The red alert button stares up at you from the screen, taunting you. The forecasted snow fall warning doesn't bother you. Neither does the high winds that promise near zero visibility. Piles of the fluffy white stuff can drift halfway up your front door and it won't matter when there are two little words that scare you most of all:
The kids are already tearing around the house like it's a full moon and they've just drop loaded ten pounds of sugar into their system. All their friends and teachers were talking about it at school that afternoon and the impending day off has turned your children from happy, chattering balls of laughter to maniacal hyenas who've just scented weakness. Yours.
They're putting on their pj's backwards and inside out (or some weird variation of it) to honor some snow day deity in hopes it will increase the odds of No School. It seems like overkill to you in light of the blizzard warning, but deep down you're hoping their efforts will backfire and the snow storm boring down on you will somehow change course.
You try to reconcile yourself to your fate. You won't be getting much work done.
Any other school morning you practically have to peel your kids out of bed as they grumble about sleeping in, but while you're thinking about turning off the alarm and staying tucked in bed a little longer, their Snow Day alarm has already been flipped and there is no snooze button.
Breakfast isn't so bad. They're talking a mile a minute but you stubbornly cling to the hope that it will be just like a Saturday. Maybe working with all the kids in the house won't be such a challenge.
By lunch they've re-enacted every lightsaber scene from Star Wars, had princess tea parties where you've wondered what's in the imaginary water, built three blanket forts, drained the battery on their Nintendo DS's and tablets and had their own Super Mario Bros adventure. You weren't overly fond of being cast as Bowser.
They're quieter when it's time to eat again. You want to take that as a good sign, praying for a calmer afternoon, but you have a feeling they're just recharging their batteries.
Sometimes it sucks to be right.
More Lego, Beyblade, Barbie and Nerf games commence. Movie time suddenly sounds better than a glass of wine but they'd sooner be tossed out in a blizzard.
By mid-afternoon you've had all the "I am your father", "I love my dream house, Ken" and "Let it Rip" that you can stand. You've written exactly three words on your latest book: Snow. Day. Hell.
You break up three arguments over Mine Craft and who has the coolest house, kiss a few booboos from unruly lightsabers, and discover that you're not even safe in the bathroom. You only feel a little guilty when you glance outside. You can barely see the houses across the street, but if you had a rope long enough to tether them together you'd contemplate sending them outside to play.
Supper hour rolls and it's still snowing outside but the house is finally quiet. A movie is on and the kids are played out. One of them may have even fallen asleep and all it took was a coloring competition, playdough wars, the Taj Mahal of blanket forts (if you don't say so yourself) and a dozen rounds of hide seek (you still can't believe you squeezed yourself into some of those places).
The house looks like a kid's bedroom on meth and somehow you're right in the middle of it. Someone has to tidy up, but you've just survived another Snow Day.
This calls for a glass of wine. :)