Until yesterday I was ready to suck it up and kick the whining about this, the winter that never ends. You picked Vermont, I said. It’s still March, I reminded myself. And then I read an article confirming that this IS THE COLDEST MOTHER F’ING WINTER IN 130 YEARS.
While I’m thankful this confirmation means I’m not suddenly going full wuss on winter, the record itself can go straight to hell.
I’m just done. Done with coats, which I stopped washing a month ago. Unless one of those kids falls into a legit pile of dog shit, they’re not getting cleaned until we’re shoving them into storage when the sun finally comes back. (Ok. Let’s be honest, by that point I’ll be so sick of looking at them they’ll be doused in gasoline and set on fire.) I’m done keeping track of hats and gloves and scarves. When it’s finally over, I’m taking EVERY.SINGLE.SNOW BOOT and lobbing them like god damn shot puts into Lake Champlain. The snow pants, if I don’t fashion them into a noose and hang myself in the basement with them first, will be ceremoniously ripped into a thousand pieces and scattered out the sun roof of a moving vehicle.
At least once a day I find myself pouring through photos on my camera roll, the ones I’ve left since last summer, like they’re images of dead relatives.
“See?”, I say to my two year old. “Remember when we used to go outside without coats or even shoes? Wasn’t that lovely?”
“There too much snow out dere, Mama. It cold. I hafta wear mine coat.”
“It won’t always be like that, love.”
“Yes. It will.”
Good god. Does she know something I don’t? Or has the 47 combined hours of watching Frozen videos on Youtube (BECAUSE I’M GRASPING AT STRAWS HERE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT DEPARTMENT) replaced the corner of her brain that once held the memories of grass between her toes and playing outside without crying?
I’ve tried to embrace the season and attempt to enjoy what winter has to offer. As luck would have it, the first time I convinced the two year old to take a ride down the sledding hill, she veered to the right like a moth to a flame directly into the only sledders at the bottom of the hill. It was also the last time. We then ate granola bars in the car for half an hour.
Giving up on the great outdoors, I’ve taken to the petri dishes of indoor entertainment and attended every playgroup, open gym, music time, and story hour in a 15 mile radius with her. I’ve suffered the defeat of an afternoon at Pizza Putt (think Chuck E. Cheese on a smaller, more depressing scale with a side of hand foot and mouth disease) and enough trips to the local Lake Aquarium that I’m on a first name basis with the entire turtle collection.
At home, the lowest point may have been the day I vetoed letting my 8 year old hurl himself down the stairs on a crib mattress, but only because there isn’t enough clearance at the bottom. Instead, the screen time limits have devolved from a couple hours per week to “I think the xbox overheated again”. The two year old holds the record of 3 baths in one day simply because I’VE RUN OUT OF IDEAS.
Every single one of us has puked at least once. (Bobby, on the way home from Christmas Day spent at his family’s house WHILE HE WAS DRIVING.) It seems like each week is a Russian Roulette of maladies, from fevers to mucus fests. My hands look like they belong to an octogenarian and possess as much moisture as the Gobi desert from washing them a few dozen times per day.
I know it’s not going to last forever, a few more weeks at best. But once, in recent years there were flurries on Mother’s day. On that occasion I think I may have cried. But if it happens this year, I’ll punt an old lady like a football.