This week’s blog post is by WDP co-host Matt Rocco, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with Professor Foster ( his “Brown Mom” wife), and their daughter Viva who just wants to know what was up with the shark on the left.
This week, in an effort to remind us why we call a realtor in San Diego every winter, Mother Nature dropped 500 feet of snow onto Chicago inside of 15 minutes. While citizens used their key fobs as avalanche rescue beepers to locate their buried cars and collected dining room furniture to place in shoveled spots, schools announced closings. It wasn’t the first snow/cold day of the winter, and doubtful it will be the last.
When schools do close, after the scramble to get out of work is finished, the real challenge begins; how to keep the little ones occupied? Because lists beat thought every time on the Internet, here are 10 tried and true enterprises for your child that my daughter enjoys whenever we’re snowed in:
Get snow between sleeve and mitten, lose mind
Why not go out and enjoy the snow? And once you’ve put on the snow gear and gone outside, make sure to reach into a drift, gets several snowflakes on your skin, and then explodes into screams and tears. It’s a winter tradition!
Dump out every toy you own. Play with none of them
Time to go back inside. Which toy to take out? Why not all of them?! Especially the Legos, board games and anything with small parts! Thoughtfully spread the tiny pieces around the carpet into fascinating shapes like a snow day sand mandala!
Find new foods to dislike
Tired of refusing to eat eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, waffles, pancakes, fruit, cereal, juice, milk, lunch, and dinner? I’m sure there’s still something in the fridge or cupboard you can find a way to reject! Ask to eat anything and everything, then spit it out! Expand your horizons!
Contemplate uncomfortable topics
Since Mommy or Daddy are a captive audience, why not ask about the real things you’ve been wondering about, such as: Where does the pee come out on the opposite gender? How do babies get inside Mommies? Where is the kitty we used to own? Where is Grandma’s Grandma? What is global warming and what are you doing to stop it? Real talk.
Dance like no one is watching. Demand everyone watch.
Your parents need culture – have a dance recital and don’t ever let it end. They have nothing else to do today.
Unfold the laundry
It looks better that way.
Play-Doh belongs in tiny bits on the carpet – it is the will of its maker. And don’t allow it to remain one color, either – that would make it sad. How long does it take this stuff to dry out? Hide samples in various locations until you know.
Shout un-followable orders while simultaneously obeying no one
“Daddy, jump up and down! No, not like that, like this! No, hands up! Not both hands – one hand! Sing! Not that song! You’re doing it wrong! Why can’t you follow directions, old man?! What? You want me to drink some juice? Why are you always bossing me around?”
Have an accident
Nothing warms the soul, and the thighs, on a cold day like pants soaked with urine. Sure, you’ve been potty trained for a year, but it’s far more interesting to continue playing with cars than to stop to use the bathroom. Nice wet pants are like a spa treatment you can give yourself.
Slam your face into an end table
There’s no better time to split your head open than weekends and when blizzards are coming down. Let your parents ask one another the questions that stimulate them the most:
Will these butterfly Band-Aids do it, or do you need stitches?
How bad is it to have a scar, anyway? Doesn’t it build character?
Are we really going to absorb another emergency room copay this month?
Should we let her take a nap, or do you think she has a concussion?
How do we get blood out of a duvet?
There you have it – 10 toddler favorites for the next snow day, which I’m sure is coming just as soon as you collect your milk crates from the parkway.
If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe to the WDP podcast (One of Podbean’s 10 most downloaded Parenting Podcasts worldwide and an iTunes staff pick for best Parenting humor) for free on iTunes, or listen at whitedadproblems.com. (Do note that the show has a potty mouth and is definitely for Over 17 Only.)