Despite years of trying, I have never successfully conveyed the
level of despair I feel in relation to winter. Friends tend to
counter with things like:
"Oh, but skiing is fun!"
"I really love making snowmen with the children - SO
"There's nothing better than a delicious cup of hot cocoa after
some moonlight shoveling."
And my standard response?
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE??
Do your children magically agree to wear the 15 layers of
clothing needed to brave sub-zero temperatures? Do you have a thing
for scraping ice off your minivan at the crack of dawn? Does your
personal body temperature run so hot that you are impervious to
Or are you secretly Iceman from "Spiderman and His Amazing
I'm with Robert Frost on this one, and I hold with those who
favor fire over ice. The cold freezes my passion for critical
things. Important things. Things like showering, moving, and
getting out of bed. Yet the Chicago Public Schools made sure I did
in fact get out of bed when they called at 6 a.m. to remind me that
there wasn't any school (on the off-off chance I missed the 15
earlier communications). The Catholic school my two oldest boys
attend dispatched far fewer reminders, subscribing to the theory
that if you don't pay attention, you pay the eternal
I prefer that old school stuff. Keeps me on my toes.
So for the second time this season, I had all three boys home
because it was very, very cold outside.
Naturally, we headed out.
One wicked case of cabin fever rendered my family slightly
delirious and with an overwhelming urge to seek out other
survivors. We attended the kids' Chicago Park District volleyball
and swimming classes. We trekked it over to the orthodontist's
office for our scheduled appointment. We hit the post office, bank,
and grocery store as I was desperate to secure vital survival goods
(namely wine and Forever stamps).
It was so bad that by Day #2, we did the unthinkable.
No. Not cannibalism.
We went to Chuck E. freaking Cheese's.
And for a mere 7,000 tickets, my kids got a whistle.
The boys are finally back in school today, so I have made some
They involve one gray Snuggie, a bottle of red wine, and a
staunch refusal to ever answer another phone call from the Chicago
But if I need anything else?
I have a whistle.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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