6:55 a.m.: My husband comes in and shakes me awake to tell me that the local school district has canceled school. This means Piper's preschool is also closed. I roll over and think about going back to sleep but instead jump out of bed and ask him if he got some coffee. "No, I didn't," he says. "There's coffee? Cool." We get to the kitchen and discover that although I loaded the brew basket, put water in the reservoir, and programmed the timer, I did not actually turn the timer on. There is no coffee. I feel terrible, but my husband just shrugs. He can't wait for it to brew, and goes back out to scrape the ice off his car and go to work. I feel guilty about the coffee after he's gone, even though I know he only drinks it when I make it and he doesn't notice when I don't. I watch his car pull out of the driveway and wish he could stay home with us.
7:06 a.m.: I hear Piper wake up and start yelling for me. She comes into my room and I ask if she'd like to snuggle in my bed for a while.
7:08 a.m.: Her version of "snuggling" involves sticking her fingers in my eyes. Over and over.
7:15 a.m.: I get up and after a brief disagreement about the appropriate sugar content of a 3.5-year-old's breakfast, pour her a bowl of plain Cheerios. She eats it and is allowed a bowl of one of my husband's super-sugary snack cereals. The snow outside swirls in the wind.
7:30 a.m.: I turn on the news and watch the coverage of the huge! snow! storm! Coffee in hand, I wander around the house picking things up and paying bills. Piper drags out various toys and scatters them across the living-room floor.
9:30 a.m.: I start wrestling the kid into real clothes and layers of coats so we can go play in the snow.
10:00 a.m.: We go outside and play. I teach her how to make snow angels. She keeps eating snow and I keep telling her to at least get some from the middle of the yard instead of off the car bumpers. We try to make a snowman, but this snow isn't good for packing. Tiny flakes fall as we run and yelp.
10:30 a.m. We are wet, cold, and freezing. We stomp through the front door, strip out of our soggy, muddy, chilly clothes, and hop into things made of fleece and jersey. Hot chocolate and a load of laundry. An episode of Kipper while we play with the dollhouse.
11:30 a.m.: Lunch. More snow outside.
12:30 p.m.: Naptime. For her, anyway. She's out like a light in less than five minutes. The house grows quiet and I try to deal with the heaps of laundry in the dryer.
1:30 p.m.: The neighborhood kids are coming out for the day. I hear noises and go to the back door. There are twenty teenagers and three smaller kids milling around my back yard, shouting and wrestling and posing and kissing. The eventually move into the soccer field and woods, throwing snow and howling. I smile a little bit, and force myself to think well of them. They're just kids, I tell myself. Kids with a snow day.
3:00 p.m.: Piper is awake. She does not want to go back outside, which is fine with me, since it's starting to look slushy out there and the freezing rain is supposed to start any minute. More hot chocolate, some Dr. Who, and an attempt to clean up her play room. We don't do much cleaning, but instead have a play-food picnic and a birthday party for her stuffed cat.
6:00 p.m.: Dinner is soup and fresh bread.
8:00 p.m. Daddy's home. Time for a story and some blocks before bath and bed.
11:00 p.m: I watch the news and discover that tomorrow will also be a snow day, and we will do this all over again.