January 7, 2014

The Snow Day

I woke up groggy, in the kind of haze where you're pretty sure your hair is somehow being accidentally vacuumed, but really it's just your 3-year-old pulling at your scalp to make sure you're up. Because it's 5:45 a.m. And he's thirsty for milk. Now.

My fault. I went to bed with the sweet song of the "no school tomorrow" phone call still chirping melodically in my ears and two whole episode catch-ups of Downton Abbey done on the iPad (I'm still on Season 1, but still! two whole episodes!). Up too late with naughty nobles and dastardly footmen, I was.

So as my husband kissed me good luck and made his way into the arctic deep freeze, I turned to Facebook for ideas. What the sam hill was I going to do with three kids--three totally different skill sets (~5, 3, 17mo)--that we hadn't already done over the two-week Winter Break?

I have some savvy friends on Facebook, and I loved their suggestions. Bake. Pretend it's school (something I once wrote about doing over here when I had one kid, but it was like, music school all day and we studied music by the decade each hour). Make a tropical island destination and put the kids in swim suits. These were all great.

But then I turned to the kids, their wee, lovely cheeks full of bagel, and asked them what they wanted to do.



AAAAAAH! {said the baby.}

So. We went to Africa. When I asked 5 more specifically what she had in mind, she said she'd seen a big waterfall in a picture, and wanted to go there. Victoria Falls is in Zimbabwe, so now that we had a more specific destination, there was only one thing left to do.

We grabbed our passports.

And quickly made an itinerary, agreeing not to over-plan, but to see where our trip took us.

We saw sleeping lions and tigers in their "habitat."

Monkeys, doing what they do best.

We played in desert "sand" with a zebra, hippo, leopard, and giraffe.

(We even spotted their secret watering hole.)
All the while, listening to "The Lion King."
Of course

The babe really dug this. Holy sensory play.

And then, off to "Victoria Falls," aka, the tub of  N-iquity (you probably can't tell,
but our shower curtain is a map of the world--so there was a mini-geography lesson in there somewhere).

(N.B. blue "falls" washcloth)

No trip to the continent--no trip anywhere, really--would be complete without music. African drumming, people!

Mini-science lesson: how many different sounds can you make
 when you put different stuff in
different containers? Answer: enough to make the baby scream for mercy.
And to quiet the beasts in all of us, some reading/circle time: Giraffes Can't Dance (yep, it takes place in Africa). Crowd favorite.

We paused for lunch and quiet time, where my fearless travelers are resting their weary wanderlust. 
What a lucky momma I am: an extra day to spend with my babes, and in our own little sub-Saharan haven on this sub-zero, Arctic day. 

Thanks for the ideas, friends! Next snow day destination: South America. 


Sejal said...

Love the post, your writing, and you. What a wonder you are!

renee said...

You are brilliant! So glad the trip to Africa went well.

TT said...

SOMEONE I know wins the best mom in the state of New York award today! Theo and I made scones, all the while never thinking to leave Pittsburgh, so viva YOUR imaginations and making passports to get to AFRICA! Yippee. Glad you enjoyed your snow day.

Nina Badzin said...

This is so sweet and creative. Loved reading it and seeing the pictures. So glad you shared!

monica gebell said...

Thanks, all! Very sweet. Necessity is the MOTY--not I!