Today I supposedly don’t wear my teacher hat because it’s a snowday. Some people think it’s a perfect day for teachers. When my daughters were babies, toddlers, and even early elementary-school age, I agreed. Back then snowdays were wonderful. We’d spend the day baking, cooking, cleaning, playing outside in the fresh snow, and just enjoying each other’s company. It seemed more fun when they were helping mom. Now that they’ve hit those teenage years, snowdays just aren’t as pleasurable for me. The day is filled with items on my to-do list such as cleaning, baking, and finally getting to that pile of papers that’s been sitting on the counter for weeks, probably months. As for shoveling, I still get to spend a good portion of the day outside with Amy but as for those other tasks? Well, my youngest usually has her own to-do list for me.
Her list typically starts with, “Mom can I…?” and ends with a request that requires me to drive on the same roads the school district, with the help of the state police, already deemed unsafe to drive. My response includes a reminder of why there’s a snowday, “The roads are terrible.” Then I usually mention helping me complete the tasks already on my list. After a few teenage eye rolls, grunts, and groans, she’ll help, but the majority of the time my tasks get left undone.
There are reasons for this. A clean house is not necessarily the better house. I’ve always loved the research study published around the time my daughters were born. It states a house that is too clean, a.k.a. not mine, hinders children’s development of a strong immune system. Early exposure to germs and bacteria help children build a defense for later in life. I must say, my own research surrounding this theory has replicated the results; my children’s immune systems are quite healthy. So, with this in mind, the cleaning of the house tends to stay towards the bottom of my to-do list.
I also could place the blame on Ali for telling me, “We need to go buy my spring dress outfit.” but it’s not really her fault. I could hold fast and refuse to drive on the roads. I could also make sure my list gets completed before hers, but why? She’s right in the fact we do need to purchase her a new outfit, as there are important, formal events fast approaching. Also, she’s frugal. She’s eager to shop at resale stores and doesn’t ask for a new outfit every time an event occurs.
So I can focus on my to-do list and become frustrated with her requests, but my shoveling is mostly complete, the laundry is mostly folded, the roads are mostly cleared, and I just heard someone pounding down the stairs asking, “Can we go now?” I guess my to-do list will have to wait for snowday #10.