Chicago dad takes on Frosty the Snowman

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 non-white, non-dad wife), their daughter Viva, Chicago’s classiest snowman, and high blood pressure.

Daddy’s Journal: Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Snowman Cometh

Today, 2-year-old Viva and I are going to build her first snowman! I’m don’t recall exactly the last time I built a snowman, but I don’t think I was much older than her, and I’m pretty sure the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was under siege. This will be a perfect traditional snowman: top hat, scarf, carrot, coal, the whole schmear!

10:00 a.m.: Helping Viva put on her new snow pants, her new boots, her scarf, her hat, and her waterproof gloves.

10:10 a.m.: Chasing Viva down the hall holding her scarf, hat, waterproof gloves, and one of her new boots. Just remembered I forgot the top hat I was going to put on the snowman at my office.

10:20 a.m.: Snow pants, coat, scarf, hat and other boot are finally on Viva. First boot is back off, haven’t seen the waterproof gloves since 10:15.

10:30 a.m.: Playing in the snow. Is this the coldest December anywhere ever? Viva is begging me to make “snowballs for her snowman like Frosty” – this stuff won’t pack. How do you make a snowman again?

10:40 a.m.: Why don’t I have my own snow pants? Viva won’t stop throwing snow at me and asking, “When will the snowman will be tall?” Snow starting to pack, probably from the moisture of my tears.

10:50 a.m.: Don’t you roll snowballs around to make a snowman? That’s what they do in Calvin and Hobbes anyway. I’m kneeling in the snow smooshing it into piles. Passersby ask what we’re doing. Viva replies, “we’re building a snowman like Frosty.” Mostly we’re freezing the skin off Daddy’s legs.

11:10 a.m.: The snowman parts are completed, and he will stand a head and a half taller than Viva, with garden stakes as an endoskeleton! Asked Viva what she thinks: “I want to go upstairs and watch Jake [and the Neverland Pirates].”

11:20 a.m.: Trying to mix it up for Viva by bringing her to Dominick’s to buy a carrot for the snowman’s nose and some coal. Chose the perfect package of carrots – fat with pointy ends – this is going to be the perfect traditional snowman. Forgot the Dominick’s is closing, only one perfect package of carrots left.

11:25 a.m.: Grocery stores don’t seem to sell coal. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many people in here.

11:30 a.m.: In line to buy these damned carrots. This Dominick’s is a madhouse with people trying to buy up the last of the groceries before it goes out of business. Everyone has multiple heaping carts. We have one bag of carrots.

11:35 a.m.: Still in line. The sign says 15 items or less in the self-checkouts, you illiterate wretches! I HAVE ONE BAG OF CARROTS! This Dominick’s is as close to World War Z as I ever want to be. Viva wants down from the cart.

11:38 a.m.: Viva dropped the carrots. The tips all broke off.

11:40 a.m.: Carrots aren’t listed in the self-checkout computer. Leaving the carrots in the cart and walking out. Viva, like almost every person in the Dominick’s, is screaming.

11:50 a.m.: At the yarn boutique. The sales lady is letting Viva pick out vintage buttons to put on our snowman.

12:00 p.m.: I have $5 in buttons and I’m carrying $3 in cash. It is rude to use a credit card for purchases under $10 in a mom and pop store, so Viva is picking out a handmade ornament to push up our bill.

12:05 p.m.: I just spent $15 on 10 buttons.

12:15 p.m.: Trying to stack the snowman. Passersby are delighted. Viva is asking to go upstairs and see Mommy. I tell her we are almost through and to sort the buttons.

12:16 p.m.: You can’t sort buttons in mittens. Viva wants Mommy.

12:20 p.m.: Snowman is standing! Found the perfect sticks for arms! Calling Mommy from cellphone and asking her to bring an old fedora, a scarf, and a snack for Viva, who is hitting the buttons with the sticks.

12:21 p.m.: Viva saw my phone and is now screaming to watch Jake [and the Neverland Pirates] on my Disney app. Where is Mommy with that stuff?

12:22 p.m.: Calling Mommy again — she tells me it’s only been two minutes since I called. Viva is running towards the front door. “I don’t want to build a snowman! I don’t like him!” Buttons are everywhere.

12:25 p.m.: Mommy came and got Viva, brought me a dumb baby carrot for the nose. Daddy is alone putting in the yard putting vintage buttons on a snowman. Passersby are creeped out.

12: 35 p.m.: Upstairs again. My legs burn and my fingers are numb. Think I pulled a muscle in my shoulder carrying the baby back from Dominick’s. Viva and Mommy are eating lunch. “Mommy is my best friend that I ever saw,” says Viva.

1:30 p.m.: Brought Viva out to see the snowman “we” built. She gives him a hug. “I like my snowman, Daddy. He is wearing your hat. He’s so funny.”

When Viva makes a snowman with her child in 35 years, I look forward to watching from the window.

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