Writing Challenges

A True Story

Welcome to Day 3 of 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing, the creative writing challenge that 4 out of 5 dentists agree will rot your teeth. Today’s prompt is And the next thing I knew, and yes, it was my bright idea. Don’t forget to link up at the end of this post if you participated in today’s challenge before your teeth fell out.

A True Story

buried in deep snow

This is NOT a picture of a typical Canadian winter. Typically, we get much more snow than this.

It was winter, 1999. My sons, Jake and Kane, were five and two years old, respectively. It had taken us two hours to make the 15 minute trip home from daycare  because of the three feet of snow being dumped on our city. Three feet of snow is normally just a minor inconvenience for us Montrealers, but this was the second snow storm in as many days and the plows had barely begun to clean up the previous day’s mess. For a good part of the journey, I listened to squeaky, off-key renditions of Frère Jacques, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and – my personal favourite – If You’re Happy And You Know It.

The next thing I knew, I was promising the kids that we would build a huge snow fort when we got home if they would please, for the love of God, just stop singing.

We got home, walked in the front door and straight through the apartment to the back door that led out to our deck. The kids were yelling excitedly and pushing and shoving each other the way that little boys – and medium boys, and big boys – do. I was walking forward, but looking back at them and telling them to calm down. In other words, I was completely distracted when I got to the back door and opened it.

The next thing I knew, I was staring at an avalanche of snow pouring freely into my kitchen now that the door no longer served as a barrier .

The kids thought this was hysterical and were jumping around, laughing like banshees. Jake was yelling that he wanted to go outside. Kane just kept yelling “The snow! The snow!” After two hours in my car, screaming kids and a mountain of snow in my kitchen, my poor brain just gave up and decided to go fishing. I looked desperately around the kitchen, hoping for something – a shovel, a snow blower, a Zamboni machine – anything, to appear. Nothing did. Jake started whining that he was hot. Kane kept yelling, “The snow! The snow!” Jake’s whining got louder and whinier. My brain waded deeper into the lake of stupidity.

The next thing I knew, I picked up Jake and said, “Ok, go play in the snow while I clean up this mess,” and then I tossed him into the snow. The freshly fallen, soft snow.

Jake sunk waist-deep into the snow. His giggles quickly turned to grunts as he tried to climb out. His grunts quickly to panicked cries of “I’m stuck! I’m stuck!” Kane kept yelling, “The snow! The snow!” He started grabbing handfuls of snow and throwing them around the kitchen. My brain finally decided to drop the fishing pole. I yelled at Kane to stop throwing snowballs then leaned across the mountain of snow, grabbing Jake’s hands and pulling him back into the house. Kane continued throwing snow balls and yelling “The snow! The snow!” The relief in Jake’s eyes when I grabbed his hands quickly turned to panic again as he yelled, “My boot! My boot!”. His boot was slipping off his foot. If it came off, we weren’t getting it back until the spring thaw – sometime in July. My brain looked longingly at the fishing pole again.

The next thing I knew, Jake popped out of the snow with both boots on his feet and sent me flying backwards with all the grace of an elephant performing Swan Lake in hooker heels.

I got the kids out of their snowsuits and sent them to the living room to watch cartoons. Since no shovel, snow blower or Zamboni machine had magically appeared, I had no choice but to improvise. I spotted our plastic dustpan. Imagine, if you will, emptying out the Sahara desert with a spoon. I spent the next 45 minutes removing a six-foot snowbank from my kitchen with the dustpan. When it was all over, I made hot chocolates for the kids and a Bailey’s-hot-chocolate-minus-the-hot-chocolate for me. Then I called my good friend, CheesyMike, looking for a little sympathy. He nearly wet himself, laughing at me.

And that, my friends, is a true story.

###

Now go. Check out all the other lovely people gumming their way through this insanity.

 

 



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  • Is this a true story or did you exaggerate just a wee bit to make my stomach hurt from laughing so hard?

  • The line “sent me flying backwards with all the grace of an elephant performing Swan Lake in hooker heels” coupled with the comment you left me yesterday about your dancing really makes me wonder about your coordination. Should you be driving?

  • I love that story!!! While I have never had to scoop a mountain of snow out of my kitchen, most mothers can relate to the chaos associated with kids and snow. It makes them more hyper than birthday cake with Koolade chasers.

    You Canadians have really perfected the snow thing. My husband’s company is working up there. Hubby is in Halifax this morning and texted me this.

  • I am picturing the whole scene.
    When we are younger we drink from stress. Now we need no reason to drink.

  • What? You live in Montreal and don’t keep a miniature Zamboni in the kitchen? I’m so disillusioned! But seriously, Nicky… I can see it all unfolding perfectly! (Perhaps because I spend every day in the winter trying to wrangle little kids in and out of snow drifts.)

  • Oh Nicky, Nicky, you should’ve left the kids out in the snow til thaw and had some more Bailey’s.

  • Awesome. Makes me want to come ice skate in your living room – of course I can’t wear heels much less stand on ice skates. The mental images that you created with this story are delightful (maybe not to you).

  • This had me snorting with laughter. Now, I didn’t have the snow, but I did have the two kids 2 and 5. It was the morning of my sister’s bridal shower that I was having. My son (age 5) came in to me as I was frantically cleaning up the house for 30 women and said “Mommie! Come look! I made a swimming pool in the kitchen”. Indeed he had. He used a five gallon can of olive oil. It wasn’t funny at the time. But I snicker now too.

