Snow Days: How to Guarantee Fun in 12 Simple Steps

I almost never play hooky from work. I learned early on that it's important to set a good example for my children, so I only fake being sick when it's absolutely necessary that I stay home: sick kid, sick wife, March Madness, Opening Day, Jersey Shore marathon, stuck on level 7-4 of Angry Birds, left shoes upstairs and am just not in the mood to get them.

The No. 1 reason to play hooky from work, though, is to enjoy a Snow Day. They don't happen often, so it's important to make the most of it when they do. Here is a 12-Step Program designed to make sure you have a great Snow Day with your kids. 

Step 1: Do Snow Dance Rituals
You can't have a Snow Day without enough snow to convince the school superintendent that she needs a day off to go skiing with her friends. In order to get it, you and the kids must complete as many Bring-Us-Some-Snow Rituals as you can, which include: shaking all snow globes in the house after dinner, flushing ice cubes down the toilet; putting white crayons in the freezer, wearing your pajamas inside out, sleeping upside down in your bed and feeding Dad copious amounts of bacon for dinner. (The last one is most pivotal). 

Step 2: Spend 45 Minutes Putting on Snow Suits and Boots
It will inevitably take you and the kids just under an hour to dress yourselves in snow attire that 1) Mom deems acceptable and 2) allows you just enough leg and arm range to barely move. If it takes you fewer than 15 minutes to get back up after falling down in the snow, you aren't wearing enough layers.

Step 3: Spend 45 Minutes Getting off Snow Suits and Boots Because We Forgot to Pee First and Now Someone Has to Go
Always, always, always remember to use the restroom before getting your snow clothes on. And no, you can't just let your kids pee in their pants. Trust me, there's a good reason for it, and that reason is called Mom's Rage.

Step 4: Repeat Step 2

Step 5: Get Snowman Kit.
Unless you smoke out of a corncob pipe and Mom has two lumps of coal (no, that is not a euphemism for her chest, you pervert), then you'll need a Snowman Kit. A good Snowman Kit will come equipped with two eyes, a nose, a mouth, three or more buttons, a scarf and a very swanky hat. A great Snowman Kit will come with Vermouth.

Step 6: Start a Snowball Fight
Mom's rules: You are only allowed to throw snowballs at those bigger than you, and at no time is it acceptable to throw a snowball at Mom. Dad's rules: Every man, woman, child and snowman for himself.

Step 7: Build a Fort
Of course, as Dad you were smart enough to build your fort before the snowball fight. Chalk this up as a valuable life lesson you are teaching your kids, like "Don't Eat Yellow Snow" and "Avoid Grown Men Wearing Fanny Packs."

Step 8: Make Snow Angels
This is not only an aesthetically pleasing way to decorate your yard, it's also an excellent cover up for when you fall and can't get up (due to the layering issue mentioned in Step 2).

Step 9: Convince Dad it's Time to Go In
Good luck with that.

Step 10: Spend 45 Minutes Getting Snow Suits and Boots Off
It's preferable to undress by the door to avoid tracking snow throughout the house. It is not preferable to stand there naked, waiting for your wife to dress all of you. Also not preferable: Bringing snowballs into the house; wiping your thawing, snotty nose on the couch; making a butt-print in the steamy glass of the storm door; rooting for the Yankees.

Step 11: Drink Hot Chocolate
This is the most critical step of the 12-Step Program. No Snow Day is complete without cuddling up on the couch (or a comfortable spot on the floor), throwing a blanket over everyone's frostbitten legs and sipping some marshmallow-filled cups of hot chocolate. It's the perfect end cap to the day. But you're not quite finished yet ...

Step 12: Flush Ice Cubes Down the Toilet
You can never have too many snow days.

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