I tend to walk through the brevity of autumn with a naive hope that the crisp, sunny days will last for weeks, or at least until Thanksgiving (the Canadian one). I picture myself crunching through leaves on the sidewalk, comfortably dressed in jeans and a sweater with perhaps a vest for good measure.
I'm not sure where I picture myself enjoying this fabled fall, but it certainly isn't the city in which I live. This is the city where Halloween costumes have to either fit over snowsuits or incorporate them into the theme. Oh look, another Stay-Puff Elsa! Cute!
So it came as no surprise when the flakes started flying this morning. Sure, it was pretty but it was also really friggin' cold. I have a tendency to treat my winter wear like I used to treat vacation days when I was granted such things: save them, hoard them even, for when it's really REALLY bad.
"I can't put on the parka when it's only -3 degrees (Celsius)," I thought. "If I do that, what will I wear when it's -30?"
I even resisted turning on the heat. Now that it's been on for a few days, I'm finding the house cold again. And believe me, this isn't a case of insufficient body fat.
One might think a day like this could be a happy excuse for filling the house with the smell of freshly baked goods. Muffins, cookies, cinnamon rolls... all those things that beg for creation when the world outside is solidifying. It's a beautiful reason to stand next to an oven with a hot cup of coffee, waiting for some new delight to emerge.
Unfortunately, my freezer is already full of delights, some that no one but me will eat (apparently, in the absence of gluten, I've lost all perspective on what constitutes an edible cookie) and, besides, there was another cold hard reality staring me right in the face: a three-year-old boy.
You see, when you're a parent, you're not supposed to stay inside all day when it snows. You're supposed to act all excited that it's freezing cold outside while you rally the troops to go explore the new winter wonderland.
Yay! I can't wait to squeeze myself into snow pants I know I can't do up. Double yay! I can't wait to wrestle you into a snowsuit only to have you need to pee five minutes later.
But, as we all know, a good part of parenting is being able to bullshit. Examples include:
- What are you talking about, flu shots don't hurt!
- The dentist is fun!
- Broccoli is delicious!
- We have perfectly good food at home!
I muster up my best fun mommy voice and say, "Hey buddy. Let's go outside and play in the snow!" He looks up at me and says, "No." This is his standard response to every sentence that doesn't involve Smarties or Paw Patrol, so I try again. "Come on, it will be fun!" This time, he literally runs away from me. "No! I will be too chilly!" He grabs his talking dog, hops on the couch and says, "Mommy, will you come put the banket on me?"
I hesitate. I'm supposed to force him outside, aren't I. That's what good parents do. They show their kids that it's worth a half hour of prep to walk around the block. This is our penance for being Canadian. But as I walk to the living room, I get sucked into the cuteness vortex and lose all resolve. To hell with it. I'll be a good parent tomorrow. Better yet, I'll get Luke to do it.