  • Ha! Friends! As reliable as mine! To be fair, tho Max always sees the maniacal side of things, he then rises magnificently to the challenge and fetches a plastic dustpan and brush. Hmmm. Roth x

  • The snow! The snow!

    The snow! The snow!

    (Surprised your head wasn’t screaming: The bottle! The bottle!)

  • I swear, Cheryl, every single thing happened exactly like that. It’s even funnier when you hear me tell the story. I can imitate the kids’ maniacal shouts perfectly! 🙂

  • Probably not, Dufus. Probably not. 🙂

  • Yup, can always tell when a storm is coming because the kids are bouncing off the walls. Then, when the storm arrives, they’re bouncing through the walls!

    I don’t know that we’ve perfected it, but we do mostly take it in stride. Mostly. 🙂

  • I don’t know that I ever really needed to have a reason to drink. It was just nice to have one every once in a while. 🙂

  • I’m sorry to disillusion, Boom Boom. At the time, we lived in a two-bedroom apartment and there simply wasn’t enough room for the one adult, two children, twelve Huskies, the dogsled, the spare dogsled, the moose AND a miniature Zamboni machine. 🙂

  • Don’t think that thought doesn’t cross my mind on a regular basis, Lemmikki. 🙂

  • Oh, they’re delightful to me too, LM. Now. 🙂

  • OMG, Jake made a “mountain” in the kitchen with a 20lb box of laundry detergent! He added water to it so it would stick together. How on earth did we ever manage to NOT kill them?! 🙂

  • Very handy, that Max. Shame he’s not Canadian. 🙂

  • My brain was completely incapable of formulating a coherent thought at that point, P.J. 🙂

  • I felt your pain. The singing, the kitchen full of snow, and the never ending challenges of parenthood. So we have cats! 🙂 I’d need a drink after that, too.

  • Oh, he could be. His nationality is flexible. Last time, he was King and God Emperor of Subterranea, a land only accessible via ladder from his many sheds.

  • I’d love to hear it – doesn’t Mike have still have that recorder from when he made that delightful Finnish candy video? Please, please, please? I’ll bet you can’t tell it without laughing. How’s that for a challenge?

  • “The next thing I knew, I was promising the kids that we would build a huge snow fort when we got home if they would please, for the love of God, just stop singing.”

    That cracked me up.

    And I am hysterical laughing at the visual of you, with the avalanche of snow, falling into your kitchen.

    I’m glad Jake was pulled from the snow with BOTH boots on his feet.

    And I know FIRST HAND exactly what it’s like when someone shovels snow with a dustpan!

    PS: Now I can’t get the song “If You’re Happy And You Know It” out of my head. Thanks!

  • Cats. You’re a smart woman, Linda! 🙂

  • I can laugh about it now, but at the time I really was at my wits’ end! And you know, now that you mention it, I seem to recall something about someone shoveling with a dustpan… was it a neighbour of yours?

    The song isn’t too bad if you change the “clap your hands” part to “do a shot”. 🙂

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    My eldest son was almost killed in a snowstorm. We still laugh about it every time it snows.

    Great post, Nicky.

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    Or still doesn’t.

  • MikeWJ

    Hey, try as I might, I can’t leave a comment on Nathanael’s posts. I’ve tried three computers, all fail. And I don’t have any contact information for him, either.

    If you’re out there, Nathanael, I am reading your posts.

  • MikeWJ

    Dammit! I can’t comment on P.J.’s blog, either. I’ve tried my work computer, home computer, and my iPad, all to no avail. But I am reading and enjoying, P.J., I swear.

  • Um, no, Mike doesn’t have that recorder anymore. *smashes Mike’s recorder* 🙂

  • So, I guess you don’t get that many opportunities to laugh about it then. Bummer.

    Thank you, Michael.

  • My favorite favorite favorite… “I made hot chocolates for the kids and a Bailey’s-hot-chocolate-minus-the-hot-chocolate for me.” I actually had to read it a second time and then the lightbulb went on and I had a GOOD laugh!

  • Mike — what seems to be the issue? I’ve never heard people having problems, so wonder if there’s something I can do? I actually had problems connecting with your site the other day, but I finally got through.

  • Hahaha. I can understand. But I will say in all the posts in the two doings of this challenge, this is one of my favorite stories. The whole “The snow! The snow!” is outstanding.

  • KZ

    I’m glad I don’t live where it snows! Unfortunately for me though, Diana wants to have kids someday. I’m sure I’ll live through some similar parenting misadventure that will somehow involve moderate California climate.

  • Bailey’s in hot chocolate is my favourite winter-time drink, Katherine. Bailey’s without hot chocolate is my favourite “getting over” winter-time drink. 🙂

  • You know, KZ, I can’t wait to hear the stories of you and the kids and the moderate California climate. You guys have earthquakes, right? 🙂

  • Yes! My crazy “No Garbage” neighbor tried shoveling three feet of snow, with a dustpan.
    And I captured it all on video!

    Also, I like your version of “If You’re Happy And You Know It” WAY better.

  • Pingback: Prosaic Shades of Gray » » The Giant Crab Dream()

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