So, it’s January in Northeast Ohio, and it’s supposed to get really cold again this week. Hopefully, not cold enough for another snow day.
Oh! Did I say that out loud? Please don’t tell my kids … they’ll never forgive me.
But seriously, that last round of snow days – which took the total number of days in a row my kids were home to 18 (including Christmas break) – that sent me over the edge.
As a former classroom teacher, and former kid, I want to rejoice in the snow days. I want to say, “Let’s stay in our pajamas and drink hot cocoa and curl up with a good book.” I want to engage my kids in some fun winter craft that involves burlap and fake snow.
But the reality is that I’m tired of seeing my kids lying around in their pajamas all day. Truth be told, it makes me kind of mad … I mean, I’m trying to get work done while doing laundry and cooking and cleaning. The very least thing they could do is get dressed.
No, my kids don’t want to read, or catch up on homework, or do a craft. My kids want to eat all day, and beg non-stop for food. They’ll argue with each other at the top of their lungs about the most ridiculous things, until it gets physical and I have to stop what I’m doing to referee. My kids will nag to play their iPads or PlayStation for hours on end until – out of sheer exhaustion from the harassment – I give in. They’ll ask to invite a friend over because they’re “bored”, and I’ll end up making food for four kids instead of two.
And other kids’ parents: don’t think I don’t see you laugh when you whip out of my driveway. I know who the sucker is.
But, you know what? I’m glad I have these days. Because it makes me appreciate schools and teachers. It really does.
Sometimes I have this vision of myself as a home-schooling mom. I’ll teach my kids exactly what I want them to learn. It will be at their level and will all be relevant. We’ll take field trips to the Science Center and the Art Museum. We’ll gather ‘round the table and have fabulous discussions about the Civil Rights movement and its impact on current events. Our art projects will be integrated into social studies or the literature we’re reading … and then we’ll write about them using the writing process.
But, let’s be real; none of that is going to happen. Because of snow days. Because I realize I don’t want to spend 24-7 with my own children.
I do enjoy talking with my kids, and taking them places, and working on projects. I know my role as parent is incredibly important. I know that the value I place on learning is critical to their success in school. I know reading to and with them sets them up for a lifelong love of reading. I just don’t want to do it full-time.
So God Bless the people that do.
Thank you, teachers, for spending your time with my kids. Thank you for trying your best to turn 7 hours a day into a meaningful learning experience. Thank you for expanding on what I’m trying to teach them at home. And thank you for enabling me to enjoy the occasional snow day I have with my kids … making our time together both relaxing and pleasant because I know you have the work part covered.
… But I really do need them to get dressed.