Thursday, December 04, 2008
If You Really Want a Snow Day...
...you should wear your pajamas inside out and flush an ice cube down the toilet. This is what one of the neighborhood kids told my son last Sunday afternoon, anyway, when they were predicting 3-7 inches overnight, and everyone (except for a stay-at-home parent or two :-/) was really wishing for another day tacked on to the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.
I had never heard about this bit of childhood magic, so I went Googling and found an interesting link to an NPR story. An inquiry on the parenting board I frequent also turned up several instances of related rituals for getting a snow day, including licking a spoon and sleeping with it under your pillow, and putting a white crayon under your pillow (along with wearing your pajamas inside out or backwards). I wonder how far back these stories date? It's an interesting anthropological question, and if I had time I would check out something like this book on Rituals and Patterns in Children's Lives and see if it's in there, and what other childhood rituals (May baskets? dandelions under the chin? jump rope songs?) are in there.
My son who struggles with OCD expressed his disbelief in this particular ritual, and laughed about how funny it was, this "normative manifestation of compulsive behaviors found in typical development". Which is interesting - when it comes to real OCD, everyone else's rituals (including many group beliefs) are utterly bizarre. But your own idiosyncratic rituals, avoidances, etc. - no matter how illogical, those are different. You just never can tell with OCD, can you?*
Anyway, we got rain and then maybe an inch of snow, which quickly melted. The photo above is actually from last January.
*pun intended. I know very well it's the "doubting disease".