I do find it a bit ironic that spectators at the Winter Olympics are basking in 60-degree days on the Black Sea while the Washington metro area is covered in a foot, give or take a few inches, of snow. Schools are closed again, grocery stores are running low on bread and milk, and parents are scrambling to find someplace—anyplace!—with sleds still for sale.
It makes me think that the real Olympics are not happening in Russia, but much closer to home, thanks to Snochi. Welcome to the Snochi Olympic Games, where Washingtonians of any age can bring home a gold medal.
Official Event: Biathlon
Like the biathlon, where cross-country skiers go like hell only to stop, breathe, and shoot a rifle at a distant target, the shopathon mixes speed and control. Competitors must make it to the grocery store before the flakes start to fall, collecting the East Coast snow day essentials of bread, milk, eggs, toilet paper, and for parents of young children, diapers and wine, before your neighbors do. Arrive too late and you’ll be stuck putting Parmalat in your coffee and making “blizzard soup” with banana peppers and yams because all the good ingredients are gone. Serve that to your kids for dinner, and you’ll really wish you’d picked up some Malbec to manage the madness in your house, because Mom and Dad are getting a serious DNF.
Official Event: Skeleton
Snochi-Style: Solo kid sledding
Noelle Pikus-Pace, like many Olympic sliders, can hit speeds of 80 miles per hour on her tiny skeleton sled. As an athlete who also travels with her family to train and compete, she has also been the Supermom of Sochi. But the anxious thrills we feel watching her on TV are nothing compared to to the parental trepidation of watching our kids tackle the “big” sledding hills solo. Gack!
Official Event: Speedskating
Snochi-Style: Shoveling snow
A preferred event of many Snochi dads—or maybe just at our house—shoveling out after a big snow demands cardiovascular endurance and one strong back, just like its official equivalent. And, just like speedskating, with its endless heats over and over again on the same track, shoveling never seems to end.
Official Event: Curling
Snochi-Style: Managing screen time
To succeed at curling, which involves sliding heavy stones on ice, would seem to involve superhuman patience. I mean, smoothing the ice with sweepers to control its path? That’s not a job for the easily exasperated among us. The Snochi equivalent? Controlling your kids’ screen time on a snow day, because after you’ve shoveled your driveway, pushed and pulled a all-terrain stroller over shoveled walks and the snow mountains on every corner, gone sledding, helped with a snowman and a snowdragon, built a snochifort, baked chocolate chip cookies, and dried 12 pairs of mittens, the thought of turning the TV to Disney Junior at some point during the unexpected five-day weekend so you can take a break from the Snochi Olympics is undeniably appealing. Crazy pants not required.
What games would YOU add to the Snochi Olympics?