesn’t want to come in yet. She can’t stay out by herself, and no one is willing to suit back up to go out with her. Phase IV has me wrapped in a blanket, freezing to death while I sit on the front porch and keep an eye on my 4-year-old daughter (who has long since discarded  her hat and her coat and is merrily frolicking in the snow as if snow is, in fact, not cold at all.)


We’re finally all in the house. The wet snow clothes are in the dryer. Everyone is snuggled on the couch drinking hot chocolate. I’m making them lunch. They are happy. (I’d be happy, too if someone were waiting on me hand and foot.) Life is good for them. On the other hand, I’ve been up since 5 am. I haven’t sat down once. I had potato chips for breakfast. I’m still wearing my pajamas because I haven’t had a chance to change out of them yet. My hair is standing on end, yesterday’s mascara is smudged under my eyes,  and every time I put on a dry pair of socks I step in a puddle of wet snow that someone didn’t mop up. Suddenly I overhear murmured talk from the other room about going outside again. I start searching the cabinets for alcohol. (Don’t we have anything stronger than wine in this house?!)


The next phases are just a repeat of all the previous phases (except the first phase where I was still doing spirit fingers. There are no spirit fingers in the later phases.) There are kids suiting up, going out, coming in, tracking snow everywhere, crying, laughing, fighting, and claiming frostbite and starvation. Repeat, repeat, repeat.


Phase XI has me curled up in the fetal position in the corner of the room with my phone in my hand as I frantically and obsessively check the weather report for the coming days. I only stop checking long enough to do two things: pray the rosary and ask God for a sudden and quick, snow-melting warm up, and refill my glass.


I have no actual proof that phase XII really exists. But I’m pretty sure it does, and I’m pretty sure it involves magical amnesia powder being sprinkled on me by mother nature while I slumber. Because even though I have been through these eleven stages of snow storm hell (and believe me, I’ve been through them a LOT at this point) I still can’t help but be weirdly excited every time there is talk of a big snow storm coming. And I can’t stop the spirit fingers when I see all the snow first thing in the morning. I just can’t.



2 thoughts on “The Phases of a Snow Day…

  1. I hate those wet socks too after the third pair you just want to scream …. Happy snow day… We have not had school thursday friday and now are all home with 26 inches of snow in the driveway… cant wait until it all melts.


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