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Snow Shoveling

ThatGirl's picture

Yesterday, school was cancelled because of snow. SS13 was home alone all day while we were at work. It was to be their first day back after the 2 week Winter break. He sat in front of MTV all day, and even built a fire! Apparently he called SO and asked for permission, and that was A-OK with him.

Do you think he could have managed to do some shoveling so that we could get our cars back in the driveway? No. He didn't even clear the steps in front of the house. I get home, park in the street, trudge through the snow and put my things down, then head back out to do the shoveling. An hour and a half later, SS13 comes out in basketball shorts and sneakers without socks and makes a veiled attempt to help, probably hoping that I'll get pissed off at his idiocy and send him back inside.

I did my best to bite my tongue and ignore him as he slipped and fell in the snow several times. Once I had to tell him to quit throwing snow into the driveway that I was working on clearing. He bitched and moaned about the shovel he was using and said it didn't work. Asked where the other shovels were (surely expecting me to go get him one) and I curtly told him they were in the garage. Apparently that was more work than he was willing to do, so he kept flailing about with the shovel he had.

Eventually he goes back up to the house without a word, and I'm thinking he finally wised up and decided to put on his boots and snow clothes. Nope! He was hungry. After 20 minutes or so, he sticks his head out the door and asks if there are any shovels in the house. I was seriously considering choking the kid! Why would we keep shovels in the house? Again I told him they were in the garage. Ten minutes go by and he comes back out with the garage door opener, spends another 15 minutes in the garage, then back up to the house to return the opener, then back out to his newly acquired shovel, that still didn't make a difference in the amount of snow he was able to move.

He whined that the snow had turned to ice. Well no shit, Sherlock, it's getting dark and should have been done in the daytime while the sun was out. He complained about being cold, well duh! He wanted to know when his Dad would be home. I was biting my tongue the entire time. I really wanted to tell him to just go back inside and let me do the shoveling in peace. That he wasn't helping, and was only irritating me more than he already had by not doing it in the first place. But that's exactly what the lazy brat wanted.

I was anxious for his Dad to come home, to see that I had to do the shoveling on my own, expecting him to say something about the way he was dressed, maybe even reprimand him for not doing it earlier. Nope, he came home and didn't say a peep to the little brat! He just grabbed a shovel and helped me finish up.

My sons always had the driveway and stairs cleared before I got home. I did the same when I was a kid. We weren't allowed to play or watch TV until it was finished. Why is it too much to ask his children to do the same? I didn't say a word about it until later that evening, as I was cleaning up the mess the kid had made by the fireplace. I asked if he had asked permission to build a fire and SO said he told him it was OK, the boy was cold. Then I went off and said, maybe you should have told him to put on some fucking clothes and go out and shovel, work up a sweat for a change. He didn't say a word *grrrrrrr*


ThatGirl's picture

I'd be highly suspicious if one of the skids did that. It means he wants something, or broke something and is trying to hide the evidence, or got into trouble at school LOL

stepgin's picture

I concur, That Girl! It ALWAYS made me suspicious when my kids did anything without asking (except on my birthday). Smile

ThatGirl's picture

Because I've tried to disengage. Anything I do or say to the kid just makes him resent me and go crying to Daddy about how mean I am. SD17 left a year ago because of Big Bad Me.

Timetogiveup's picture

UGH, last week I had to enduire the same thing. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE KIDS????? When I was a kid, before we were allowed to go out shoveling for money we had to shovel our houses out first. I can tell you, we did ours first so we could hit the houses that paid well before anyone else. Everyone was outside: sledding, making snowmen and igloos and bombing cars with snowballs. Now they sit inside mouths open playing stupid games. I really feel bad for these kids when they are adults.

ThatGirl's picture

Oh course they don't want to do the work, mine didn't either. But they weren't given an option, it's a chore that has to be done. As the parent, I made sure they did it. As a responsible parent, I did my best to raise responsible children. There are plenty of things in life that we don't WANT to do. Like Foxie said, what would happen if I decided to quit going to work, because it's not how I want to spend my day?

mom2five's picture

Did you tell him to have the driveway and porch shoveled before you got home? Honestly, my kids wouldn't have done it unless I had told them to.

I think you need to leave him specific instructions next writing. And no way in hell would I let a 13 year old make a fire while I was not at home. I don't even let my 17 year old turn the stove on if I'm not home.

Rags's picture

The key to solving your problem is a snow blower. I have a snow blower. Mine is a 1992 model that does not work very well, makes all kids of strange noises when I can get it to work at all and needs repeated adjustments to keep it in working order though it never seems to work effectively even with nearly constant adjustment.

My snow blower worked wonders during the record snows in N DE last winter. It was a complete pain the ass but it did its job eventually.

You too have a snow blower. If I had to guess I would say your snow blower is a 1997 model. Yours probably requires constant adjustment as mine does.

