Goodnight Snow Days

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
March 3 2014 7:41 PM

Goodnight Snow Days

It is time for all good children to go back to school.

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Illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker

In the great green room
There was a telephone
That came with the news, that school was closed
Again.

And a red balloon, over my head, that said:
“Good night job.”

Yes, that’s your mommy, jumping over the moon
Trying again to entertain you because the cow said there’s been too much screen time
And mommy can’t do one more experiment with vinegar.

Dahlia Lithwick Dahlia Lithwick

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate

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And suddenly, for seemingly the 20th day this winter
I have two little bears, sitting on chairs
Arguing over who gets to use the good scissors
And who gets the crap ones with the rounded tips.

And that’s your dad and I, in the great green room
Trying to pretend over the telephone that we are on conference calls, instead of rounding up your snow pants
And your sleds and your mittens and kittens and whatever else rhymes with mittens and kittens
And we’re whispering, “Shush.”

I found your comb and your brush! Please stop putting ice cubes in the potty and wearing your PJs inside out and doing whatever else it is you do to make it snow. It’s March. Go back to school.

Because if they call even one more snow day
Big questions will emerge about how we will pay for this little toy house, young mouse.

Eat your bowl full of mush
And trust me when I tell you that I would kill for lunch from that salad place.

See that quiet old lady whispering, “Hush”?
Five months ago she was young and beautiful
And you called her “Mommy.”

But now she is locked in her study, hiding under her desk, trying to meet a deadline, as you pound on the door
Shouting: “Where are my snow boots?” “Where are the marshmallows?” and “Why is hot chocolate hot?”

And she is gritting through her silent, clenched teeth
“Good night job, goodnight deadline.”

So. Good night snow. Good night ice.
Good night inside-out jammies. Good night mice.
Good nights bears and good night chairs.

I don’t even care who gets the round scissors.
If you try to flush an ice cube down the toilet again tonight, I will fish it out.

Good night nobody. Good night mush.
Good night to the old lady whispering, "I just need five minutes, OK?"
Good night stars. Good night air.
Good night snow days, everywhere.

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