Whiny With a Chance of Cabin Fever: Weather Forecasts Fit for Parents
The advice and predictions moms and dads really need to hear
I know they only have good intentions. I know they are just doing their jobs.
Still, their words are like nails on a chalkboard: “Stay off the roads, stay inside and try to enjoy the snow.”
As snowstorm after snowstorm pounds my area this winter, such advice from TV weather forecasters has become all too frequent. The thing is, if you’re the parent of young children, you’re highly unlikely to “enjoy the snow” while you’re stuck inside. Let others snuggle by the fire with hot cocoa while they marvel at the winter wonderland outside their windows. You’ll be busy wiping snotty noses, quelling whines and trying to find that one missing piece of the kids’ favorite floor puzzle that they absolutely must have RIGHT NOW AT THIS SECOND.
I have some advice for any weather forecasters trying to increase their popularity in the coveted parents-of-babies-and-toddlers demographic: Tell it like it is. Check out my suggestions below.
What forecasters say: Snow will continue throughout the day into the early morning hours. Expect school closures. Please stay off the roads because they’ll be a mess. Just try to enjoy the day inside!
What parent-friendly forecasters would say: Dump all the toys on the living room floor, throw some fruit snacks and crackers on the kitchen counter and then find your favorite cowering corner. It’s going to be a long day.
What forecasters say: Drenching rains will hit our area by midday and will make for a nasty commute. Don’t forget your umbrella!
What parent-friendly forecasters would say: When your kids come home from daycare, they won’t take off their rain boots, so your floor is about to become a slip-n-slide. Don’t forget your mop!
What forecasters say: It’ll be a gorgeous, sunny day today so you’ll definitely want to get outside to enjoy this weather!
What parent-friendly forecasters would say: It’ll be a gorgeous, sunny day today so if you don’t take your children outside, you will feel like an awful parent. Be prepared to spend 20 minutes trying to slather sunscreen on tiny, flailing bodies.
The Day After a Snowstorm:
What forecasters say: The storm has finally headed out of our area but it’s still chilly, so please be sure to bundle up before venturing outside.
What parent-friendly forecasters would say: You can take your children outside, but you will spend approximately 20 minutes bundling each one. When you’re finally ready to leave, the potty-trained toddler will announce he has to pee. When you’ve helped him and gotten him dressed all over again, the baby will gift you with an explosive diaper. While you’re changing him, the toddler will whine about being hot. About two hours after you originally started getting the kids dressed, you’ll finally be ready to leave. You will forget your own hat and gloves and spend their outdoor playtime hating life.
Aren’t you glad the storm is gone?
Needless to say, if a parent-friendly weather TV network existed, I would definitely tune in. Perhaps they could even feature your local crying forecast on the eights? Now that would be a valuable service…
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