January 8, 2014

In Which ChiBeria Turns Me Into Flava Flav

In Chicago, we have been experiencing that rare and spectacular combination of weather phenomena- it is both really freakin' cold and insanely freakin' snowy. When winter hit with a friendly dusting of snow shortly before Christmas, the children began begging to go play in it.

"Please mommy? Can we please build a snowman?"

Well, a friendly dusting of snow is hardly snowman material. I explained we'd have to wait until we had more snow to go outside and frolic.

"When we go to Minnesota for Christmas, there will be lots of snow," I said. "And we can go sledding then!"
"Yay! Hooray! Sledding in Minnesota!"

Of course, once we were safely installed at my in-law's house, we were all hit with a monster virus. Nobody was going out to play. We sat around inside, playing games and sweating through fevers. And then we returned home, where there was no snow.

But snow came, by golly, and it came with a vengeance. On Saturday the children watched the blizzard winds sweep mountains of snow across the empty lot next door, screaming in excitement.

"Mommy! It's snowing! We can go build a snowman!"
"Not now, honey. See the wind? It would blow you away! We have to wait 'til the wind stops blowing."
"Will it blow away all the snow?"
"No sweetie, there is way too much snow for the wind to blow away. It's not leaving anytime soon."

From CBS Chicago
Sunday came and went, windier, snowier, and colder than the day before. And the emails from the school started coming.


"Can we play in the snow now? I see the snow! And there's no wind! Let's go play in the snow!"
"No way!" I yelped. "It's SO COLD you might freeze! You'd be childrencicles! You'd be little snow people!"
"But WHEN?"

I didn't answer. Because I had no idea. For two days past the long anticipated return date for school, they trashed the house in stir-crazy abandon, as the world devolved into weather obsessed chaos around us. My friend in Antarctica sent regular updates on how they were experiencing temperatures as much as fifty degrees warmer than we had in Chicago.

Then came... this morning.

This morning, when after five days of sitting in a block of snow and ice, I would need to dig out the car.

I prepared. I scheduled a sitter for RH- no WAY was I doing all this with a toddler in tow. I rushed the kids through breakfast and got them into all their gear. All their gear. And I herded them out to the car.

Of course the sliding doors were frozen shut. I waded through the thigh deep snow, clambered over the driver's seat, and wrenched the side door open from the inside.

Of course the snow shovel bent like tin foil the moment I tried to dig out the snow around the tires.

Of course the windshield wiper blades froze to the window. The blades snapped off like twigs when I attempted to free them of their ice, so of course I had twice as much scraping to do to create pockets of usable window.

Of course.

How we do in ChiBeria
But the car started, God bless it, and the children made their way in, mild panic attacks about scarves slipping off their noses notwithstanding.

And I began to battle the snow.

I fought it. I fought is harder than I've ever fought anything in my life. using my useless husk of a snow shovel, I stabbed and beat at the blocks of packed snow and ice surrounding my four tires, dug with my hands, crouched on my knees and dragged solid lumps of frozen snow into the street.

Every few minutes I jumped in the car and rocked it back and forth, drive and reverse, drive and reverse, hoping to ease it out of it's car-sized pocket in the snow and onto the street.

I swore the whole time.

I stood, panting and heaving, and nearly gave up. Then I remembered- today is an MRI day for M, I'd just have to get the car out this afternoon anyway. There would be no quitting. My kids were going to get to preschool, come Hell or high water.

Or half a week of snow plows burying my minivan thigh deep in sub-Arctic temperature snow.

Finally, I could take it no more. I sat in the driver's seat and I prepared to crush it.

I sped forward. Well, four miles an hour felt like speeding. The wheels came to a sliding halt.

I sped backwards. The car lurched and wiggled, and I cranked back into drive.

Back and forth. Seething and begging. Swearing and cajoling.

And then, one wheel jumped onto the street.

"Yeah, baby, come one now, come on..."

Back and forth again, back and forth, now two wheels slid onto the street,

"That's right, you sonofabitch, that's right, that's it, that's it..."

Back and forth, back and forth, and then sliding like Bambi getting onto the ice, the car went zipping into the avenue. Without pausing or thinking I opened my mouth and at top volume I heard the words come out,


I froze, panting, idling at the light, and behind me I heard DD and SI call out, "Hooray Mommy!"

So now I know.

Deep down inside, I'm Flava Flav.

My alter ego, ready to kick some snow ass.
Take that, ChiBeria.


  1. hysterical. :)
    fortunately I had my car behind our apartment. we shoveled a bit on NYD to make a hill for Lovie to sled. then we shoveled more on Sunday and sled a bit more. the snow is SO hard now. I can't believe you were able to rock your car out of the spot... and, I assume, got back in without any damage! go you!

  2. Hilarious! (Well, the Flava Flavness, not your plight. :)) I can't even imagine. We have had temps in the single digits and teens and that is cold enough to chill me through my winter coat and accessories -- never mind -45. At least we can go outside!

  3. YaY! Digging out sucks! Thanks for hooking up to the Hump Day Hook Up

  4. "How you like me now?" That sent me into giggle fits!



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