There’s no business like snow business

Follow Claire Smith's Mothering Heights on Twitter @MinistryOfMum

Follow Claire Smith's Mothering Heights on Twitter @MinistryOfMum - Credit: Archant

It’s freaking snowing! Yay! I was practically begging for snow but I thought for sure that the weather man had got it wrong.

Yet I looked outside around 11am and it was starting.

I went over the park with the dog and sat on a swing just watching and breathing in the romance of snowflakes falling.

It was beautiful and thrilling, I felt exhilarated.

Snow provokes emotions that reach right back to childhood.


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Two hours in, after a nursery pickup, a skidding car plus tons of wet, soggy clothes and I realised that snow days aren’t the same as my childhood memories.

Because I was a child then and now, of course, I’m a parent and that puts a very different perspective on snow indeed.

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The fall of snow is not only an event, it’s magical.

You begin the day in one kind of world and end it in another.

This is especially true if you’ve got children. Snow brings another dimension to parenting that’s hardly enchanting. You start off as Snow White and finish up as the Evil Snow Queen. In the morning, you’re thinking snowmen, sledges and snow angels but by the evening you’re dealing with three times the amount of washing, wet jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, boots, a messed up muddy garden and a kid crying because her brother put snowballs in her car seat.

An inch of snow when you’re a parent doesn’t give the kind of feeling that white stuff should.

The Eskimos have a large number of words for snow. I have only two – Snow Sucks. Every hour of snow brings a fresh, new parenting issue because snow doesn’t give a soft, white damn about us parents.

For example:

1. Absolute point blank refusal to wear gloves so when you drop your toddler at nursery, their fingers are gangrenous from frost bite and nursery staff are one step away from calling social services.

2. Absolute point blank refusal to wear a coat to a point where I faked a letter from my 9 year olds school requesting that all children wear coats or it’s detention.

3. Parents who are proper organised and their children are in thermals, snow suits, boots and waterproofs and yours have no coat and no gloves. Shame.

4. Snowballs and snow angels. My kids are better throwers than me and snowballs hurt, especially when you’re a pathetic grown up. And my kids snow angels always seem to have horns.

5. De-icer. Actually everyone off their head on the stench can make the school run much more enjoyable.

6. Sledging. Seconds of fun. If you’ve got a sledge then there’s the whole debacle of getting your kids to take turns. If you don’t have a sledge then good luck because even though they’re in such demand and everyone knows it’s going to snow, shops always sell out.

7. Wet clothes. You think you’re on top of your laundry – think again. Every inch of snow equals six more loads of washing.

8. Driving. If it’s not you, it’s other drivers. If your kids are at school, you often have to drive to pick them up and some people (me) who own a 4x4 have no idea how to put it in 4 wheel drive even though it’s been explained to them 382 times.

9. Wet floor. Someone will always fall over and A&E is the last place you want to be on a snowy day.

10. Panic buying. I don’t bother. Because if I’m holed up with my children for weeks I’ll be the first to offer up warm flesh for consumption.

Today my kids were happy in the snow for about ten minutes but then one fell over, one got hit on the ear with a snowball and one had such a massive tantrum that the noise created an actual avalanche.

And it seems I only took one photo of my kids out in the snow today and that was of them shovelling the driveway.

I will look back on this snow fondly as it marked the first time they’ve ever helped around the house.

Like snowflakes, those kinds of memories are unique.

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