Being snowed in with young kids tests parents' creativity

By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The attack from the western front has grown more intense in these waning hours of daylight.

A heavy barrage of Lego pieces flies through the air, answered from the east by a hail of dry pinto beans.

It is Day 3 of Snowmageddon, and the parents of young children are growing weary.

We are bruised, haggard and completely out of ideas for crafts, stories, puppet shows, cookie recipes and projects.

For lots of us, a string of snow days like this one is really akin to being cast in a survival reality show. Or working KP duty in a battle unit during the first World War.

Just a moment, a very tiny first lieutenant needs help adjusting his swim goggles.

Okay, I'm back.

Some of this really made us closer as a family. For example, in my home, we made fantastic chocolate-chip peanut butter cookies using dump trucks (my trick to get the boys to bake with me), we started on class Valentines, we cooked our own chicken soup, drew Chewbacca and Darth Vader, created a toy launcher out of a PVC pipe and a slingshot, and watched a movie about sea dinosaurs.

And then we ate dinner Friday. And then there was Saturday. And Sunday. And Monday.

On my way to pick up the boys after early dismissal from school Friday, I listened to a radio broadcaster predict the weekend's complete snow-in and shutdown of the city. He said it would be a good time "to just stay home and get to know your family."

He sounded thrilled to be able to spend some quality time with his sons. Or are they daughters?

There are some folks who got to know their families, and even their neighbors, astoundingly well over the weekend.

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