Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, we’re having some unusually cold weather down here. It’s so unusual that it’s causing parents of young children to do the otherwise unthinkable: dress very very warmly. We’re talking the whole shebang: coats (duh), long-sleeves, hats, and even gloves/mittens. It’s just a bit foreign to us. This past Friday was the first big test; we had our first hard freeze of the night, and the kids’ school had emailed all of us to remind us to send hats and hand protection to school. Yes, this is necessary for some of us. It’s just not something we have piled up ready to go as a rule.
Mornings when I go to the office are always a bit more hectic. We’re under a much tighter timeline, and I pretty much have everything planned to the minute. Gloves and hats really F’ed my plan up. As I struggled to get both of my children properly clothed, I got so bloody irritated and flustered. Felix wasn’t too bad. He wears mittens and is generally pretty patient if not wiggly. Stella wants everything NOW. She freaks out if I’m helping Felix on with his coat before HERS IS ZIPPED. AND HER GLOVES NEED TO BE ON NOW, made more frantic and obnoxious since she can’t seem to slow down enough to put one finger in each hole. She looked like a blasted industrial accident victim. I was relieved to drop them off that day and am still amazed I wasn’t late for work.
Later that afternoon when I picked them up, I had a moment of sheer admiration towards the staff of their school: every little kid had on coats (zipped or otherwise fastened properly), hats, and mittens or gloves. The odds are not in their favor. I don’t know how they do it. There are so many of the little people, so few of them, and so many tiny gloves, hats, and zippers.
The term “herding cats” comes to mind a lot these days. Whether I’m trying to feed the kids breakfast or dinner and making sure Felix gets one of his endless antibiotics or trying to get them ready to go somewhere, that phrase is appropriate. But “herding cats” doesn’t even come close to the agony and struggle involved with getting little people dressed for winter.
I think this phrase ought to be adjusted. It’s more “herding cats while preparing a chocolate souffle and riding a unicycle and simultaneously herding a separate herd of cats.” Bravo, school ladies. Bravo. You are stronger, wilier, and more patient than I am!!