I shoot up in bed, right side of my face coated in a thin film of sticky drool and fumble my half-numb arm in the direction of the screeching sound that has awakened me. “Hullo?” … “Hello. This is the Interlake School Division….” I listen for about twenty seconds and hang up. School’s cancelled due to inclement weather? I guess it’s cold, I think. Yep, it’s cold alright, -33 degrees Celsius to be exact (that’s -27 Fahrenheit) and if you add wind chill into the equation it’s even worse!
The next morning is the same, including the same mad scramble to answer the phone before it awakens the entire household at 6:00 am. So, two kids who were semi-excited to return to school on Monday are transformed into two kids excited as if it were “Christmas morning” on account of the “cold days”. I remember well the feeling I got when, as a child, I was told we were having a snow day, and I see the same excitement in my own children.
The extended Christmas break starts out well. We get caught up on household chores and baking, but after a few hours the kids are beginning to grow bored. Thank goodness I have …..The Box. The Box of Magic Happiness. (I think that’s what I’m going to call it from now on.)
(For Christmas, my crafty cousin and her two children gave my kids “The Box of Magic Happiness”. This seemingly plain old 2′ X 2′ X1.5′ cardboard box is filled with fun – including ingredients and a “Table of Contents”. How this “The Box of Magic Happiness” works is you wait until your kids are driving you mad with whining or fighting and then you quietly ask, “Hey? Would anyone like to try something from ….The Box?” Within seconds, said monsters are “Magically” transformed back into polite, happy, patient little children eager to reach into The Box.)
One pale, scrawny little arm is thrust down into The Box and emerges triumphantly with the Table of Contents. They are ever so gently carried to the table where two little angels peruse the many different “Recipes”. When the two come to an agreement, the adult in charge collects the articles necessary and sets to organizing The Magic. (Translation: The box has two sheets of cardstock that list a number of different crafty activities, then within The Box are all ingredients necessary to complete each task.)
Monday: the children decide to try Snow Painting. (Ingredients: 2 plastic bottles, 2 packets of kool-aid, water and snow gear – snowsuit, toque, mittens, scarves & boots). School may be cancelled due to the cold, but we’re Canadians.
Tuesday: the children choose paint fizz, and then also choose to make Flubber. (And they played with that flubber for like two hours!)
With warmer temperatures on Wednesday school resumes and the house is empty again, but gladly I know the next time I hear the shrill ring of the phone at 6 a.m. I’m armed and ready – thanks to “The Box of Magic Happiness”.