My slippers are wet. A nice, snow encrusted, icy cold sort of wet. I went icicle hunting in them.
The boy has another cold. It started on Saturday with just a bit of a stuffy nose. Today he had a fever, lethargy and a need for lots of tissues. If we manage to convince him to cooperate with the cold medicine, the fever goes down and he gets peppy. If not, he sits on our lap and complains about anything that moves him to do so.
Winter decided to dump it's annual February 'substantial' snow fall on our area today. It never fails. We get at least one good, mounting snowfall each year and it tends to show up in the second month. How much we got depends on who you listen to. We're going with the weather gurus in Philadelphia. They say our area got 6-10 inches which seems about right when you're the one outside with the snow blower.
Logan got up yesterday morning at his grandparents house. It was his monthly sleepover. Typically he balks at having the "spotlight on me!" two day extravaganza end. It takes some cajoling to get him home without a nary a pout. This time we enticed him with snowmen. We thought the snow might start earlier yesterday and give us time to make use of his snowman kit. It didn't.
He went to bed talking about the snowman he'd make today. He woke up with a low grade fever of 99.9 and a cranky little outlook on life. No outdoor fun for him, not that he wanted it any more. He wanted a lot of cuddling and some orange juice - we were happy to oblige, especially as his temperature crept higher.
At dinner, however, he had a change of heart. He was nicely doped up on Motrin Cold and ready to bring Frosty to life. It was dark. It was cold. And there was no way his little snot-filled head was getting in the backyard no matter how many layers of snowpants he could wiggle his butt into.
Instead I got a brain storm.
This morning I had tried to catch snow flakes on black construction paper for him to look at with a magnifying glass. Clearly this works better when you're doing the looking outdoors because our flakes melted in seconds in the warm house. In a moment of fuzzy-headedness, I filled a small plastic bowl with some snow and stuck it in our freezer where it sat forgotten most of the day. As soon as Logan finished his last bite of Mac and Cheese, I produced the bowl. He wiggled a few bits of it's contents on the frozen paper and tried to get a good look at the variance in the flakes.
Megan was jealous. She wanted a bowl of snow. So I, being the fair parent that I try to be, filled another small bowl with the white stuff and dropped it off on her tray. I was now on a mission. I dug around the plastic container cabinet, which is in wild disarray. I selected a large bowl and a rectangular lid. The lid was left on our kitchen table as I, and my rose colored, beat-up slippers, headed for our back door. One big scoop snow returned with me.
I can tell you, from recent experience, that bare hands and snow don't mix even if you're sitting at your kitchen table surrounded by the remnants of dinner and good fellowship. I molded a snow ball and placed it on the plastic lid. Then a second, slightly smaller ball and finally a third small ball. I stacked them in size order and shouted, "Ta Da!"
"NO-MAN!" Megan said as she clapped. Logan just grinned. We stuck him in the freezer so he'd not melt right away.
I had a lot of snow left in my big bowl. I made another ball and when the sick child of mine was not expecting it, I launched a small snowball at his collar bone. He tried to look annoyed but he couldn't keep his smile away.
"What are you doing crazy Mommy?!" he said with a laugh.
"I'm bringing snow day to you, sicko," I told him. Daddy shook his head at me in that "You are nuts" type gesture, so I pegged him with a snowball in the forehead. That, of course, put both kids into giggle fits. So, again, to be fair, I tossed a little snow Megan's way. The dog, in her glory anytime snow is involved, gleefully cleaned up our mess.
Logan launched a few snowballs. Daddy got in one or two decent throws. Megan even tried it out. The dog kept cleaning. The rest of my bowl got dumped back outside. I used the empty vessel to knock down an icicle. Just a tip survived. I handed it to Logan who turned it over and over his palm trying to study it. He wanted a bigger piece. He asked. We said we couldn't - we weren't dressed right to go leaping past the small cleared section of concrete just out our backdoor.
He said please. He asked for a tissue.
I walked out into snow drifts with my slippers, armed with a plastic kid-sized golf club. I returned with a larger bit of icicle. Logan dropped it almost instantly and shattered it. At least he didn't cry.
Instead we took Frosty out of his frozen cave again. We stuck toothpicks in his sides for arms and used glitter glue to paint on an orange nose and blue eyes. He's back in the freezer now where he'll stay until we're bored of him or I need room for an Easter ham. Whichever comes first.
Nights like this make me think about the future. The day when my kids get together with their families - perhaps without my husband and I around. They start to talk about their childhood and they laugh as they talk about the crazy things their mother would do to make them smile. I hope they realize then that it wasn't insanity - it was love.