Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I might be defining new levels of irresponsible parenting

Let's review our most recent weather pattern:
Wednesday - 68 degrees, sunny
Thursday - 63 degrees, sunny
Friday - 28 degrees, winter storm warning (up to a foot of new snow)
Saturday - 45 degrees, blindingly sunny
Sunday - 60s, sunny, lovely family walk afternoon
Monday - 60s, sunny, wonderful first-day-of-spring-break
Tuesday - high of 42, a winter storm warning was in effect

See that right there: winter storm warning. I hereby declare that if it is the month of March and if there is even the SLIGHTEST chance of a snow storm, I will not take my children out of the house. Because this same thing happened last year. I don't know what my problem is. I am, generally, a smart girl. I may not have a degree in meteorology, but you'd think that years of checking the news would have prepared me for this. It seems that when I hear "winter storm warning" my brain churns out, "This would be a great time for a family excursion!" Last year it was Monkey Business with the kids (and I managed to rope in several friends who I can safely say will never go to Monkey Business with me in March ever again), only back then I had my children dressed for the potential weather downturn.

This year... Well let's just remember that Tuesday has been our traditional "pool night." Let's also be grateful that they have super warm fleece robes I made them for Christmas. Also, that's where the grateful ends.

So there we were, walking into the rec center in our flip flops with the rain just turning to an icy huge-flaked snow (cue irresponsible parenting tallies) and I'm thinking, "Huh. This will be interesting." And in we go, comforted by the warmth of the indoor pool. Gemma loved the lazy river and after about 45 minutes there, we headed to the family hot tub (so named because it is kept at a warm, but not HOT, temp for families. I try not to think about what some tiny members of these families might be doing in there since even I feel an alarming relaxation within me). There we were, having a lovely warm time when I dared Donovan to jump into one of the other pools, known as the "cold pool" in our family. He wasn't about to until I told him I'd give him a quarter (tally!) if he did it. He couldn't resist.

Sidenote: he has been in this pool countless times. He can STAND in it. Also, the kid can SWIM. These are all the factors I took into consideration before throwing out the bet.

He jumped in, and I laughed. His head popped up and I gave him a thumbs up. Then his arms started flapping and his face looked a little stricken. I figured it was a wee bit colder than he had imagined. He started to squawk. I yell (I'm about 10 yards away), "SWIM!" He squawks some more and starts calling for help. "SWIM TO THE WALL!" I say, as I begin to stand up from my comfortably warm pool. He was MAYBE 2 feet from the wall, for crying out loud (which, actually, he was now doing).

It's right about this point that I have two thoughts: A) He's FINE, but I'll go over and fish him out, and B) The lifeguards and parents might actually be concerned - I should definitely fish him out (tally!). And that's when I saw the lifeguard from across the way leap into the water and seriously throw him out of the pool into my arms.

There Donovan stood, sputtering. There I stood, embarrassed but grateful to the lifeguard, but irritated with Donovan (tally!). They had to fill out a freaking report about it. Because he panicked and did bother to just STAND. Or, geez, SWIM.

But it was probably a good thing because soon after I decided we'd shower, pajama up, and head home, rather than stay another 30-45 minutes. As we prepared to walk out the front doors, I saw someone out in front shoveling in front of the entrance. "Huh," I thought, "That looks like a lot of snow." I had a flicker of a thought that maybe I should go get the car and come back for the kids, seeing as how we were wearing FLIP FLOPS, but I shrugged it off, say, "It will be an adventure!" and thought we'd be fine. (spoiler: we're fine)

But two steps into the parking lot I realized that I'm an idiot. See, if some dude is shoveling the walkway of several inches of snow, chances are he isn't the first person to have cleared snow. And if a storm came in quickly, nobody is shoveling the parking lot. And now I have two of my kids, as well as myself, trudging the 100 feet to our car through 5 inches of snow. IN FLIP FLOPS. (tally!tally!tally!tally!tally!tally!tally!)

The usual 5-minute drive home took more like 15 as people were driving vvvveeeerrrrryyyy slowly and still sliding all over the place. I'm pretty sure they ALL had better footwear. Oh, and once I was in the car I realized my driver-side window was crusted over in ice because when I rolled down my window, it just stuck there. And, of course, in my attempt to knock it out, it actually all landed in my lap. Where it melted on the way home, leaving me sitting in a small puddle. Idiot.

We arrived in our driveway only to see that we could not make it up. A quick phone call to Joel who came out to shovel a couple tracks for us while I circled the neighborhood (stay in one place and you'll get stuck, see) and then we pulled into the garage.

"It WAS an adventure!" the kids declared. Yeah. Well. I'm done with adventures.

 So I'll close with some pictures of Saturday when we went sledding for an hour and a half and we ended up stripping down to just plain shirts because it was so lovely. Gemma would get upset if someone went down without her. The kids had a great time. I started by telling Donovan to be the cape to my superhero. It was a good-mom day. I hope it makes up for today.


Sarah Burgoyne said...

As soon as I saw the title of your post I new what you were blogging about and boy did it make me laugh. It's funny I thought about you more then once last night while watching the saw built up. I though, "wow, Sarah's brave to bring the kids to the pool in this snow. Boy am I glad I'm staying in tonight. Wasn't she wearing flip flops when I saw her at the Mack's?" Aren't you glad Joel was home to clear a path in the driveway? :)

laura said...

Haha, I love that first pic of you and Gemma on the sled. Looks like a lot of fun, despite the later be-flip-flopped shenanigans. Also, I see you finally got "The Help"! I was thinking I should send it to you. I'm currently waiting for a single person to return "Nefertiti" to my library...

Gill Family said...

hahahahaha oh sarah--you make me smile! well, yeah, this is colorado. (just wait, pretty sure you'll be peeling clothes off again trying to cool off from the wicked sun tomorrow.) ahhh motherhood, such fun!