As a kid, I absolutely loved snow days. I got to sleep in, build snowmen, have snowball fights, and basically do what I wanted all day because my mom and dad still had to go to work. From my parent’s perspective, however, they didn’t always agree with the school district, when a snow day was called and my sister and I were relieved from our duties as students that day.
Being a parent throughout the school year and ensuring our children are where they are supposed to be, and they are always being looked after (while we ourselves are in work, or school) is tough enough. The more children you have, believe me, the harder it is to find a helping hand when a “snow day” is called.
For instance, yesterday, a snow day was announced after 6:30am. Uh, hello, my kids are supposed to be there at 8:00am! Thanks for the heads up…
I guess my situation is kind of unique, because I am divorced and actually have my kids three days out of the week (during the school week, not the weekend). Working as a bartender/waiter, I usually make more money on the weekends, and choose to take off the days I spend with my older two daughters. I’m not losing that much money, and I get to spend more time with all four of the girls at once.
Usually, I pick the girls up from school Tuesday afternoons. Since there was a snow day yesterday, I picked them up from my ex-wife’s apartment instead. Because the girl’s mom leaves for work very early in the morning, they have a nanny that goes to their house early every morning, makes them breakfast, and takes them to school. On the days I do not have them, the nanny picks them up from school, as well, until their mom gets home. On occasion, the nanny watches them, while their mom runs errands, etc.
Since I’m basically a “stay-at-home dad” on the days that I have them, I actually welcome the snow days. Snow days to me, mean more time with my kids (which I will gladly take any time it is offered me). Besides the obvious part about being out of school that my kids enjoy, I hope they truly appreciate the extra time they get to spend with me, my wife, and their two younger sisters while they are being held out of school.
Looking forward to my extra time this week, I felt a sudden sadness tugging on my heart within just a couple of minutes of picking up my little girls yesterday. Now, after talking this over with my mom and my wife tonight, maybe I’m just being a little too sensitive on the subject, but hear me out at least…
OK, so I picked up the girls, we’re driving out of the parking lot, and I hear, “Daddy?”
“Yeah?” I replied.
“Do you know what’s kind of sad if you think about it?” my seven year-old asked.
“What’s that?” I respond, glancing up in the rearview mirror at her.
She’s staring out the window and said “It’s kind of sad that our babysitter isn’t even a part of our family, but we see her way more than we do you. And you’re our dad…” her voice trailed off.
Unsure of how to even respond to that, I just agreed that it was kind of sad. It’s been kind of eating at me the last few hours though, even after I tried to put it away in the back of my head. It does make me feel a little uneasy though. I’m sorry if I’m being a little sensitive on this subject, but I’ve never felt that way about them going to a daycare, or about them having sitters in the past.
This school year has been different for us, however, and apparently, we’re (me) still adjusting. This is the first year the girls do not have a “daycare provider,” they now have a nanny. I feel as if I could pick my kids up everyday before she goes to work, and pick them up afterwards too, but then I’d be robbing myself, my wife, and my other two daughters of my time, and of me.
So, thank you snow days, for my extra time with my kids this week. There’s supposed to be snow throughout the night, with expected snowfall accumulations of up to eight inches. I’m foreseeing no school tomorrow again, so it looks like Dad wins this week. I guess the nanny can have them back after winter…