Have The Ultimate Snow Day Party
One mom shares the art of the perfect snow day as part of the Care.com Interview Series.
When it comes to fun snow days, Jodi Call has it down to an art form. Somewhere between a lazy day and a snow carnival dance party, the blogger of Pistols and Popcorn can make the most of any snow day, and admits that just one is just not enough for her and her family to pack in all the fun. With a mirror ball set up in the corner ready for a spontaneous dance party, a husband who can make a meal out of Pepsi and Cheetos, and plenty of things dipped in chocolate, who wouldn't want to spend a few snow days with this mom?
Tell us about your family.
There are five of us. We rotate the role of "kid" as the situation dictates. For instance, my nine-year-old son, who sports long blonde hair and a wicked fashion sense, constantly chastises me for swearing. He is a rule follower. But he also hopes to be seen as dark and mysterious. (Too bad about that angel face.) My other two sons, both age two, are twins. Smith is mischievous, with a personality that could fill two stadiums and a roller rink. He is part imp, part elf. Sheppard has a big round belly that begs to be "shlerberted." He is quick to put things away, turn off lights, close doors, and kiss injuries. My husband and I share a brain and annoy all the children by kissing in front of them.
You see the school name appear on the closing list. What is the general reaction?
Party hats all around. I love having the family locked in, and if it's a special occasion, we try to keep that vibe going all day. There will be a lot of cooking of unhealthy but delicious food, and far too much TV watched.
Kids have their own rituals for snow days, such as backwards pajamas. Do your kids have any unusual rituals of their own? Do you have any snow day (or anti-snow day!) rituals?
No rituals, per se. But there is the expectation that pajamas will be worn past noon, unless an igloo is begging to be built outside.
If your kids had their way, what is their idea of the ideal snow day? How does this compare to yours?
I'm pretty sure our feelings are aligned in this matter. An ideal snow day would be followed by another snow day. These things have to come in twos, otherwise there's too many fun things to do stacked in one day. It's hard to get our favorite marathon relaxation session on if we also are pulled by the desire to build snowmen, throw snow balls, and trash the kitchen by dipping everything in melted chocolate.
How do you manage your daily routine when the kids stay home? Do you ever hire back up care?
Never. I'm lucky enough to have my schedule free enough to bend and twist to these events. If I need backup, I try to reach out to friends who can help.
Whether it's a snow day or just a cold winter weekend, what are some of your go-to activities?
Cooking with the children is really fun. It's not always successful (my son's favorite creation was egg-nog macaroni and cheese, colored with green food coloring. No, really.), but it is always interesting. The younger boys are usually happy building forts with couch cushions, or inflating the aero-bed and creating a slide. There is always music on, and my husband installed a mirror ball in the corner, so a dance party is just a flick of the light switch away.
Do you consider putting kids to work shoveling or helping out around the house on unexpected days off child labor or unusual cruelty? Would they? Has this issue ever come up in your household?
My twin two-year-olds absolutely love shoveling outside. They have mini-snow shovels. I wouldn't go so far as to call them helpful, but they do enjoy the process. My older son has learned the art of the trade, and understands that the more he helps, the more inclined we are to help him back.
The snow is building up outside, the roads are getting icy and you realize you forgot to go to the grocery store. How do you deal with a house full of hungry bellies with limited resources?
There's a corner bodega we can always get food from. If we were snowed in with little food, I'd put my husband on it. He has the type of magic that can make a meal out of Cheetos and Pepsi.
Do you and your family have a favorite snow day meal?
Homemade pizza, with homemade kettle corn. Always under a blanket, watching a movie together.
What's your BEST tip for other parents on how to make the most of snow days with kids?
Let the cleaning and organizing go. Remember that these are the days legends are made of. A fifteen-minute family snowball fight can be talked about for years. The things that are fun for kids can actually be fun for the parents too, if they can find a ways to throw themselves into it. If all else fails, it's ok on a snow day to open a bottle of wine at noon.
Jodi Call is the award-winning writer behind the popular blog, Pistols and Popcorn. Call has traveled the world and taken on many different titles, from an English teacher in Seoul to a Muay Thai Kickboxing Instructor in New York. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and three boys. Find Jodi on Twitter.
For more helpful tips, check out the Care.com Interview Series: Surviving Snow Days/Sick Days with Your Kids.
Photo used with permission from Jodi Call.