A winter outing (or why I may not leave the house again until March)

It started out as a good idea. Well, maybe even that’s a stretch. How many ideas from the mouth of an almost-three-year-old can truly be called “good”?

Two active children and winter, I’ve found, don’t mix well. Or maybe they don’t mix well because I’m more an indoor, sit on the couch and read type of winter person than say, head out and enjoy the snow kind of person. I like being outside. I don’t like the idea of putting 2 or 3 layers of clothing on 3 people, two of whom are running away from me while I’m trying to outfit them in winter attire.

This day, though, I almost had no choice. We had colored a picture for MeeMaw, for her birthday, and even though it was Saturday and her birthday was Monday, Isabelle, the 3-year-old, WOULD NOT REST until said picture was in the mailbox. Any attempt to explain to her that putting the letter in the mailbox Saturday was just like putting it in the box on Monday was futile. “NO. We HAVE to put it in the mailbox.” I might add that vehicle transportation was not an option as my husband was at work and wouldn’t be home till after dark.

So, I ventured into the unknown, a little fearfully, a little confidently. Certainly I could dress two children for an outdoor excursion a block and a half away, in winter, accomplish our mission and live to tell about it. I mean, it’s not like I was taking them on an Antarctic expedition.

Because it had snowed, I opted to dress Corban in his snow pants so he wouldn’t have to sit in snow in the wagon. If you have ever seen “A Christmas Story” you might guess what’s coming next. As I was outfitting his sister for the ride/walk, he fell flat on his face. If he wasn’t crying his little eyes out, I might have laughed. Isabelle wasn’t yet dressed, so I had to find a way to prop Corban up against me as I finished her weatherfitting. In my haste, I couldn’t make her snow boots fasten across her pantleg, so one boot was loosely secured on her foot.

Snowpants and jackets on, it was time for gloves and hats. Usually this isn’t a problem. Hats and gloves stay with the coats the kids usually wear, but since they were wearing their winter coats, I had to search for the other snow accessories. And for the life of me, I could not find two matching mittens for Corban. By this time I was flustered and rushed yet committed to the mailbox mission, so I grabbed the first two Corban-sized gloves I could find.

We made it out the door and remarkably, I strapped Corban into the wagon only to discover that the two mismatched mittens I’d found for Corban were both lefts. But we were already out of the house, so there was no turning back. Isabelle had decided to walk at least some of the way to the mailbox. She has a tendency to pick up on moods, so as we set out on our journey, she shuffled along muttering, “I’m sorry. I just want my Dad.” Could any other set of words break a mother’s heart like those did? I asked her why she wanted her Dad. “Because he would fix my boot,” she said.

Then and there, my attitude flipped. I apologized to Isabelle for being hyper and frustrated.

We were cold, but we accomplished what we set out to do. Corban sat sort of chill in the wagon, and Isabelle kept up with us as she walked. And MeeMaw received her picture, at least the week of her birthday.

Determination is an admirable quality, but I hope she saves these wild ideas for spring. I’m not sure I can handle many more winter outings like this.

Then again, cabin fever is the pits, too.

I’m learning to laugh about stuff like this. If I don’t, it’s going to be a VERY long winter.


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