Snow Day

Snowmageddon 2018

The last few days have given us the gift of togetherness. We have no option because we are snowed in. On Friday a winter storm dumped an inch of sleet and four inches of snow. All of that came on the heels of an inch of rain which made preparations, like salting, impossible. Typically, a southern snow will be gone in a couple of days because we live on the boundary of the battle between the Arctic Vortex and the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve seen many days where a six inch snow in the morning is melted by a seventy degree heat wave that afternoon. Not this time.

The oldest two children went to Mamaw’s house on Thursday night. They planned on helping with the farm animals and getting an early start on the snow day. The sunshine after the snow has done very little to melt things thus far. We are going on day three and our road is a solid sheet of ice.

Day One:

My Facebook feed is full of bad driver and icy pileup compilations. This was one of my favorites.


Everyone becomes an expert driver. So many people get out for stupid reasons and end up in the ditch. Lots of people drive for perfectly reasonable reasons and also end up in the ditch. We decided that we had no reason to be out and about. Instead, we bundled up and ventured outside.

We made snow angels.


Not everyone is jazzed about the process.



My snow angel. Awww.

While they enjoyed the snow I filled up two buckets with snow for snow-cream. In a tremendous show of my will power and self-restraint, I only had three bowls.


At least the bowl is organic.


Day Two:

Netflix and Screen time. All. Day. Long. Lots of food and two more bowls of snow-cream. I learned to use SketchUp.


Its a water control structure. I’m a water nerd.

Day Three:

A lot like day two. We did make it outside though. We journeyed through a field across from our house to see how messy the road was between our house and the highway. Spoiler: The road was an icy mess. Our walk was a good one. We stopped by a pond to toss ice chunks onto the surface and listen to the cool sounds that echo through the surface.

On our walk back I took a picture of a moment that caught me just right.


She is plotting her course.

The snow and ice had built up on top of the grassy field and wasn’t actually on the ground. Lady Bug was struggling with the walk because each step would break through the ice and throw her off balance. She started to walk in the same places where I had stepped because it made her work easier. I blazed ahead of the group trying to plot our course through the field. Supermom urged me, “to slow down and ease my stride because she was trying to follow in my footsteps.” It was one of those moments when a shallow comment speaks a deeper truth.

Slow down and ease your pace because she is following in your footsteps.

Leave it to a snow day and cabin fever to teach a lesson like that. We made it back to the house and surprise, surprise… ate more snow-cream. Baths. More Netflix. We will see what tomorrow brings.

If you sometimes need Mother Nature to pump the brakes for you, this post is for you. You’re welcome. I’m looking ahead to more snow and a low of eight degrees. My HVAC unit is making a weird noise so I can bet which day it will self-destruct.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

My Mona Lisas

A picture is worth a thousand words right? Some are masterpieces. Some leave you speechless. I discovered one I took today that left me looking for words.

We had a snow day today and my usual parenting failure feelings crept in as I debated playing in the snow. I want to play in the snow. I want the kids to play in the snow. I was excited last night to watch the snow fall and thinking about going outside today to throw snowballs, make snow angels, and make snow cream. But the reality of children waking up early and trying to make sure all of them are bundled up enough to avoid frostbite, put my spirits to the test. The kids who are big enough to self-dress don’t appear to have the logic to follow through. Prima walked to the door ready to go outside and did not have anything on her feet. Anything. Coat, coveralls, hat, gloves, and bare feet. The tile floor near the door is cold and that cold on her feet triggered exactly zero thoughts. Jane gets fully dressed and is likely hyper-thermic waiting on everyone else to get ready. Don Threeto, of course, has to pee after putting her coat on.

Then we get outside and I suddenly remember winters-gone-by. I realize that all of the kids are still young enough that they don’t hold memories as well as adults. Even the ones that have enjoyed snow before probably don’t remember it that well. They test it out to see if it is slippery. What does it taste like? Can you throw it at each other?

I knew I had to take pictures and I tried to stage a few to compare to the past. There is one picture from our old house that I loved. Jane was a toddler and we had 13” of snow in one evening. The next morning we played and I tried to lay her down and make a snow angel. She sunk into the snow almost completely disappearing. She cried and was all bundled up, stuck in the snow, and for a minute I found it funny and snapped a picture.

Note the trendy pink jacket and ballet shoes.

Note the trendy pink jacket and ballet shoes.

Then one today to compare.

Still rocking a pink jacket but with more attention to appropriate footwear.

Still rocking a pink jacket but with more attention to appropriate footwear.

But that isn’t the photo that got me.

The one that got me is a rare case. Every now and again you can press a button and capture a moment, wrapped in a personality, and glowing with an emotion. I am always happy to capture it and somehow sad at the same time as if I am mourning an innocence that doesn’t even know it is doomed.

This was that picture.

Lady Bug.

Lady Bug.

A smile. A full face grin that says, “I am warm from my big coat. I am comfortable with my rosy cheeks. I feel safe because I close my eyes when I smile. I am happy because my whole face is smiling. I am smiling because you are here with me and I am here with you. Because mommy said to look at daddy…” That smile is for me.

