The end is nigh, it’s snowmageddon out there and the entire country has ground to a halt.
There only needs to be a whisper that a snowflake might be about to fall over the Scottish Highlands and the roads immediately grind to a halt, trains stop working. offices empty and teachers declare school’s out.
This week we’ve had up to 20cm of snow in places and the so-called beast from the east is only going to get worse over the next few days.
While a dusting of the white stuff can be great fun, when it messes up your plans, commitments and job it’s enough to make you want to slap the smile off next door’s snowman.
While kids might delight at the idea of a snow day, for parents it means an unexpected day of attempting to entertain little terrors who will be climbing the walls.
Snow days are made extra hard because:
While most kids are excited at the thought of snow, many hate the cold.
You can’t drive anywhere, not even soft play.
So you’re stuck indoors, trapped by a howling blizzard that’s dumped a few centimetres of snow on your front lawn.
What do you do?
Here are a few ideas on how to survive apocalypse snow.
Bribery is not a crime
I find it useful to always have items of interest to my toddler stashed away. My stash of bribery gold includes stickers, colouring books, small puzzles and craft kits.
For when things are really going up the creek, make sure you have jelly, cakes or chocolate. These weapons of mass distraction are the only way to stop tantrums brought on by being indoors too much.
Remember that you need a good hiding place for these, because kids are nosy little buggers.
Now is not the time for feeling guilty about your kid watching too much television.
Tell voice in your head that keeps insisting you should be organising an indoor treasure hunt before making a robot out of loo rolls to do one.
Create a safe zone
While spending quality time indoors with your kids is lovely, sometimes as grown-ups we just want to stare at our smartphones for half an hour. This is not something to apologise for.
In order to buy yourself some uninterrupted quality time with Instagram, make the room safe. Shut all the doors, make sure there are no boxes that can be used to climb up to high places and make sure there are drinks and snacks within reach of your child.
This way you can, hopefully, switch off from parenting mode for a short time. Until of course your child decides they wanted the one toy that you left upstairs.
Remove all clocks
Watching the clock when you’re experiencing a day, or heaven forbid even more, trapped indoors is painful.
Remove all clocks from your line of vision. There’s nothing worse than thinking “ooh that was a lovely game to pass an hour with”, only to realise just 10 minutes have gone by.
Cook the nuggets
Whatever your child’s favourite meal is, cook it. This isn’t the day to try and make them eat their five-a-day, this is the day to chuck fish fingers and chips on a plate followed by ice cream for pudding.
Recruit your kids
If you have to work from home while looking after your children it’s like attempting to drive a car while texting. You’ll crash, and the message you sent won’t make any sense.
Recruit your kids to help you work, and get them to answer the phone to your boss. Once they inevitably annoy the hell out of them and leave them feeling #blessed that they chose not to have any evil spawn, they will probably give you the day off out of mercy.
Confiscate the annoying toys
When you’re facing an entire day indoors with your kids, you want to remove the irritations that you can control from the equation.
If there is a musical toy with a jingle that makes your want to burst your own eardrums, then make it disappear for the day. If your child asks where it went, tell them it’s helping the council grit the roads. Kids will believe anything.
Dress them for Siberia
If you have to go outdoors, because your toddler is desperate to roll in the snow or you’re brave enough to attempt getting some snowy pictures of your children looking grumpy next to a lopsided snowman, wrap them up.
This calls for snowsuit that will leave them looking like the Michelin man and a woolly hat with a bobble larger than your child’s head.
They may look ridiculous, but they’re less likely to drive you mad with the phrase “I’m cold” on loop.
Drown out the noise
Find an alternative use for earmuffs or your woolly hat and use it to drown out the noise. If the kids are screaming, crying and playing band, you need a way to protect your ears from the annoyance and your brain from losing the plot.
Avoid the news
If you’ve already have several “superfun” snow days with your kids, then learning that there’s going to be more snow overnight won’t help your fragile state of mind.
Ignorance is bliss.
Find the joy
Any extra time to play and enjoy your kids is of course ultimately a blessing. Give them a cuddle, snuggle up under a blanket and watch Frozen.
Switch off from your usual work day stresses and go with the flow. Find the joy, before normal service resumes and someone starts crying over a broken carrot stick.
Do you have any tips for surviving a snow day? I would love to hear them!