Winter makes you do crazy things.
It is the combination of not enough sunlight and frigid temperatures, temperatures that are so cold that your door is frozen shut leaving you sealed inside your house with a band of crazy children really wear on you, that cause a normal person to start sculpting mountains out of mashed potatoes.
I don’t mind the crazy children that much, after all I can hide from them. Sure, it looks like the utility closet on the outside, but on the inside, it is my own little panic room, equipped with snacks and cold beverages.
Oh please, like you’ve never hide from your children?
The craziness doesn’t bother me that much, I have a high tolerance for craziness (please try to feign surprise).
No, what I can’t stand is the funk. What funk, you ask? Well, if you have children you know exactly what I mean. Come on parents don’t act as if you don’t know, anyone who has children knows exactly what I mean.
It is that particular scent of chocolate, Chef Boyardee and Doritos that every kid has now multiply that by three. Uh huh, now imagine what that is like in a hermetically sealed house.
I swear, if I don’t get fresh air soon, I am going to keel over like a canary in a coalmine.
That is why on a cold and gray Saturday I announce, “Let’s go snowshoeing.”
Have I ever snowshoed? No. Is it a good idea to take three small children snowshoeing in a state park? Probably not, I think. Do I care? No.
I don’t care if we get lost and end up like the Donner party, at least we will be outside.
I stuff everyone in his or her winter clothes and hustle them out the door. In my haste to escape our prison, I fail to notice that everything outside is coated with a thin sheet of ice.
The kids hustle out the door, race each other to the car and slid right past the car.
Huh, guess it is slippery; I proceed with caution to the car.
The car is enshrouded with ice, normally this would make me think twice about going anywhere but I am so desperate to leave the house that I am prepared to battle Godzilla to get out of the driveway.
After I chip the car from its icy cocoon, we head out to the park.
The kids get a kick out of strapping what amounts to tennis racquets on their feet. Since their feet are considerably smaller, and they are a lot lower to the ground, they pick up the snowshoe method quickly.
Little showoffs get up and run out the door. While I follow behind at a slightly slower speed, which affords me, a great view of the kids sliding like shuffleboard shuttles on the slippery concrete floor.
We head out the door and it goes better than you would think.
First, as you can tell by the fact that I am writing this, I didn’t get lost in the park, nor (and this is very important) I didn’t lose any children.
Perhaps, next weekend we will try something equally daring like ice-skating. Watch out Ice Capades here we come!
Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.
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