Three is too many.
This revelation — specific to my children — hit me somewhere in Day 2 of the current Snowpocalypse.
Or are we calling it a Snowmageddon?
I can’t keep these things straight, probably because I’ve lost my mind.
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However we’re branding this rare wintery hell, I write you, dear reader, from deep within its cruel embrace.
Please send help, preferably in the form of a babysitter. Bourbon might also suffice.
(Actually, let’s be honest, both would probably be best.)
If you sense an unusual desperation in my voice, it’s because I haven’t had contact with the outside world since Friday. Quite frankly, it feels like much longer. Weeks? Months? Years? I’ve lost track. Time has become a flat circle, marked only by Netflix breaks and the latest terrifying Cliff Mass blog post.
I’m not even sure I know how adult conversations work anymore.
As I recall, grownups don’t scream all the time and suck the will to live out of you. Am I remembering that correctly? I really hope I am.
Hang on. I’ll be right back. Someone is crying. Someone is always crying.
Anyway. As I was saying …
For the last 72 hours — and counting — I’ve been stuck with these children. Three of them. It’s just too many.
I’ve done the math on this before, of course — like when it’s time to go school clothes shopping or load up in the car for a road trip — but the last three days have been a particularly harrowing reminder.
I want to be clear, before you get the wrong idea: I love my children dearly. They mean the world to me. They fill my life with purpose and joy.
Today I also fantasized about tucking them snuggly into a box filled with straw and leaving them at the nearest fire station.
So what if the oldest is 11 years old?
Hey, look. It’s snowing again. How lovely.
Anyway. As I was saying …
Here’s the thing: I simply cannot play another board game. There have been so many board games over the last three days.
Did you know they ruined Life?
The game, I mean, though I’m open to alternative interpretations.
When I was a kid, there was at least a 40-percent chance — when playing the game of Life — that you were going to end up destitute and broken. A few bad spins, and all of a sudden you’re an out-of-work toilet-brush salesman from Tenino.
The edge made it real. That’s Life, we were told.
Now? Everyone wins. At one point, I lost my job, only to go from being a lawyer to a cardiologist. Our son ended up “winning,” because he had more millions than anyone else.
That’s not Life. It’s a big, fat lie.
Oh, fantastic. We just got a call from the district. School is canceled again, because of course it is.
My wife just made a joke about homeschooling. Or at least I think she was joking.
I can’t tell anymore. Either way, I didn’t laugh.
The kids are never going back to school, I’m now sure of it. We’re going to die here, like the Donner party.
Maybe that can be tomorrow’s history lesson.
Anyway. As I was saying ….
A couple just snowshoed down our block. They’re probably on their way to the bar. They clearly don’t have children. I hate them both..
Is that wrong of me to say? Probably, but I don’t care anymore.
We have gone outside, in case you’re wondering. Yesterday we built a snowman.
It was excruciating.
The youngest wailed the whole time. Her hands were red and cold, but she wouldn’t go inside. Meanwhile, the oldest couldn’t figure out how pack and roll the snow into large balls — despite the fact I was clearly providing expert (if not slightly irritated) instruction.
In the end, we settled on a flat snowman — lying down in the backyard.
It was fitting, really.
This morning, when I woke up, our snowman was still there, just staring up at the sky in defeat. There was a dusting of new snow, and that stupid smile on his face. His unblinking eyes were as big as oranges.
(His eyes are oranges, by the way.)
The children — young optimists, not soured by age and still enamored by the snow — tell me he’s making a snow angel.
That’s cute, the innocence of youth on display.
Unfortunately, I know the truth.
Our snowman is me. He’s lost the will to go on.
Please send help. Please make it stop.