Some snow blower performance problems I would counsel you to keep an eye out for are ... aiming the discharge chute away from landscaping including hedges and bushes. Prior to a specific adjustment to solve this problem last winter my snow blower had a tendency to pile tons of snow on hedges and bushes then make a long series of very annoying noises when I was attempting to correct the direction of the snow discharge chute. Interestingly I had to get my snow blower out in the spring and use it to dig up and replace crushed landscaping. I learned that a marginally performing snow blower is even less effective when used to dig up and replace plants, hedges and bushes.

Another snow blower problem I have experienced is that the discharge chute tends to blow snow back on to previously cleared areas. Mine would remove snow from the front patio and walkway then for some reason the snow from the head of the driveway would blow right back on to the front patio and sidewalk. It took several calibrations and adjustments to correct that problem and get the mechanical noise and racket tuned out until the front patio and walkway were re-cleared.

The strangest thing about my snow blower and that you will probably find is the case with yours is its aversion to snow and cold weather. Which is a bit odd considering cold weather is what a snow blower exists to adress.

Once I got the mechanical racket tuned out, which came back every time I started it up to remove snow, it would run somewhat smoothly for an hour or two then for some inexplicable reason it would start shivering and start to turn blue. I never figured out what was causing the change in color to blue. Every time I brought it in to work on the color problem it would return to its original color before I could figure the blue thing out. I suspect the blue color was related to cold but I am not positive about that. Another problem that I suspect is related to my snow blower's aversion to cold is that it gets this slimy discharge from its air intake after it has been blowing snow for a while. I use tissues to clean it up which works pretty well.

One thing I found is an absolute necessity with my snow blower is that I have to start warming it up when the snow starts and keep it prepped for actually moving snow for an hour or two before it actually starts moving snow. Maintaining snow blower focus is absolutely critical to snow removal and is required if you don't want to have to remove the snow yourself.

My snow blower does not work well enough to make it an asset. I tried to even give mine away to Goodwill when we moved back to TX this summer but Goodwill took one look at it, shook their heads and told me they would not take it. It was so bad that when I put it on the curb on trash day in June the trash guy would not take it. So, we have to pack it up and ship it from DE to TX with the rest of our stuff.

Good luck with your snow blower. I hope you have as much fun using yours as I do mine. }:)

Rags's picture

I have not tried that. But, whacking it on the head, I mean on the motor, with a snow shovel works fairly well. Wink

ThatGirl's picture

Pretty funny, Rags. We do have a snow blower, but can't use it on this drive as it isn't paved. But you're right, they are more trouble than they are worth (most of the time).

Rags's picture

There is a fairly strong Mennonite community in the Lancaster PA area. Of course that is also the epicenter of Amish culture in the US also.

ThatGirl's picture

Also in Montana, near the Air Force base. I enjoyed seeing them whenever I went out to visit my brother.

Rags's picture

Biggrin My SS had the same problem with a non functioning shovel when he first became my Snow Blower at 17yo.

"Daaaaaad! This shovel does not work and won't pick up much snow, it keeps spinning in my hands and the snow falls off every time I scoop up the snow".

"Sonnnnnnnnnn! See the handle at the back end of the shovel? Grab that with your right hand and put your left hand near the front of the shovel You will be able to control the shovel and pick up the snow."

"Huh? :? "

"Jesus Christ on a Crutch kid. Give me the damned shovel and watch for a second!"

"Oh, that is how it works. ... Thanks dad."

"No problem" Stomp, stomp, huff, huff! slam the front door and get a beer, swill the beer then get out the Tequila for some medicinal Skid Cranio-Rectitis proximity treatment.

I never remember having anyone needing to show me how to use a snow shovel when we lived in Colorado in 74-78 when I was 10-14yo. And that was after I had lived in the Arabian desert for 6yrs and had never before laid eyes on a snow shovel.

I think the WOW and video game programmers need to add some basic tools as weapons in their games. Since that electronic crack for kids is the only thing the little shits seem to pay attention to. They can recount in detail every creature, weapon, battle, secret passage, and controller key sequence etc... on F-in video games but stare at a F-in Snow Shovel like it is some miraculous alien technology never before seen by mankind.

And don't even try to explain how to use a tooth brush to them.

Go kids!!!! Gotta love em.

Timetogiveup's picture

Pokemon with a snow shovel???????

We live in the freaking desert but we have a cabin up north. Last week, we got about 2 foot of snow. I am not sure if the kid has ever seen snow before. I told Stink to go get the shovel.....he came upstairs with the gardening trowel. Like stupid, you are really gonna dig a path to the shed with that?

Are these kids REALLY that stupid??????

Rags's picture

Live in the desert and a cabin up north. You would not be in AZ by chance would you? I went to college both in Flag and in Phx among about a half a dozen other places. There is ample opportunity to shovel snow in N AZ.

Timetogiveup's picture the Valley during the week up in the Bradshaws on the weekend.

He shoveled for about 10 mins and had to take a break and never wnet back to work. Whatever.

Rags's picture

Prescott, Flag and the Verde Valley are some of my favorite places. Enjoy. Especially enjoy my extreme jealousy.