Grown-ups Versus the Little Kids: A Great Day in the Snow

The snow just keeps coming. We’re tired of shoveling. I should say Sweetheart is tired of shoveling. He’s doing most of it and the baby snowblower we borrowed—actually a leaf blower that converts—isn’t much good because it shoots snow almost straight ahead. He keeps moving the same snow a couple of feet, then again.

The plows have come through a couple of times. It warmed up and then cooled back down so the snow settled into huge, heavy chunks.

Every day there is more snow to move and it’s getting to the point where we can’t lift the snow to the top of the berms along the sidewalk. It just comes sliding back down because the piles are so high and steep.

We made the best of it last week with a fierce snow battle: Grown-Ups vs. The Little Kids.

The Boy (age 11) dug enthusiastically into the huge pile we created by shoveling the (heavy, wet) snow plow's leavings into the corner of the yard.

While we shoveled the sidewalks and driveway we heard muffled but excited progress reports: "I'm two feet in!" "This is at least three feet deep!"

Sweetheart had been talking about his childhood snow forts, made by packing snow into a container and unmolding it to make snow bricks. We told The Boy we'd make a fort for the adults and we could have a battle. The Boy thought that was great. Little did he know…

Our recycling bin proved to be a great snow brick mold. Our strategic position was even better: a solid wall between two trees, facing directly toward the entrance to The Boy's cave. Naturally he started tunneling in on the side toward the yard, not toward the sidewalk, so we had him.

While we packed and stacked bricks he dug away, making his hole deeper. At some point Littlest Girl (age 8), watching our wall rise higher and higher, had an "Aha!" moment.

I heard her say, in a stage whisper that reached across the yard, "Boy!” (insert slight trouble with her Rs here) “They can thwow snowballs wight into your cave!" The Boy dug faster.

Misunderstanding The Boy's directive—"Cover me!" by which he meant “put sleds up to protect my backside”—Littlest Girl started throwing snowballs before our walls were above waist high.

No problem. Sweetheart could fling an entire shovelful of snow all the way to the fort. I don't have much of an aim, the glory days of playing catcher in sixth-grade softball being long past, but I can scoop and fling pretty fast.

The Boy frantically positioned plastic toboggans for some cover, but there were breaches to be exploited. Did we ever exploit.

Littlest Girl giggled and threw snowballs, occasionally to very good effect since we were still working on the walls. But really, neither of them had a chance of “winning” (whatever that looks like in a snowball fight when no one is going to rub anyone else’s face in the snow).

Toward the end, The Boy barricaded himself in the cave and Littlest Girl came over to our side, the little turncoat.

Basically, two adults in their 40s threw snow at a couple of kids ages 8 and 11 until we all got tired and went in for hot chocolate. What a great day.