Going off the Rails…

Snow days = Fast Track to the Mommy Crazy Train

There is rarely a day that the kids and I don’t leave the house.  So when there was a storm recently, and the preschool that Buddy goes to closed, it didn’t take long for our scene of domestic bliss to degenerate into bedlam.

Typically, on Tuesday and Thursday one of the twins spends the morning in preschool while I stay home with the other two kids.  It breaks up the day well.  But I admit that when I saw preschool closed, my first reaction wasn’t fear.  My first reaction was acceptance.  Okay, it will be nice to stay home all day for once and stay in jammies until bedtime, I thought naïvely. Fear would have been better.

That was at 7am.

By 8:30am the first biting incident had occurred.  Bear, of course, chomped Goose’s arm… I don’t know why.  I didn’t see it.  I suspect that Bear had a toy of hers (that she probably hasn’t played with in weeks) and she snatched it from him… you know… because it’s hers even if she wasn’t playing with it, and he, in turn, made a dental impression in her skin.

I split them up.  Declared time outs.  They went back to playing.

9:25: same scenario plays out with Buddy instead of Goose, same dental impression on a different arm.

Split them up again, declared time outs, only this time I sent them downstairs to the playroom.

9:52am: Buddy is screaming from the playroom.  I run downstairs and see Buddy backed into a corner, still screaming, holding back the charging Bear, whose jaws are gnashing wildly.  Buddy has his thumbs over Bear’s eyes with his palms on bear’s forehead and he is using his whole body weight to keep Bear from actually making contact.

I pick up rabid flailing Bear.  I ask what happened.  I get no satisfactory answers.  I decide not to interrogate them; I’m too tired already and it’s not even 10am.  I opt instead to carry the freak-out baby upstairs and leave Buddy and Goose to play alone…. that was the most peaceful 45 minutes of my day.  Bear, without siblings to compete with, played independently with his toys.  Buddy and Goose played together so nicely and so quietly in the downstairs playroom that I was certain they must be playing with matches or something treacherous, but I didn’t dare go down to see for fear of disrupting whatever thread of peace there was in the house at that moment.

When I called them upstairs for lunch, I peered down the stairs  not sure what I’d find, but they were actually playing together all friendly-like.  It was very sweet.

Of course, it was followed by fighting over lunch, and refusals of naps until mommy lost it completely….

“You will take naps.  I don’t want to hear another sound or you will be in big big trouble. Am I clear?  Mommy needs a nap!  One more sound and you’re toast!”  Because idle threats are always useful.

5 minutes later, heard over the monitor: “Buddy, you better stop talking or else you’re gonna be in big big trouble on a toast!”


They did eventually go to sleep.  I did get a short, much-needed, nap.

The afternoon looked much like the morning had, but was marginally easier to deal with given my short rest.  At the end of the day, all I could think was, “Hurry spring!” and “Thank goodness they have school tomorrow!” because if my kids tried to script me through one more scenario about I don’ t know what, I would have absolutely lost my mind.

“Mommy, you are the museum lady.  Say: ‘Would you like a ticket to the museum?’ Say that.  Say that, mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy. Mommy.  Say that.  Say: ‘Would you like a ticket to the museum?’ Mommy? MOMMY!”

So again, I say, “Hurry spring!”

This mommy can’t handle another snow day.


  1. It’s usually that odd child out causing problems. Stephanie can be a total angel on her own most of the time. Get her in a room with her sisters and she is the best big sister ever…until she turns on a dime and becomes a little devil child – very unpredictable. Katie and Julia usually play very well together.

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