First, wake up and remember that it is a snow day. Promptly fall back asleep for five minutes until your three year-old wakes up. Tell him that it’s a snow day which means that everyone should sleep in for at least another hour. Watch as he fails to return to a quiet slumber but instead insists on starting his and your day.
After the six year-old is also awake, make breakfast, preferably something warm like pancakes or oatmeal or s’mores, and then tell the kids to watch the snow fall outside. Make a cup of coffee and hear them remark that they’re bored, so remind them that every snowflake is different and therefore watching snow should never be boring because it changes all the time. After they inform you that watching the snow fall can in fact be really really boring, tell them they can play with their toys. Twenty minutes later find every such toy they ever owned, as well as some you worry they might have filched from a friend’s house because you don’t even recognize them, strewn all over the family room. Inform your children you’re all going to play the clean-up game and the getting dressed game. Soon realize they have started their own game called quickly run away to another room. Drink another cup of coffee before spending a good twenty to thirty minutes explaining why they should still get dressed on a snow day, when it’s pointed out that you are still in your pajamas. Realize how wonderfully nice wearing pajamas in the middle of the morning feels and tell them they just need to brush their teeth.
Make another cup of coffee and feel a burst of inspiration. Art project time! Take out the crayons, scissors, glue, glitter and paper and tell the kids you’re going to make Valentine’s day cards early this year. Spread the materials out and watch as they both grab for the glue stick. Declare that there’s another glue stick around here somewhere and go search. By the time you return, the glitter is no longer in the glitter bottle and the crayons have colored the table as well as the papers. Stay open-mouthed as they declare they don’t want to make cards anymore and are bored. Tell them it’s time to make cards or time to clean up the family room. Watch as they play their quickly run to another room game. Admit they are getting really good at it.
Clean the art supplies up and while you’re at it you might as well clean the family room because as least it’s exercise, right? Reward yourself by sneaking a cookie from the pantry at which time both kids decide to materialize with their hands out. Ask them if they want to bake some cookies. They do! Just after they have some pre-made ones first. Make them a snack while you make yourself a cup of coffee.
Take out all of the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and then realize you are short two eggs. You have many nice neighbors who are normally a two-second walk away but on a snow day they might as well be in another county. Sigh and tell your kids you just won’t be able to make cookies. Be amazed when they are okay with the news until the five year-old says they can just eat more of the cookies in the pantry.
When they request the television be turned on, rack your brains for activities. Want to read books? No, that’s special for bedtime. Want to make puzzles? Maybe later. Want to build with legos or lincoln logs or magna tiles? Mommy, we just want TV.
Bundle them up in blankets and put on a DVD of The Incredibles. Watch them be happy and content and quiet.
Oh, was this called ‘How to spend a snow day with kids without watching TV?’ Yes, well, I never did quite figure that out but if you happen to know I’d be happy to hear all about it. Just after I make one more cup of coffee…