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Hell Is

Hell is getting a four-year-old and a seven-year-old ready to go out in Canadian winter.

No, I’m not joking. Of all the things I hate doing, which are many, this is number one.

Friends and family can certify that in general, I’m a pretty cool, kids-rule mom. Golden boy having a tantrum in front of a guest? No big deal. Princess wants chocolate between meals? Fine, so long as she can get them herself and doesn’t expect me to get up from my sofa. Princess and Golden Boy engage in a wrestling match that seems to violate all the known rules and regulations of wrestling matches ever made, in the whole world? Call me if you see blood, not otherwise.

But catch me in those crucial ten minutes before going out, and I am a shrieking, bloodthirsty harridan, the terror of the infants, a raging, howling, miserable beast, blinded with sweat and nerves.

Assembling all the clothes needed to go out in the winter is a herculean task, and no amount of clothes-organization seems to work. Socks are missing (it took several white hairs until I realized that really, if the kids go out in mismatched socks occasionally, no one is going to call the RCMP, and the world won’t come to an end), gloves are missing, boots cannot be found, hats, snow pants, jackets, scarves—but what is seriously nerve-wrecking is the endless, tireless debate which accompanies the wearing of each item.

“Do I have to wear snow pants today? I hate snow pants! They make me look fat, and make this really stupid sound when I walk. My pants roll up beneath them, and I hate it. You’re not the boss of me anyway! Why don’t you wear snow pants if you like them so much?”

This, every single morning and every single time we go out, from the Princess. Meanwhile, the Golden Boy, an essentially moody creature like me, questions the whole philosophy of going out, and decides he doesn’t want to go, anyway.

“I’m not coming! I can stay in by myself! I’m gonna watch Batman by myself! I don’t wanna go to daycare/shopping/swimming/the library/whatever else we have to do to turn the wheels of our life.”

“I don’t want this hat! The bobbles go up and down! I want the other hat!”

“I’m not wearing a scarf—I’m gonna choke and die. Is that what you want? You’re such a mean mother.”

“This sweater is itchy! I’m uncomfortable (tears of rage and misery)—take it off!”

But there is no mom listening anymore, this is the Weremom who has taken her place. Hot and sweaty, late for school, work, lessons, life, she pushes and shoves and pulls until everything is where it should be, and bundles the two anti-winter activists out of the door.

Not much longer now, until warm weather!

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