This weekend brought new snow to Indianapolis, which meant more sledding for my daughters. There has been so much sledding at our house this year compared to previous winters that I’ve come up with a mathematical formula to explain it.
New snow boots + fresh snow + inflatable sleds + chicken audience= 56% increase in sledding over last year.
The moral of the story is if you want your kids to sled more, just buy them new snow boots and chickens.
The downside to all this sledding is the gallons of water they track in as they traipse in and out the back door four hundred times a day. Evidently there is some genetic or hormonal component that prevents people under the age of 18 from stomping the snow off their new boots before leaving the safety of the giant rug put by the back door for the express purpose of catching excess moisture.
Even if you tell them forty two times to take their boots off before leaving the rug zone, some bathroom emergency will trump your many reminders. Or some pre-adolescent dementia sets in erasing the memory of the forty two times you told them to take off the boots, prompting the child in question to say with oozing sincerity and innocence, “I never heard you say that Mom!”
Pardon me while I snort in disbelief, Gentle Reader.
Then, being the good parent you are, you simply tell the child to clean up their own mess. That’s what good parenting is, right? Encouraging children to accept the consequences of their actions and take responsibility.
But even this comes back to bite you in your maternal butt.
When you tell them to mop up all the water from their 24th sledding adventure this day, they are incapable of grabbing the beach towel hanging on the kitchen chair that has been used in previous clean ups (even though you tell them to) but they insist on grabbing a new beach towel.
The grand result is that there are 24 beach towels hung across various pieces of furniture, in the process of drying out, thereby increasing your laundry by 30%.
(At this point, Gentle Reader, you are no doubt wondering how in the world does someone living in Indiana have 24 beach towels in their linen closet. The simple truth is I don’t know. I think they procreate in there during the off season.)
In years past, all of this craziness prompted Mean Mommy to make several appearances a day, yelling and ranting about increased workloads.
This year, for some strange reason, it just doesn’t bother me too much.
Perhaps, eight months of unemployment has steeled my nerves and increased my capacity for mental stress. (I mean, it would be nice if something good came from it, right?)
Perhaps, it’s watching my healthy six year old enjoy herself, instead of being in a hospital room dealing with cancer, like my friend’s daughter is.
Perhaps, my husband is right when he suggests that since I’m now forty, I’m finally developing a “who really gives a rat’s behind” attitude about certain trivial concerns.
I’m not sure, but I tend to think it’s a combination of all three. This year, I can see melting snow for what it really is- a minor inconvenience and not the end of the world.
Puddles happen- even on the kitchen floor. Beach towels get dirty. In ten years I won’t remember them, but I will remember the joy on my girls’ faces as they flew down our hill in the backyard. I will remember the increased friendship and affection that developed between the two of them as they laughed together and scattered snow everywhere.
And all of that is worth the mess. It really, really is.