The Reality of Snowfall and Children

You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination — Next stop, the Twilight Zone.

Here is how the morning should have gone:

We got our first dusting of snow last night, so when the kids woke up and pulled aside the drapes, they were instantly in a race to pull on their boots and caps and see who could hurl the first snowball. Standing at the kitchen window, pancakes on the griddle behind me, I watch dreamily as my children laugh and roll in the snow- snow hardly deep enough for a angel, but they try anyway, and the green blades of fall grass punctuate their efforts. Then they trotted happily off to school, and I continued on with my well-planned and full day…

Here is how the morning actually went:

“Hey MOM! Look! It snowed!!!” Bean yanked aside the curtain, and immediately burst into ridiculously huge tears- in the snow outside the window was his peacock feather he planted earlier this summer in hopes of growing a peacock. (we clearly need further light and knowledge in biology) The bright iridescent feather was soggy and flopped down into the mulch of the flower bed, and Bean’s cries were gaining in strength and giant tears rolled down his face to accompany his howls. I’m still in my pajamas, but the feather must be rescued, or this is going to get a whole lot worse.

The feather now pressed between paper towels and lying over a heater vent, the boys scarf their breakfast and ready to run outside. Only no one can find anything- no coats, no hats, no gloves. My numbskull first son actually goes outside barefoot while I am crawling through their closet searching for boots, and Bean runs out in his pajamas. As I’m digging around for their boots and mittens, the pancakes, forgotten and neglected, fry on the griddle and the smoke alarm’s shrill scream yanks me backwards out of the closet.

I rip the pan from the stove and watch the plume of sizzling steam as I turn the faucet on- and realize the heater is on and the front door is wide open. The boys are pelting each other with sloppy snowballs, and are still not dressed properly. I may have muttered something unseemly. Abby is walking around with one boot on, a pair of leggings and a t-shirt with a tiara and a Darth Vader cape.  Yelling for the boys to get here before I commit infanticide, I send Abby in search of her other boot.

The boys tumble in the door, laughing, soaked and dripping all over the kitchen. I mopped the floor last night of course, and now puddles of melting snow mixed with mulch and grass clippings form a trail from the front door, through the kitchen, down the hall and into their bedroom. They are giddy and oblivious, and I’m dangerously close to saying some naughty and choice words.

Abby is keening  and wailing dramatically from her bedroom to add her voice to the cacophony- she cannot find her boot, and is devastated that she has missed the slushy fun. Breakfast is burned, the smoke alarm has finally stopped, and the boys are pulling on their school clothes.- shorts and t-shirts seem like a good idea to their pea brains, and I send them back to try again, while I pop leftovers in the microwave for Jeff and Abby’s breakfast and another English muffin in the toaster for Bean.

I stepped in a puddle of melted snow with my sock-feet.

Jeffrey cannot find his new jacket. The one we got yesterday. He thinks he left it at school, and Bean’s backpack is utterly missing. Going into their room, I start to riffle through stuff, looking under the bed- oh my hell. THAT’s where all the socks are! And granola bar wrappers, and a banana- really guys? a banana?!!- and about five million Lego pieces.  I do find a stocking cap.  Sitting cross-cross on their floor, I look around: It’s clear Bean was looking for some reading material, because every single book on the bookshelf is on the floor in a dog-eared heap. The desk in covered- literally covered in Lego pieces of art- each of which is precious and irreplaceable. Jeffrey had emptied his dresser drawer looking for a certain shirt and his bed was strewn with his cast-offs, which would inevitably now be mixed in with the dirty laundry.

Abby is still wandering around in one boot, only now the Vader cape is replaced with a white fur vest and the tiara with a glitter headband.

Their ride honks in the driveway, and chaotic gaggle of boy-children roll towards the back door, missing coats and gloves, backpacks unzipped and leaving a swath of destruction behind them.  I shut the door and lean against it, looking up a the ceiling, and reach over and throw the deadbolt.

I still can’t find Abby’s boot.

6 thoughts on “The Reality of Snowfall and Children

  1. The boot, the backpack and the new jacket are surely under the couch/in the freezer/behind the drier/on the roof. If it’s impossible for a lost item to fit into an inconvenient space, that is where it is. It’s in the last place you’d think to look and it’ll be the first thing you’ll find when you’re looking for the swimsuits this summer. It’s part of a grand conspiracy of the universe to drive moms crazy.

  2. The legos! Oh my heaven (actually hell) the legos! I have 3 boys and every last inch of every nightstand, dresser and bookshelf in their room is covered “in Lego pieces of art- each of which is precious and irreplaceable. ” It doesn’t matter what I do. I could put up 50 more shelves and they would be covered too. And the socks under the bed, oh my you just described my kids rooms!

    However, your morning does beat mine.

    I’ve probably never commented before but have been reading for awhile. You are an inspiration to women everywhere. Not just the ones who can relate to your situation, but ones like me too who read your blog and think, ” I want to be as capable and strong and smart as she is.”

    Cheesy, but I mean it.

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