There is no yesterday or tomorrow only right now. In the photo, Lady Bug’s “right now” is in the snow with her family.

The picture is beauty.

I have this type of picture with all my children. My wife. My siblings. Family and friends and even a few strangers. I can’t imagine living in a time when cameras didn’t existing and the only similar option was getting sentimental about a painting. Maybe that is why the Mona Lisa is so famous, she is holding a wisp of a smile and Leonardo captured something rare.

If you have photos that capture your heart, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Parent-noid – Feeling Your Kids Are Out to Get You

It isn’t paranoia if “they” really are after you.

I know who “they” are. I made them.

They are out to get me.

This week we have been iced in by Winter Storm Octavia. My children have used this time to plot my demise with a variety of attacks. The first was a direct assault with cuteness as the disguise. Don Threeto approached one morning holding a pink tea set.

“Morning daddy, would you like a dwink?”

“Oh thank you! Of course I would. What do you have today?”

“Umm… Juice, Milk, and Chlorine…”

“Was that Chlorine? Like the oxidizing pool sanitizer?”

“Yup, it is yummy.”

“Two things here, 1) Chlorine is a gas in it’s purest form (I think) and 2) Which would you recommend?”


“I think I will have milk but thank you.”

“Okay! Thanks Daddy!”

She skipped away happily but she wasn’t fooling anybody. I knew I had to keep my guard up.

Next was my baby, Lady Bug. The sweet precious soul of the family.

I haven't seen my sister's Valentines Day chocolate. I bet it is delicious though.

I haven’t seen my sister’s Valentines Day chocolate. I bet it is delicious though.

She walks over to the side of the bed and innocently holds out her arms to Supermom to be lifted onto the bed. Awww. Once she is on the bed she grabs and pillow and struggles to get her arms around it and pick it up. So cute. Then she places the pillow over Supermoms face and lies on top of it giggling. She is trying to suffocate her mother under a pillow and laughing. (Note: Smother has the word mother hidden behind the S. S-mother. We should have known.)

Later that day Supermom found her behind the recliner trying to camouflage her body with a non-toxic Crayola marker. A true ninja assassin.

They marker just isn't wide enough for effective face coverage. Let's work on that Crayola.

They marker just isn’t wide enough for effective face coverage. Let’s work on that Crayola.

The next wave of attacks were psychological. It began with a six hour marathon of singing short verses of songs repetitively. Songs like:

The Cat Came Back – A tale of a man who tries to kill a cat but is unsuccessful.

Donkey Ride – “Hey ho, away we go, donkey riding, donkey riding”

If Your Happy and You Know It (Remix) – “If you love me and you know it, punch my eye.” Once again I have no idea where this came from. At least it wasn’t a joke about feces.

After these classics failed to crack my psyche they devolved into just singing everything they thought or said. It was two hours of the world’s worst musical. Something akin to Moulin Rouge performed by five year olds with Tourette’s syndrome. I really don’t know how to express this in words but imagine a tune, any tune and sing the following words to it the best you can, “I like to fly pony who are you cat poop and there was a chicken in a butt.” I think it works best to Ginuwine’s famous song, Pony. Then again, what doesn’t? Am I right?

Try it again, get the Ginuwine groove going in your head. Here comes the chorus.

“I like to…fly pony…who are you…my cat poop…and there was…a chick-en.. in a bu-u-utt.”

What an appropriate album title. It is like he knew.

What an appropriate album title. It is like he knew.

Where was I? Oh yeah, mental torture. The final attack was by Prima. She is my obsessive worrier. She waits until bedtime and then cries about something scaring her. I try to talk through her fears rationally and help her resolve them. No matter how silly. Sometimes my talks come back around to bite me.

Recently she has feared death, bugs, and eating poison berries. Last night she feared something more outrageous.

Earlier that day Prima had gotten mad at Don Threeto and punched her out of frustration. I assume it was warranted but we have a hard rule of no hitting. Jane asked, “Why? What is wrong with hitting?” I thought this was an excellent opportunity to talk about rules in general. “Well…” I began, “Hitting someone is called assault and when you are an adult you can get in big trouble. You know that is why Daddy has a lot of his rules, when you grow up I want you to know right and wrong to help you not get in big trouble.”

“What happens to adults, daddy?”

“They can be sent to jail if they don’t follow the rules.”

“Is jail fun?”

“Oh no it is not somewhere you want to go. You can’t do anything you want or even leave for a long time.”

There was a silence as they pondered the reality of jail. Good job dad.

Then later that night I hear Prima crying. I go to her bedside and ask, “What is wrong honey? Why are you crying?”

“I am afraid I will go to jail! I Don’t Want to go to JAIL!”

“Just don’t hit people.”

“But I want to! I can’t help it! Waaahhh!”

She makes a good point. Now I don’t know how to answer my children. I constantly worry that I will make things worse. I am afraid they want to poison me and they circle me singing mind numbing songs. I almost wonder if I am in a special facility somewhere staring into a fish tank while sitting in a straight-jacket and getting a steady IV of psychotropic drugs.

Memes are fun.

Memes are fun.

If you are trapped by snow in a house with hostile natives, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.