|One of the perks to having kids...lots of volunteers for shoveling in a snowstorm. And when I say volunteers - I mean I volunteer them to shovel.|
Those 3 terms all bring joy to kids here in New England. You know what they bring to Moms? 2 words.
(insert minor disclaimer...I know, enjoy them while they're young, these are the things that make fond childhood memories for your kids, suck it up buttercup..I know, I know - but this is my blog and I will vent accordingly so that I can get it out here and be bright and cheery when it's time to go back out into the Great White Arctic Tundra with the kids.) Carry On."Mooooooooom, can we go outside and play in the snow? Please, Please, Please, Please, Pleaaaaaaase?"
I knew it was coming. Between the several feet of snow that has accumulated in the past 2 weeks, the huge snowdrifts, and their February Break - it was inevitable that I would have to take them out to play in it. You know what this means. A few simple steps to getting them ready to go outside and have loads o' fun right? ((Gong. Buzzer. X)) No. Fun for them - yes! Fun for Mom - not exactly.
First of all you must begin the layering process. Long johns, long socks, warm fleecy pants, snowpants, mittens, boots, hats and all of a sudden you have Randy from a Christmas story. Who can move with so many layers?
|I can't put my arms dowwwn!|
Do you think for a minute that you were able to find everyone's everything just like that? Inevitably, someone's mitten has gone missing, a hat hiding under a table in plain sight - someone left something at school, in their backpack, in the car - who knows. So an easy ten minutes will be lost looking for someone's missing item. MOOOOOMMMM WHERE'S MY ______? MOOOMMMMM I CAN'T FIND MY _______! MOOOOOM HE TOOK MY ________! If you're lucky, your kids are persistent and continue to search for things with their eyes open. Eventually everyone finds found their boots, but chances are someone is going to complain that they don't fit right. You'll spend another five to ten minutes trying to get the inner lining of the boot to fit in the way it should, then several more struggling with your child's foot. Those boots are so rugged, there's no way to tell whether or not their foot actually is in all the way or not. Be prepared for someone to fall over within their first few minutes of walking.
Ok so let's just say by some miracle everyone is dressed and ready to go outside. The first ten minutes are pure adrenaline from excitement. This isn't so bad. Right? Wrong.
Moommmm can you pull us in the sled?
Immediately, you start to wonder how you became a Siberian Husky (wait, maybe it was too many comfort carby foods this winter? but that's another blog of its own) but the look on their faces is so priceless that you push forward. And by push forward I mean trudge through snow that is literally up to your knees and higher. Your thighs start to burn from the exertion and then you break out in a sweat like you are in the middle of a Body Combat workout. Hmmm, wonder how many calories this is burning? The kids snap you out of your calorie contemplations and yell for you to go faster. MUSH! MUSH!!!! You can only keep this up for another lap before you are about to fall over from exhaustion. The kids, however, seem to just be warming up.
Of course, snow angels are next. Do you know that snow angels are the cause of the sopping wet mess of an outdoor clothing pile that will be waiting you in just a few hours? But nevermind that. What child doesn't want to make his/her angel mark in the snow. It's a simple necessity of outdoor play. After all of this fun and innocence goes on for a while - inevitably it takes a turn and starts going downhill. Someone - and there's always someone in a crowd of outdoorsmen who throws the first snowball and yells SNOWBALL FIGHT!!! Immediately, my PTSD from younger years kicks in and reminds me of getting pelted in the face with a brilliantly compacted/constructed snowball from my brother or other childhood -Scut- Farkus-type of 'friend.' Most of my outdoor memories are tarnished with traumatic memories of getting socked with snowballs. Why is it so hysterically funny to bomb someone with ice cold flying snow? I still to this day do not know. One time when we were dating, my husband hit me with one and I had to lay down the law. Do not ever. Ever. I mean never - do that again. He knew I meant business - and I think part of him felt sorry for me for the extreme trauma that surged through my body when I said it. Some horrific childhood memories just don't go away.
Most likely, the driving force that brings outdoor play to a halt is either they are too cold, someone got hit in the face with a flying snow torture device, someone can't feel their feet or hands, or someone has to pee. Any of those things happen, and the show is over. Now the work really begins for you.
Everyone trudges back inside - and if you're like me and don't have a 'mudroom' this is where it gets tricky. For me, it means besides my own outerwear, 3 pairs of snow- filled boots , 3 pairs of sopping wet mittens, 3 hats, 3 coats, and of course - everyone pretending like they don't know how to remove snowpants. Someone is tripping, falling over, playing drama king and yelling but I have to peeeeee!! What's left is a trail of wet outerwear covering my kitchen floor and three boys fighting to get to the bathroom first.
You can't even begin to tackle the pile because you are now putting on your kitchen maid's hat to prepare the long-awaited cup of hot chocolate - which I think is the real reason anyone goes out in the snow in the first place. Add some marshmallows and whip cream and now the kids will be on a sugar high while they are thawing out from the freezer burns from being outside. Soon everyone will be so exhausted from overexertion in the snow, and the sugar crash, they will end up fast asleep somewhere on the couch - leaving your quiet time to be spent doing the countless loads of laundry from soiled piles of outerwear. Once you finally get everything put away and cleaned up, you'll hear the inevitable....Mommmm can we go back outside and play? That was so fun!
Rinse, Repeat same scenario every day of vacation and what do you have?
One tired Momma.
Cheers and Love,