Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Parenting in a Polar Vortex

I live in the tundra.

I am not kidding. During a normal winter, Minneapolis is a barely inhabitable throwback to mammoth-infested ice ages of eras past. In this—the year of multiple polar vortexes (vortices?)—Minneapolis is nothing short of hell on earth. If hell, you know, froze over and became a snowy, icy, land of biting wind and shoveling-induced back pain and pizza rolls for lunch because it is too damn cold to go out and get real food.

In short, we’re suffering here, people.

It takes a village to raise children, and my village is currently nursing a severe case of frostbite. We are in the midst of our 5th school closure day this winter for extreme cold, and this is how we are coping:

You can almost see their little brains turning to mush! These children need to be in school. We desperately need the public school system to instill a good work ethic and a love of learning in our children. Left in my care, drool is starting to form at the corners of their cute little mouths. Their eyes are glassing over and their poor pointer fingers are succumbing to cramps typically associated with 90-year-old arthritics rather than seven-year old Minecraft junkies.

Take them to the zoo, people say. Take them to a museum, friends muse. Make them read a book, strangers advise.

Zoology. Art. Literature.

These are all noble pursuits. That is, these are all reasonable pursuits were one to reside in heaven. Or even on Earth. But in hell?

Despite our descent into hell, Mom and Momma still have to work. There is no time for Zoology and Art and Literature when both moms work a 40-hour week. These people are supposed to be in school, remember?

Parenting in Minneapolis in the midst of a polar vortex looks a little something like this:

• Netflix. Round the clock. Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn’t really that inappropriate, is it?

• Asinine YouTube videos of fruit that insults people. And cute puppies. Lots of cute puppies.

• Sitting in silence while we stare intently at little blinking dots on individual 7-inch screens.

• Trying to schedule meals for children who are “not hungry” because their parents are too lazy/put upon to curb their round the clock ingestion of sugary snacks the parents have managed to convince themselves are an acceptable cure for pre-pubescent boredom. (Also known as If-You-Can-Reach-It-Yourself-You-Can-Eat-It Syndrome.)

• “Sure, wear your pajamas all day!” Logic would dictate wearing pajamas every day would result in less laundry, but laundry somehow defies the laws of physics and the natural order of the universe. Weird.

• “They haven’t been outside, so do they really need a bath this week?”

• “No, you don’t need to comb your hair. We’re not going anywhere."

• “Yes, you still need to brush your teeth despite getting a pass on all other forms of personal hygiene. If your teeth rot, mommy will have to explain to the dentist why I thought cupcakes were an appropriate breakfast food. Mommy really doesn’t want to have that conversation.”

• “We really need to think about buying more pillows and blankets for the living room.”

• “Oh, Nicky, where have you been for the last three hours?”

It’s not pretty, people. It’s not pretty at all. Let’s say a collective prayer that Minneapolis Public Schools are open tomorrow. If not, my children may end up being beyond all hope of reasonable rehabilitation.


Anonymous said...

At least they have to make up the days so they will go into summertime. Then have to back at school before you know it. How about some family games like hangman where they have to spell and think of words using a dictionary. How about a mammoth project of cleaning rooms and basement or going through toys that don't play with. How about a cooking show and you have to make what they are making. Using flashcards to learn math or anything else. If all else fails, just give into naps and throwing food and making a general mess while Moms drink.

Ash Litton said...

Vortices. Definitely vortices.

And I'm sorta in the same boat, so I can sympathize. Except mine's more being in the middle of a polar vortex with contaminated water (yay for living in West Virginia).

I guess if all else fails -- board games? :)

Post a Comment