I don’t like playing in snow. I don’t like feeling like I’m going to lose my fingers and toes and I don’t feeling like I just scrubbed my face with a Brillo pad studded with Flava Flav’s missing teeth. But Chooch has reached that age where laying snow is like a sheath of irresistible cotton candy and he must be eating it constantly. At first he was content with me taking his ladybug cup outside and packing it up with freshly fallen clean snow. He’ll sit on the couch, smile, and say, "Snow!" while he shovels quickly thawing morsels into his mouth. Then my cat Nicotina comes over and they fight over it. She really likes to eat snow, too. She licks it off the bottom of Henry’s boots when he comes home from work. I think Henry mistakes it for a show of adoration.
Even though I abhor the cold, I looked at my son today, sighed, and battled with my selfish side to be a good mother. Finally, I surrendered and pulled out Chooch’s snow suit which he’s never before had a chance to use. Twenty-five minutes and a lot of sweat later, I had him all snug and sardined in his blue puffy suit, hands in mittens and scarf wrapped tightly around his tiny neck. (I don’t know how that tiny neck supports that huge head.) I put on my young heart-and-skull rain boots, battled the zipper on my coat, and forgot to grab gloves.
I thought Chooch would freak once he was sausaged inside his suit. I always did when I was a kid. I hated a fucking snow suit. The padding always made me feel incapacitated and I somehow always managed to get snow up and inside the legs. Not my son though — he loved it. He didn’t even fight to remove his mittens. I placed him in the snow and he proceeded to march around everyone’s front yard like a snow king.
Me, I was freezing. I bitterly trudged around behind him, putting him back on his feet when he’d fall on his ass. He stomped around, laughing so loud he was screaming.
Then Henry came home from work and ruined the easy flow. As soon as Chooch saw him pull in across the street, he screamed, "Daddy! Juice!!!" and tried to run out in traffic. (Henry has been driving home the Everfresh Juice van and Chooch likes to get up close and admire the fruit on the side of it.) We stayed outside for a few more minutes but Chooch’s face was all wind-burnt and frosted. Henry had to drag him into the house because he wanted to stay outside forever and ever and ever and that’s fine, but until we build him his igloo, he’s stuck living inside our dumb old house.
I think my flowers might be dead.
Cry, sucker. Cry!