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Emily Morrison Emily Morrison
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Winter, you wench, you.

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Winter, you wench, you. Winter, you wench, you.

She comes into your house in the form of runny noses, persistent coughs and double ear infections that take two rounds of antibiotics to cure, and then she just straight chills. She drips her wet, snowy self all over your hardwood floors and makes no apologies. Not one little, 'Oh, did I do that? Who, me, Winter?' Worst of all, she makes you outfit your kids like giant, mismatched marshmallows who have lost all sense of balance and mobility. Bad news bears, bad news. 

I understand we live in Maine. I get it. The Northeast doesn't exactly promise sunny and 75 more than two months out of 12. But come on, negative 30? Who's down with that? How can I send my little marshmallows off to school prepared to face recess in the sub-Artic? 

Current theory in dressing for the elements involves layering tight clothing, properly accessorizing head and hand wear and leaving no skin exposed. Unfortunately, my children do not subscribe to current theory. You know what they believe in? Wearing leggings that cut off at the knee. Throwing on sweatshirts and calling them jackets. Forgetting to put on socks or shoes and saying, 'I'm all set, Mom.  Let's roll.'

Today was no exception. My kids have outgrown last year's boots, so it's a bit tricky finding footwear for them in the morning. They can't go in sneakers because, well, those aren't boots. Oddly, my middle child fits into the boots my grandmother bought me when I was freshmen in college, so that's a plus. My middle schooler only thinks of fashion - black suede boots it is (at least they're fleece lined). As for my kindergartener, he's in a similar bind. Nothing fits. Currently, he's taken to wearing my daughter's old ski boots from last year. I'm a bit paranoid someone will say, 'Hey kid, where's the slope?'      

Then there's the fact that despite my best efforts to sort all hats, gloves and scarves into three separate drawers, nobody puts any of these back where they go. This means a frantic search for matching mittens moments before we have to leave. Finding matching mittens in my house is as pointless as matching my hair color to my roots. It's just never going to happen. Finally, I relent. 'You can wear one glove and one mitten. Yes, you can. The glove/mitten look is so in right now. Selena Gomez does it.' Hey, it doesn't go well (especially with my son,) but it goes. 

Once we locate the jackets they discarded the day before, we're out the door. Zipping is pointless, given the fact that as soon as we enter the minivan everyone will disrobe. First come the glove/mittens, then the hat, the jackets and then, you guessed it, the boots. My husband says we should turn the heat off in the car on the way in; that way we can ensure they all stay clothed. Frankly, I find the idea barbaric. Plus, I need enough feeling in my hands to grip the wheel.

T-minus two minutes to school I start the verbal cues again, 'OK, kiddos. Time to put our hats and glove/mittens, jackets and boots on. Everyone needs to have something on their feet.' I liken myself to a flight attendant, flying the friendly skies on a song. In reality, I'm more like a drill sergeant on duty. 'Who doesn't have their stuff on? WHAT?! Good lord, you can't wear two different boots. Your jacket is on inside out and upside down! Move it! Move it! Move it!' It's just not pretty.

Once the drop off is done, I breathe a sigh of relief as I look out the passenger window and see them waddle away, perfectly covered. I glance over to the playground with something like joy in my heart, and then it sinks in. Not a child in sight. Not one little mismatched marshmallow to be found. Inside recess, Mother Nature? Are you kidding me? I did all of this for inside freakin' recess?

Well played, Winter. Well played.

  

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