Snow Day (Part 1)

Yesterday morning, I dropped the kids at school and ran a few errands with Teyla. There was urgency in my step. The first winter storm of the season was on the way, and I woke up at 6:00 AM with the sudden realization that I knew exactly how I wanted to decorate our back deck for the holidays. But with the snow already coming down, time was of the essence.

My shopping buddy and I swung through Jo-Ann's (to get some cookie exchange supplies), the grocery store (to buy more milk and bananas, the top two items we run out of, and the makings of Cincinnati chili) and our local hardware store (so I could buy a timer for our outdoor lights and make my decorating dreams come true).

By the time we got home, it was only about 10:30, but it felt like we'd been running all morning. I immediately grabbed my extra tree clippings, my gardening gloves (the better to fight off errant tree sap), my white lights, my really cool new timer, and hit the deck. The snow wasn't falling thick yet; it was more of a dusting that was coating everything and making it slick. But the clouds were heavy and hovering.

I was clipping the branches, holding them on the top of the raining and wrapping them with lights when Teyla came out to join me. She enjoyed running her fingers through the coating of snow on the Adirondack chairs and touching the frozen dirt in my pots. But eventually, the cold got to her. So she turned to go back in the kitchen and ... CRASH.

Being a new Minnesotan, she didn't know how slippery her shoes would be on clean linoleum. She hit the ground fairly hard, but what really surprised me was the sharpness of her cries. By the time I reached her, she was standing, shaking her right wrist and hand rather frantically and saying, "Ow! Owie! Ow! Ow!"

I picked her up, gave her a good cuddling, checked her hand and wrist for broken bones (nothing apparent) and, when the crying stopped, I settled her on the couch with a cozy blanket wrapped around her and Elmo on the TV.

I wasn't back on the deck for 60 seconds when I heard her crying again. "Ow! Owie! Ow!" It was still the wrist. She seemed really distraught, which is highly unusual for our tough little toddler. I'm certainly not one to rush to the ER, but this time, I wondered. I called a pediatric nurse at our office, just in case, and she said to put ice on it (which I already did while waiting on hold) and to watch and see what happens over the next hour. If she wouldn't reach for something with her right hand or didn't seem to grasp things well, I was advised to bring her in.

The cold pack seemed to calm my little girl. (I always wonder how much of the cold pack's therapy is physical and how much is emotional.) So I settled her back under the blanket with Elmo still on the TV, made sure she was resting her wrist on the cold pack and I returned once again to the deck to finish stringing the lights around the greens.

Ten minutes later, I was done. I came back inside to find Teyla, asleep on the couch.

It was 11:00 AM.

I was stunned. Teyla is doing great at establishing a sleep routine right now, and nap time isn't usually until 1:00 or 1:30 PM. Asleep? My female Tasmanian devil?

I decided to leave her be but stay in the area (which isn't hard in a small townhouse). I put away the groceries. Still asleep. I cleaned the kitchen. Still asleep. I started some laundry. Still asleep. I went upstairs and cleaned the bathrooms. I cleaned the bedrooms. I did some blogging. Still asleep.

At one point, I heard her stir, so I came downstairs and found her groggily standing next to the couch. I scooped her up, sat down on the couch for a few minutes (my back needed a rest anyway). And she fell back asleep.

All told, she napped 3.5 hours yesterday, which is almost double her normal nap time. By the end, I was wondering if I should Google "how to check for a concussion." But I reasoned she had never complained of her head hurting, and it was possible she was just extra tired from an early wake-up time and a morning full of running errands in the cold.

By the time she got up, at 2:30, she was in good spirits, and her wrist was fine. I was amazed at the restorative powers of a nap -- and at the restorative powers of silence for me. Teyla's unplanned rest meant I had most of the day to putter around the house by myself, watch the snow fall and listen to some Christmas jazz. It was utterly homey, completely peaceful. And in addition to all the other work, I was able to fold about two weeks worth of clean laundry that had been piling up in my laundry room.

I guess it was like the perfect snow day, adult-style. I didn't play outside (once I got the lights up, anyway). But I did enjoy the coziness of the storm and the solitude winter offers.

Looking back, it was one of those unexpected surprises. God gave me a gift in the middle of December. And as always, I am the richer for it.

So this is the story of my snow day. But I have a Part 2, which would be story of the actual storm going on outside. I'm going to post that later today, after I have time to shoot some pictures.


  1. AH! Cookie exchange supplies! I KNEW I needed to go to the store today. c.rap.

    Sweet snuggley babies make adult snow days so much the better. Especially when they're asleep sweet snuggley babies.

  2. My husband posted a picture of an inviting plate of cookies on our fridge a few years ago that was captioned: Accept the cookies.

    Whenever one of us needs to be reminded to graciously receive a compliment, a gift, or an extra measure of help, we remind each other to "Accept the cookies".

    Sounds like you were handed a plate of cookies yesterday. Your day sounds perfect...and I'm so glad Teyla is okay!

  3. oh how nice...i'd love one day to experience the falling snow for a day...we got a mediterranean climate so maybe once a year we get ice or sleeth but no snow :(

  4. Oh my goodness. So sweet, that special nappy surprise! Makes me want to go take a nap on the couch, actually.

    I'm glad you got some time for you, to do whatever you happened across. GOOD. SO GOOD.

  5. Glad to hear your girl is okay - it is truly amazing what some extra sleep can do. My daughter has been napping longer the last couple of days too. I'm so nonplussed by the change in routine that I keep checking (and checking) that she is still breathing; something I haven't really done since she was brand new. (She's teething, but until we figured that out I was starting to wonder!) It's nice to hear that long naps can just sometimes happen!

  6. I was getting nervous there; I'm glad Teyla was alright! I love the sweetness of her falling asleep on the couch. I do think the cold and dark out helps everyone sleep better. It's like we're part bear, and needing to hybernate for winter.

  7. So glad that Teyla is okay, so scary for you!

    Naps are a wonderful gift aren't they, especially when they run long like that.

  8. Puttering is highly under-rated. Hours to putter during the holidays? Gold!