5 a.m. Dec. 6: Dreaded phone call from automated education facility phone system confirming that, indeed, the White Death is upon us and school will not be in session. Goofy snow day rituals — a spoon under the pillow, and pajamas worn inside-out — seem to have worked. Alarm clock dismantled. Phone lost (thrown?) somewhere on floor.
7:30 a.m.: Children wake from their slumber. Pounding feet hit the floor; rushing first to look out the windows, then to come racing into Parental Unit Command Center and ask, “DO WE HAVE SCHOOL TODAY? IT’S SNOWING!” All hope for a morning power nap is now lost.
8 a.m.: Children begin to show signs of needing nourishment, begin making demands for food. No requests are the same: cereal, pancakes, bacon. Bacon wins.
8:30 a.m.: Snow day excitement continues. Children continue to look out windows and ask, “How long is it going to snow for?” and “Will we have school Monday?”
9 a.m.: Some sort of unusual bonding is occurring. Children have all disappeared into lower level of Headquarters. No sounds of screaming, yelling, tattling or violence being detected.
10 a.m.: Cooperative playtime continues. Parental Units remain perplexed.
11 a.m.: First signs of a disagreement become evident. Smallest child can’t control urge to initiate conflicts between sibling units. Patience is beginning to wane.
Noon: Eldest child decided sibling conflict is irritating and left. Secondary parental unit also suddenly unavailable, leaving Mom in charge. Nerves are starting to twitch.
1 p.m.: More nourishment was required resulting in children bouncing off the walls of headquarters. Children are being urged to go outside into the sideways-falling snow. There appears to be a hearing malfunction.
1:30 p.m.: Children finally understand request (command) to move outdoors. Begin the process of digging out coats, gloves, hats, snow boots and thermal underwear.
2 p.m.: Still looking for gloves.
2:15 p.m.: Children sent outside, each with two left-hand mittens and instructions not to eat yellow snow.
2:16 p.m.: Informed that sleds are missing; request for Mom to look in the shed.
2:30 p.m.: Mom still looking for her gloves. Might have been some inappropriate words quietly uttered; children sweating through snowsuits while waiting inside.
2:40 p.m.: Sleds located, children now making path down hill at Memaw’s house.
3 p.m.: Cold children have returned. Winter attire is strewn about. Socks are soaked from stepping in puddles of melted snow. Hot chocolate with Christmas marshmallows is served, and only two hours until it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.