Those of you who know me, know that I can fly off the handle pretty quickly. What can I say, the French Canadian in me gets all fired up sometimes. Well this winter has definitely sent me into a bit of a rage. It’s not necessarily that it’s been freaking cold most days interspersed with days where it thaws enough to drop a crapload of snow and then freezes again. I can live with that, I know it’s to be expected what with living in Canada, especially in Ottawa. No what sends me into a rage most winter mornings is getting my kids dressed for the outdoors. Holy hell what a production it has become to get those two out the door. It’s getting harder and harder with Freddy becoming more mobile and with Henry becoming more defiant.
I used to be able to just threaten Henry with the idea that I would leave him behind. That would send him scurrying to me in a panic, begging me to take him with me. Then slowly I had to start actually going outside for him to panic. Now, when I say “I’m leaving without you, you’re going to stay home alone” he pretty much shrugs his shoulders, says “bye!” and continues playing. Meanwhile I have little Freddy writhing around on me, screaming his head off as I try and put him in his snowsuit/bunting like if I’m pouring hot molten lava on his bare skin. Once I have him dressed, I clip him in the bucket seat which I know I will have to replace sometime soon since he’s almost to the point of outgrowing it, but for now, it’s really convenient being able to immobilize one of two kids. So now I’m rocking a shrieking Freddy in the car seat while trying everything in my power to coax Henry to put his boots and jacket on. Without fail, every morning it’s a fight. I’ve even gone to the point where I go outside, put Freddy in the car, start the car, run back in and tackle Henry one on one. He doesn’t even register that I’ve left the house because he’s so into his make believe play. So then I come back inside and my voice is raised to “threat level” and I say in an ice cold voice “Henry, put your boots and jacket on….NOW!” and that’s usually when he runs to me and informs me that he’s pooped. Yep, pooped. So now I’m really in a rage that I have to take all my stuff off quickly, and change Henry’s diaper with lighting speed while I’m telling him “take your pants off, take them off, help me out a bit here, Freddy is in the car waiting, hurry up! COME ON! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD COOPERATE WITH ME FOR ONE FREAKING SECOND!!!” and he’s just lying there like a limp noodle while I try and force his pants back on. I often have to turn around and take a breath to collect myself and stop myself from channeling all my rage and frustration and punching a hole in the drywall.
So now he’s clean and finally cooperative but it still takes time to put those boots on, then the jacket. And the freaking zipper on those kids winter jackets is a pain in the butt. I remember seeing a comedian joking about zipping up kids jackets and how frustratingly complicated it can get and I have to totally agree. Here I am, trying to zip this thing up, while I have a kid kind of dancing and swaying and not helping one bit and the stupid zipper is getting caught on everything on it’s way up. What should take approximately 2 seconds for a normal human being takes about 10. 10 long seconds where I’m thinking of Freddy in the car in the garage, probably screaming his head off in anger.
When Henry is finally dressed, we then go out through the garage and I swear, he stops at the top of the stairs that go down into the garage and assesses everything he sees. Or he says a little prayer or something. Whatever it is, he takes his sweet time walking down those stairs. I’m going “Hurry Henry, HURRY! We’re going to be late!” while he slowly meanders down those stairs and I’m glancing back into the house making sure our cat Purrl doesn’t try and make a mad dash to the outside world as I keep the door open because the kid ain’t budging.
So that’s my morning. EVERY MORNING! By the time we’re in the car, my anger and rage are gone. We sing on our way to wherever we’re going. But every morning, when I wake up, I know we’re going to have to go through this process again. I have no idea what I’m going to do when I have to go back to work and am on a tighter schedule. Nowadays if I know we have to be gone by 9am, I start the process at 8:40 and we still leave later than expected. I’m going to have to force some cooperation with this kid. Maybe I could bribe him with chocolate or something. Or pray that spring comes early this year.